What is Ativan?
Ativan (lorazepam) is a prescription tranquilizing medication. You might also hear it called a sedative-hypnotic or anxiolytic medication. Ativan belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines.
In addition it is used to treat anxiety symptoms, insomnia (trouble sleeping), and status epilepticus (a type of severe seizure). It’s also given before surgery to make you sleep.
Lorazepam, sold under the brand name Ativan among others, is a benzodiazepine medication. It is used to treat anxiety disorders, trouble sleeping, active seizures including status epilepticus, alcohol withdrawal, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Uses of Ativan
Lorazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. This drug works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA).
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. If directed by your doctor, use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.
Side effects of Ativan
Drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, headache, nausea, blurred vision, change in sexual interest/ability, constipation, heartburn, or change in appetite may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any unlikely but serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as hallucinations, depression, thoughts of suicide), slurred speech or difficulty talking, vision changes, unusual weakness, trouble walking, memory problems, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat).
Some people can have bothersome withdrawal symptoms after stopping Ativan. These can occur after taking Ativan for as little as one week. They’re also likely to be more severe.
Withdrawal symptoms can include:
- headache, anxiety
- trouble sleeping
- irritability, tremor
- panic attacks