What is Ativan?
Ativan is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Ativan may be used alone or with other medications Ativan belongs to a class of drugs called Antianxiety Agents, Anxiolytics, Benzodiazepines, Anticonvulsants, Benzodiazepine.
Ativan (lorazepam) is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depressive symptoms. Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic.
The effectiveness of Ativan (lorazepam) in long-term use, that is, more than 4 months, has not been assessed by systematic clinical studies. Ativan (lorazepam) is administered orally. For optimal results, dose, frequency of administration, and duration of therapy is individualized according to patient response.
What does Ativan feel like?
Ativan helps balance chemicals in the brain that can cause anxiety. When taken in especially large doses, Ativan binds to special receptors in the brain to produce a fleeting, intense high, followed by a prolonged state of calm. The effects of Ativan include:
- A euphoric high
- A sense of calm
- Muscle relaxation
When combined with other substances, like alcohol, the relaxing effects of Ativan are even stronger. Because Ativan is very potent and can seem harmless as a prescription drug, it is a prime candidate for both accidental and intentional abuse, as well as accidental overdose. Most commonly, overdoses occur when Ativan is taken in combination with alcohol or other drugs.
Because Ativan is legal to use with a prescription, some people may not realize they’re abusing the drug. Taking larger amounts of Ativan than prescribed, taking the drug more often than prescribed and taking the drug for longer than prescribed are considered abuse. Using Ativan without a prescription to achieve a high is also abuse.
What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Lorazepam?
Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you because you may notice that you feel tired or dizzy.
When starting lorazepam, anxiety or insomnia may improve rapidly or over a period of days.
Benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam, are often used for short periods of time only. They may produce emotional and/or physical dependence (addiction) even when used as recommended. With input from you, your health care provider will assess how long you will need to take the medicine.
Do not stop taking lorazepam without talking to your healthcare provider first. Stopping lorazepam abruptly may result in one or more of the following withdrawal symptoms: irritability, nausea, tremor, dizziness, blood pressure changes, rapid heart rate, and seizures.
The use of lorazepam with drugs like opioid medications has led to serious side effects including slowed and difficulty breathing and death. Opioid drugs are medications used to treat pain and include medications such as: codeine, oxycodone, morphine, and illegal drugs like heroin. Some opioid medications are also in cough syrup.
If you are taking lorazepam with an opioid medication, get medical assistance immediately if you feel dizziness or sleepiness, if you have slow or troubled breathing, or if you pass out. Also avoid alcohol while taking this medication.
Are There Specific Concerns About Lorazepam And Pregnancy?
If you are planning on becoming pregnant, notify your healthcare provider to best manage your medications. People living with anxiety disorders who wish to become pregnant face important decisions. It is important to discuss this with your doctor and caregivers. Regarding breastfeeding, caution is advised since lorazepam does pass into breast milk.
What Should I Discuss With My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Lorazepam?
- Symptoms of your condition that bother you the most
- If you have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself
- Medications you have taken in the past for your condition, whether they were effective or caused any adverse effects
- If you experience side effects from your medications, discuss them with your healthcare provider. Some side effects may pass with time, but others may require changes in the medication.
- Any other psychiatric or medical problems you have including obstructive sleep apnea
- All other medications you are currently taking (including over the counter products and herbal and nutritional supplements) and any medication allergies you have
- Other non-medication treatment you are receiving such as talk therapy or substance abuse treatment. Your provider can explain how these different treatments work with the medication.
- If you are elderly or prone to falls
- If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
- If you drink alcohol or use drugs