- Mental Health
What is Ativan? Lorazepam Is An Anti-Anxiety Medication
What Is Ativan
Ativan (lorazepam) is a tranquilizer that is used primarily for the relief of anxiety. This anti-anxiety medication is a central nervous system depressant, regularly prescribed for other practical purposes, such as help with treating tension, sleeplessness (insomnia), irritable bowel syndrome, nausea and vomiting from alcohol withdrawal, and most often for many bipolar disorder symptoms. It is in the benodiazepine class of anxiety drugs. Long term use of Ativan is generally not recommended because of the rapid development of tolerance and dependency.
You May Ask, How Ativan Is Prescribed ?
When starting Ativan, many professionals start you out with the recommended dosage. That is typically a 1 mg tablet three times daily. This dosage may be higher if prescribed for insomnia, oftentimes being 2mg to 4 mg once daily at bedtime.
Many elderly people experience an increased sensitivity to Ativan, therefore it is often more comfortable taking a smaller dosage of 0.5 mg to 1mg daily. Your doctor will of course make the recommendations necessary for you.
Medical professionals often prescribe Ativan for alcohol withdrawal. Beginning with a small dosage and titrated up or down according to elevations of blood pressure, pulse rate, extent of agitation and existence of delirium and detoxification.
The Side Effects Of Ativan Are As Follows
Ativan is considered a safe and reliable medication with a low risk of adverse side effects. But like many medications used for anxiety or sleep there is the danger of addiction. If unfavorable side effects do develop, they are more likely to occur at the beginning of treatment, and are often times alleviated with continued treatment or lower dosages. As always contact your doctor of any side effects you are not comfortable with.
- Clumsiness, or unsteadiness
- Dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Slurred speech
- Stomach aches
These side effects are usually mild, however you may want to voice your concerns with your doctor if they bother you, or become persistent.
Mild Ativan Side Effects
- Poor appetite
- Blurred vision,
While these side effects are not commonly serious, you would most definitely want to discuss them with your doctor. Hives or rash caused by Ativan may show signs an allergy is present. You should discuss discontinuation with your doctor if a rash persists.
Serious Ativan Side Effects
- Difficulty breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Excitement or anger,
- Seizures or Convulsions
All are rare, but serious symptoms, you should contact your doctor or seek emergency medical treatment immediately if these are present. Jaundice, while rare, may point to a severe allergic reaction and possible liver damage. Ativan should be discontinued immediately.
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Other Cautions To Look Out For
Withdrawal Symptoms From Ativan
It is possible you could demonstrate physical withdrawal symptoms from taking Ativan, if you have been taking the drug longer than four weeks at a high dose. You should never stop taking Ativan abruptly. Decrease your dose as directed by your doctor.
Possible side effects from withdrawal include the following symptoms
- Ringing in the ears
- Muscle cramps
- Depressed mood
- Loss of appetite
Ativan Overdose Symptoms
If you overdose on Ativan, your symptoms can change. Some commonly reported symptoms of a Ativan overdose can include the following
- Speech problems
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of life.
Overdose symptoms are more likely if Ativan is combined with alcohol or other medications. Ativan is a central nervous system depressant and benzodiazepine, and this legitimate medication produces feeling of well being and euphoria. As a result it is very addictive, and often abused. If you or someone close to you overdosed seek medical attention immediately.