Ativan (Lorazepam) is a benzodiazepine used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and short-term anxiety.
How to Take Ativan :
Ativan is taken in tablet form.
The usual daily dosage of Ativan for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is 2 mg to 3 mg. If you are taking Ativan for social anxiety disorder (SAD), your doctor should initially prescribe a low dose for a limited period of time (such as one week) and then follow-up with an evaluation of its effectiveness, side-effects and dosage adjustment.
Who Shouldn’t Take Ativan :
You should not take Ativan if you are allergic to similar medications, such as Valium, or if you have acute narrow-angle glaucoma. Use of Ativan while pregnant or breastfeeding is not advised. There is also no data on the safety or effectiveness of Ativan in children under 12 years of age.
There are a number of potential medication interactions with Ativan, including barbituates, sedatives, antidepressants, narcotic analgesics, anticonvulsants and anesthetics. It is important that your doctor is aware of all medications that you are currently taking. In addition, the effects of Ativan may be intensified if combined with alcohol.
Side Effects of Ativan :
The most common side effects of taking Ativan are sedation, dizziness, weakness and unsteadiness. Cognitive effects, such as decreased attention and problems with memory, are also possible. Side effects generally increase with larger doses and for older individuals.
In general, there is some risk of physical and psychological dependence when taking Ativan. If you suddenly stop taking Ativan, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Be sure to follow your doctor's directions for discontinuing this medication or changing your dose.
Driving, operating dangerous machinery and participating in hazardous activities should not be undertaken until you know how you will react to Ativan.
The use of benzodiazepines, such as Ativan, may lead to respiratory depression.
Other Anxiety Medications:
Biovail. Ativan Patient Description. Accessed November 27, 2008.