What is Ativan and what is it used for

What is Ativan and what is it used for?

Ativan is a lorazepam-based medicine which is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. It is mostly used in combination with various other medicines being administered to tackle and deal with the disorder. It belongs to this specific class of drugs commonly known as anti-anxiety agents. Other names for this sector of medicines are anticonvulsants, anxiolytics and benzodiazepines.

The medicines belonging to this class are commonly not sold without a proper prescription from a qualified psychiatrist. Lorazepam-based medicines like Ativan 2 mg are used in the treatment of anxiety disorder or anxiety episodes related to depression and depressive symptoms. Regular anxiety or anxious behaviours associated with the stress of everyday life do not however qualify to be treated with such medications.

Symptoms And Conditions

Ativan is used to treat anxiety disorder and depression-related anxiety episodes. Anxiety is not just a mental strain but it can also effectively cause physical symptoms. It does not just create tension waves in your brain but can also lead to your body and muscles tensing up. Anxiety can commonly cause the individual to have a fight, flight or freeze response.

Anxiety can also be external or internal. The external forms include social anxiety or environmental anxiety that can be triggered by an individual’s circumstances or the people around him or her or any socially and externally uncomfortable situations. Internal anxiety can occur because of some illnesses or traumatic experiences or complex medical procedures etc.

Both kinds can get a person impaired and unable to carry on with their everyday tasks and routine without high levels of difficulty. The symptoms that anxiety brings with it range from physical to mental as well.

Physical symptoms can include sweating, shaking, faster heart rate and breathing, dry mouth, fidgeting, slurred or incoherent speech and losing peripheral vision also commonly known as tunnel vision which causes your surroundings to go dark around the edges. The mental and behavioural symptoms can contain irritability, nervousness, aggressive behaviour, numbness, being mentally absent and hypersensitivity.

Anxiety often co-exists with or causes other mental and psychological conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, ADD or schizophrenia etc. The physical conditions co-existing with or caused by the anxiety disorder can include high blood pressure, diabetes, muscle and joint pains, slow metabolism and poor digestive system, severe headaches and migraines etc.

Read More: How to Buy Ativan Online?


The lorazepam dosage is usually started with Ativan but the dosage can differ with every individual according to the requirements of the condition and symptoms of the individual. Dosage can be lower like 0.5 mg or 1 mg, or it can also be higher as per requirements. In most cases, the daily dosage ranges somewhere between 2 to 6 mg given in parts with the bedtime dosage being a must.

In more concentrated and severe cases, it can go higher up to 10 mg per day administered in parts. For anxiety, lorazepam dosage is recommended as 2 to 3 mg per day. However, if someone experiences insomnia due to high anxiety levels, their dosage can go up to 4 mg given at once before bedtime.

For the elderly, the dosage should be started at 1 to 2 mg daily and administered in parts and it can be gradually increased with time if required according to their condition and symptoms.

Since this kind of medicine can take a while for the body to get used to it and not create overwhelming drowsiness effects, it started at lower dosage levels initially. Over some time gradually, the dosage can be enhanced as per the requirement of the particular individual's disorder and condition.

Side Effects

There can be a variety of physical and mental side effects caused or amplified by lorazepam-based drugs. It has been observed that these side effects are directly proportional to the dosage of the medicine being administered. For example, the risk of some of these side effects is enhanced more with higher dosages. Age is also seen to be a factor in the severity of some of the side effects exhibited in an individual.

The more commonly occurring side effects of Ativan pills include drowsiness, sedation, heavy head, headaches, dry mouth, blurry vision, slurring speech and a high heart rate. Some other adverse effects occurring as a result of this drug can include exhaustion, recurring amnesia, sleep apnea, skin rashes and nausea.

Some mental and behavioural issues can manifest as the side effects of the said medication. These mostly comprise confusion, fogginess, disorientation, hallucinations etc or they can also exhibit in the form of aggressive or irritable behaviour or nervousness and agitation and high sensitivity to emotions.

There may also be a decrease in blood pressure because that' shows lorazepam works to produce relief from anxiety and anxious emotions in the body. However, this decrease should not be to a significant level or cause any disruptions to your daily activities. If you end up feeling weak or dizzy to a significant level after taking the pill, you should tell your physician about it.

Read More: How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System?


This class of medicines including Ativan can mix and react and produce unwanted effects in the body when being administered with certain other medicines. For instance, when it is given with other CNS depressant drugs, it can double the CNS depressant effects in your body.

Therefore, the dosage of your lorazepam-based medicine might have to be cut in half when it is being administered with other medicines of a similar kind that produce the CNS depressant effect along with achieving any other desired effect they are being prescribed for. These medications include antipsychotics, antihistamines, anticonvulsants, anxiolytics, antidepressants and narcotic anaesthetics.

Probenecid-based drugs, when administered with lorazepam, can accelerate the onset of the drug and also, prolong its effect duration which might mean you'd have to lower your dosage as well as increase the duration period after which to retake the pill. Theophylline and aminophylline-containing drugs can react with lorazepam too.

Although, it is not a significant or toxic reaction it can reduce the sedative and drowsiness effect brought on by the lorazepam-based drugs.


As with all the other antidepressants, lorazepam-based medications tend to be very addictive. This risk increases when it is being administered in high doses or when it' is used for longer periods.

The physicians should take care to prescribe it for a duration of two to four weeks and then take a break. It can be re-continued afterwards as required. The patients should be observed and the pill should be discontinued if they start taking it more often than prescribed or if they exhibit unusual personality traits or behaviours.

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