Ativan: Dosages, Side Effects, Treatment & Medication
What is Ativan?
Ativan (lorazepam) is a short-acting anxiolytic medicine that belongs to a group of medications known as benzodiazepines. Doctors usually prescribe it to treat anxiety associated with psychological health conditions such as insomnia and depression, muscle spasm pain, pain attacks, and seizures. In several cases, people also buy Ativan online to manage the symptoms of the acute phase of schizophrenia.
How does Ativan work?
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter, which means it does not cause brain excitement. It gets produced by the central nervous system. It helps the body calm the nervous system and advances balanced activity within the brain of a person. To put it simply, Ativan works on GABA receptors to cause the release and enhancement of the GABA neurotransmitters. This, in turn, promotes a calming and relaxing effect throughout your body.
What is the safe dose of Ativan?
The standard daily Ativan dosages are:
- Anxiety: Ativan is useful for short duration management of severe anxiety in the dosage of 1 mg to 4 mg given in divided doses. You should not use the medication for the long-term.
- Panic: for panic disorder treatment, a 3 mg to 5 mg dosage is safe given in divided doses; however, it is recommendable only when alternative treatment measures, such as antidepressant therapy, fail to provide adequate results.
- Insomnia: for insomnia with anxiety, a patient should take 1 mg to 2 mg dose at bedtime.
- Pain relief: for pain caused due to muscular spasm or anxiety, a patient should take 0.5 mg to 2 mg given in divided doses.
- Status epileptics: for epileptic seizures, a slow IV dose of 4 mg is useful, and, if required, repeat the dose after 10 minutes. For children, less than 10 years of age, give an IV dose of 4 mg, and repeat only if necessary.
Is it safe to use Ativan if I am pregnant?
During pregnancy, use Ativan only if there is a clear sign, for example, seizure control. Taking high doses during pregnancy may cause neonatal hypothermia and respiratory depression. It can also cause neonatal hypotonia or low muscle tone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies Ativan as a schedule D pregnancy medication, which signifies any evidence of a risk to the unborn baby for pregnant mothers.
How my body processes Ativan?
Ativan has a moderate rate of absorption in the body. It reaches peak concentration in one to six hours and has a half-life of 10 to 20 hours. After getting metabolized, it has no active metabolites that remain in the body to get excreted through urine.
How to get most of the treatment while using Ativan for anxiety and panic?
Mental health conditions related to anxiety and panic are often successfully treated with many types of psychotherapies. Find a good counselor or therapist to work with, as it may help complete your treatment along with taking psychotropic medication.
A therapist will help you better comprehend the underlying conditions associated with what you experience, help you develop a self-care routine to keep low levels of anxiety, ad help you know the best coping strategies in case your symptoms arise or get triggered.
Potential side effects
The possible Ativan side effects include drowsiness and lightheadedness the day after taking it. Depending upon the dose taken, Ativan may also cause an anterograde amnesia effect, leading to trouble forming new memories. For older adults, ataxia and confusion are common due to the sedative properties caused by anxiolytics. The sedative effects of Ativan also lead to:
- Muscle weakness
- Urinary retention
- Changes in libido
Most benzodiazepines like Ativan are for short-term use. Using them for a long time duration increases the occurrence and severity of withdrawal symptoms when you stop the treatment abruptly. To prevent the unwanted withdrawal effects, make a safer plan to taper your daily Ativan dosages gradually.