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What is Ativan?

Ativan, also available as Lorazepam, is a tranquilizing medication. It belongs to the benzodiazepines category of drugs. Doctors and researchers believe that it works by enhancing the activity of specific neurotransmitters in the brain.

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How to take Ativan?

Take Ativan precisely as per the doctor’s prescription. Read carefully and follow all the instructions on the prescription label and medication guides. Never use Ativan in smaller or larger amounts or for longer than recommended. If you are feeling an increased urge to use this medicine, inform your doctor.

Never share this medication with someone else, especially someone with a past of drug abuse or addiction. Misuse of Ativan can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Keep your medicine out of reach from others. It is against the lawful act to sell or give away this medicine without a proper medical license.

Carefully measure the liquid medicine. Use an available dosing syringe or a medicine dose-measuring device.

Do not take Ativan (Lorazepam) for more than four months unless your doctor tells you to. Contact your doctor if there is no improvement in your symptoms or if they get worse.

You may often need frequent medical tests if you use this medicine for a longer duration.

Do not suddenly stop using Ativan, or you could face unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor’s directions regarding tapering your dose.

Store it away from heat and moisture at room temperature.

Keep track of your drugs. Be aware of someone misusing your medicine or taking it without a prescription.

What to know before taking Ativan?

You should avoid taking Ativan if you are allergic to it or if you have:

  • A past allergic reaction to any benzodiazepines (alprazolam, lorazepam, Klonopin, diazepam, Tranxene, Restoril, Xanax, Valium, Versed, and others); or
  • Narrow-angle glaucoma

To ensure Ativan is safe for you, tell your medical healthcare provider if you have ever had:

  • Drug or alcohol addiction;
  • Breathing problems such as sleep apnea or COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • Liver or kidney disease;
  • Mood problems, depression, or suicidal thoughts or behavior;
  • Glaucoma; or
  • Seizures

Tell the doctor about your pregnancy or your plan to conceive. Lorazepam may prove harmful for an unborn baby. Avoid using this drug during the first trimester of pregnancy.

If you are taking lorazepam during pregnancy, your baby could bear dependent on the drug. It can result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn baby. Babies born dependent on habit-forming drugs like Ativan may need medical treatment for several weeks.

It may be unsafe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Talk to your doctor regarding risks.

If you are breastfeeding, tell the doctor if you notice fussiness or drowsiness in the nursing baby.

Ativan is not under the recommendation for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.

What are the benefits of using Ativan?

Ativan is a prescription medication that helps treat anxiety disorder. It belongs to the benzodiazepines class of drugs, which act on the central nervous system (the brain and the nerves) to produce a calming effect.

Ativan (Lorazepam) works by enhancing the effects of specific natural chemicals in the body (GABA).

What are the side effects of Ativan?

Go for emergency medical help if you have an allergic reaction due to the use of Ativan. Signs of an allergic reaction include trouble breathing, hives, swelling of your face, throat, lips, or tongue.

Lorazepam can slow down or stop breathing, especially if you were recently using opioid medication, alcohol, or other medicines that can slow your breathing. Your attendant should seek urgent medical help if you stop breathing, shallow breathing, or if you are hard to wake up.

Call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Unusual changes in behavior or mood;
  • Severe drowsiness;
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of hurting yourself;
  • Excitement or sudden restless feeling;
  • Sleep problems;
  • Aggression, confusion, hallucinations;
  • Jaundice;
  • Dark urine; or
  • Vision changes

The sedative effects of Ativan (Lorazepam) may stay longer in older adults. Accidental falls are usual in elderly patients who use benzodiazepines. Use preventive measures to avoid falling or accidental injuries.

Common side effects to Ativan may include:

  • Weakness;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Dizziness; or
  • Feeling unsteady

It is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Take your doctor’s medical advice regarding side effects. Report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How Ativan works?

Ativan belongs to the benzodiazepines class of drugs. It works by enhancing the effects of specific natural chemicals in the body (GABA).

GABA (neurotransmitter) transmits messages between cells in different parts of the body. Increasing GABA results in a tranquilizing effect that reduces stress and anxiety.

Ativan is known for having a rapid, immediate start (onset) of action. It begins to work once you take it, but its peak effect occurs within one to one and half hours.

What to avoid while using Ativan?

Avoid consumption of alcohol. It can result in dangerous side effects, or death could occur.

Avoid driving a vehicle or performing any hazardous activity until you know this medicine’s effect on you. Drowsiness or dizziness can cause accidents, falls, or severe injuries.