Saturday March 28th 2015

How long does Ativan stay in your system?

How long does Ativan stay in your system?

Ativan doesn’t clear the body as quickly as some other types of drugs. In fact, Ativan can be detected in urine up to 6 weeks after it was last taken in a heavy user. But even small doses might be detectable in standard drug screens up to a week later. More here on Ativan detection and use, plus a section at the bottom for your questions about Ativan in your system.

Main Ativan uses

Ativan is the brand name of lorazepam, used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia. Sometimes Ativan is used for other conditions, such as epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome, or even alcohol withdrawal. Ativan works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Because of its addictive potential, doctors are warned to prescribe Ativan only for 2-4 weeks of continuous use.  Some people also take Ativan recreationally and are getting high on lorazepam.  But if you get high on Ativan, you risk addiction and related withdrawal symptoms, which can be very severe.

How do you take Ativan?

Ativan is available in two forms: it comes in an oral table and a liquid solution, which are both ingested. Sometimes, the pill is crushed and snorted. But this method of administration is dangerous and discouraged by medical professionals. In fact, snorting Ativan can lead to addiction, overdose, or serious adverse side effects.

Peak levels and half life of Ativan

Ativan reaches peak blood concentrations in two hours. For a 2 mg tablet, the peak levels of lorazepam in the blood would be about 20 ng/mL. (Ativan doses can range up to about 10 mg, depending on the tolerance of the person taking the medication.) The half-life of Ativan is about 12 hours. The age of the person taking Ativan doesn’t affect the rate of absorption – it is the same in young adults and the elderly.

Ativan drug testing: How long does Ativan stay in the body?

Ativan stays in the body for a long time. This is especially true when you take Ativan in large doses. It usually takes several weeks to clear from the body completely. Sometimes it can take over a month for Ativan to leave the system.

How long does Ativan stay in blood?

Ativan stays in the blood for several days because of the drug’s extended half life. Exactly how long Ativan is detectable depends on the dose taken – therapeutic dosage ranges from 1-10 mg per day, and someone abusing the medication might take even more than that.

How long does Ativan stay in hair?

Ativan can be detected in hair up to 90 days after the drug was first taken. The length of the person’s hair at the time of testing, chemical dyes on hair, the amount of Ativan taken, and other factors can affect the accuracy of drug screen results. But as hair testing for Ativan is costly, probation or workplace authorities only occasionally use hair testing for Ativan.

How long does Ativan stay in urine?

Traces of Ativan can be found in urine for at least a week, even at small doses. Sometimes Ativan can be detected for up to a month and a half after use. Of course, Ativan detection depends on the dose of Ativan taken, and if it’s been taken frequently in the past. Ativan addicts and abusers will have a harder time clearing this drug from their system, even after they completely quit taking Ativan.

Ativan and addiction

Ativan is a habit-forming drug and Ativan is addictive. Even users who take Ativan as prescribed can develop a tolerance after just a short time, which means they must take higher amounts of Ativan to achieve the same results. Trying to quit Ativan once you have a physical dependence is tough. The drug causes withdrawal effects and cravings when not taken. For this reason, it’s never prescribed for long-term use.

Problems with Ativan?

Ativan does have unpleasant, potentially dangerous withdrawal effects. The good news is that it’s possible to get off the medication by tapering the dosage. If you want to stop taking Ativan, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you plan to gradually decrease your dose to make the transition as easy as possible.

Ativan in your system questions

Leave us your questions about Ativan use or detection below. We try to answer all legitimate questions about Ativan with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: Daily Med: Ativan (Lorazepam) tablet
PubMed Health: Ativan
DEA: Drugs and Chemicals of Concern: Benzodiazepines
Drug Enforcement Administration: Benzodiazepines
elaws: Drug-Free Workplace Advisor

Leave a Reply

26 Responses to “How long does Ativan stay in your system?
12:34 pm April 17th, 2012

I had been taking lorazepam 1mg nightly for 7 years, for anxiety and sleep. I originally cut the dose from 1 to .05 nightly for 2 weeks and then from .05 to nothing. I have been on no lorazepam for the 16th day now and am experiences what I think are still side effects from the drug. The anxiety gets more intense as well as muscle twitches in the legs among other effects. All these symptoms seem to get worse about 1 1/2 to 2 hours after getting up in the morning. I usually took the pill at 9:30 in the evening and then went to bed. I get up at around 5:30 in the morning. I got up this morning, felt not too bad but all the weird symptoms seem to get worse at around 7:30 to 8:00 in the morning and continue till about noon and then the body sometimes levels off again. Since the 1/2 life is 12 hours would this explain the symtoms I am experiencing every morning after being up for about 2 hours. Is my brain still on drug mode even though Im not taking them anymore, or is the brain trying to re-set itself. I have a chronic illness also, rheumatoid arthritis and am pretty sure these symptoms are not caused by it.

1:06 pm April 17th, 2012

Hi Case. It does seem that these symptoms can be caused by chronic use of Ativan over the years and withdrawal from the medication (but nothing to really do with the half life when you are actively taking the drug). I’d suggest that you record a daily log of all symptoms and report them to your prescribing doctor. Can you get in for an appointment this week?

4:59 pm September 12th, 2012

I have been taking .5 Mg for about 7 months for anxiety….i have recently stopped taking them all together and my anxiety seems to be getting worse not feeling myself at all is this withdrawl is so how long is this supposed to last?

1:51 pm September 16th, 2012

Hi Lisa. Yes, one common side effect of stopping Ativan is the experience of rebound anxiety or the re-appearance of anxiety issues. These symptoms can be lessened by tapering doses of Ativan before completely stopping Ativan dosage.

I’d suggest that you schedule an in-person consultation with your prescribing doctor to outline your desire to stop taking Ativan, and to seek counsel about the withdrawal period and side effects. It may take several days to weeks for the anxiety to clear.


4:39 pm January 22nd, 2013

I took 1mg Ativan once a day for 12 days and then stopped going on 9 days ago. My doctor did not tell me that I would become dependent on it or that I would have withdrawal from it. I haven’t been able to sleep much at night and I was wondering how long it would be before I would get a good nights sleep again? I read that it stays in your system for 7-10 days, does that mean I’m almost over this?

2:47 pm January 23rd, 2013

Hi Tammy, It’s possible that the sleep problems are related to general anxiety issues. It can help to make a few changes to get a good night’s sleep:

1. Go to sleep at the same time every night
2. Avoid stimulation 2-3 hours before bedtime
3. Learn breathing and relaxation techniques to put yourself to sleep

Perhaps seek help from someone who can teach you these lifestyle changes. Ativan may be effective in terms of helping control emotional or mood states, but it is not meant to be taken for life.

David L Mick
6:05 pm April 29th, 2013

I am a diagnosed insomniac and have been taking 1.5 mg of ativan at bedtime for 1 1/2 years. I am a truck driver and have no problems with it. It is the only thing that my doctors have tried that gives me a good nights rest with no groggy side effects the next morning. I have to take a D.O.T. medical physical and UA tomorrow. Is the Ativan going to be a problem With the Dept Of Transportation?

11:11 pm June 13th, 2013

I took ativan on 06/12/13 and will have to take a drug test on 6/20/13, will the ativan be gone.?

12:51 am November 8th, 2013

I have been taking .05 mg of Ativan for 8 years for sleep. I have been trying to chnage my lifestyle by exercising so I can sleep better and I find the exercise helpful and I am getting better sleep w/o the Ativan. So I have been trying to wean off the .05 by cutting to .25. However, at night, the same time every night around 8 pm, I get the shakes, as if I am shivering. It is undetectable on the outside, there’s no physical tremors to observe, but inside I’m shivering. It resolves when I fall asleep. Is this type of effect familiar as part of withdrawal?

2:46 pm November 13th, 2013

Hi Kelly. I’m not familiar with this set of symptoms, but I’d suggest that you make a record of them and consult with your prescribing physician. Record when the occur, for how long, and at what intensity. And then, seek a diagnosis. I wish you the best of luck!

6:51 am February 10th, 2014

I’ve been taking lorazepam or Ativan for 3 years now, and I have to say I know the feeling’s being described here all too well. I even know the shakes inside you body felling someone else was talking about. for me it feels like my chest can be tense and there’s a feeling almost like butterfly’s in my chest but not quite the same. I recently have been trying to get off Ativan but every time I get to about a day and a half in and the anxiety is almost unbearable coming in waves of intense anxiety. I feel like I have come to know this disease so well. I have a lot of compassion for people who tell me they are suffering from anxiety almost to the point where I have an immediate connection with someone suffering from the illness. I think its because it controls many of the same aspects of so many people’s life’s that we cant help but share common traits and demeanor. I’m going to try and stop tonight and sleep through some of the withdrawal I feel like if I wrap my head around stopping the use of this drug I know I have the will to stop the use of this horrible drug. In the beginning it helped me so much. Now it has become the bane of my existence its only use now is to lengthen my suffering. Sometimes I wish I would have been strong enough in the beginning to never have even started taking Ativan but I don’t know I could have made it without it. But now I can’t live without it. If anyone has managed to read this far into my rambling thank you for reading. We all have suffered from anxiety but I know we all have it in us to overcome this addiction. We have to be strong even when it seems impossible. It’s really hard in my experience to be in such discomfort to the point where you could almost call it pain and have something 10 feet away from you that can stop your discomfort. The long term affects of this drug I’ve found there really isn’t a definitive answer for but it cant be could. anyways to some things up I feel for all of you and know you aren’t the only person dealing with this were all together in this even if it doesn’t feel like it. good luck with your lives and good luck breaking the habbit. P.S there’s an insanely annoying discomfort in my chest right now and all I want to do is take an Ativan I let it go away but I wont do it because I know I can stop this I hate it more than anything. Sometimes I wonder where I would be in life if I wasn’t on this drug like if this drug is affecting things in my brain. Things like memory, focus, my ability to react physically and mentally. I need to get off this drug and find out what my true potential is and I truly believe this drug is holding me back from living the life I want to live. I want an Ativan so bad right now I don’t want to feel this pain and discomfort anymore but I have to if I ever want to brake out of this cycle, this prison Ativan and anxiety have had me locked away in. I’m going to stop now because honestly I could go on forever about the subject. Just know you can do it, we can do it let tomorrow be a new day free from the chains of anxiety and free from the drug, the life of Ativan.

2:50 am February 21st, 2014

how many hours will it take for a dose of Ativan to be excreted in the urine?

5:14 am April 24th, 2014

Hi Jordan from February 10, 2014. I noticed that no one seemed to answer your message. It really broke my heart to read it. Because I know exactly how you are feeling. It is April now and I’m wondering if you are doing better. Wondering if you have broken the cycle of addiction of the Ativan. I’m taking Ativan as well. What I thought was a very low dose. 0.5 milligrams twice per day as needed. I don’t even take that. I take them every other day. So that’s one milligram every other day for the past 2 years for anxiety and Fibromyalgia. If I don’t take them I have terrible anxiety and pain in my arms so bad I can’t stand it. I don’t want to take the Ativan anymore like you don’t, but every time I try to stop,like you I get up to a day and a half and I can’t take the pain and anxiety anymore and I’ll take two Ativan so I can feel better again. It’s a vicious cycle. I’ve never been addicted to anything in my entire life. I Never considered myself to be a drug addict, yet here I am! Needing a drug to get me through the rough patches. It’s all do ridiculous! It makes me want to slap my doctor for not telling me that this stuff is addictive and for letting me stay on it for this long knowing that it is so addictive. What are we, their guinea pigs or lab rats? Are they conducting experiments on us to see how long we can remain on this crap before we crack? Not a very nice way to treat your patients, I don’t think…How about you Jordon, how do you feel about it? I’m very sorry you’ve had to endure such suffering. I hope things are better for you by now, even if they aren’t better for me. Best of luck to you Jordan.

11:11 pm April 28th, 2014

Took 1mg. Of ativan for about ten days took at bed time one tablet. How long will it stay in my urine for? I have read anywhere from 3 days to six weeks? But mostly at 3 to 7 days at my dose and time I was on the med for. Thanks for your help

2:09 am June 11th, 2014

Can I take .25mg of loroxecam at 6:00 am and at 1:30 pm have a sedative for a bronchology ?

4:30 am June 22nd, 2014

I have taken about 35 tablets of lorazepam 0.5 mg. twice a day for the last 12 days ending June 16,2014 and before that took about 11 tablets of orazepam 0.5 mg. irregularly. beginning from May 23,2014 How long the medicine will stay in my blood. I am plus 75 years old

9:05 pm July 13th, 2014

Hello, I was wondering about the specific detailed scenario below, how long would it take Ativan to clear her blood & urine? Scenario: A female age 47 prescribed to take 3- 1/2mg tablets twice a day, for 2 days, and a total of 12 pills. She is 5 11 and weighs 216lbs. She has not taken Ativan in years, but she has taken clonazepam within the last 3 months. How long should she anticipate after taking what was prescribed to clear system? Hair (rear end length), blood and urine?

1:35 pm July 27th, 2014

If you are not a regular Ativan user and take a 1 mg how long will it stay in your urine?

6:04 pm October 24th, 2014

Hello, I was a victim of the Ativan gang in Manila. I was drugged and robed and then sent to a kidnapper. I am wondering if I continued to be given doses of Ativan while I was held captive. The day after the drugging, I felt hung over and very sleepy but my memory was fine. Day two and three were really bad for me. I lost bladder control, I felt sick and jittery, I had short term memory problems and periodic complete amnesia. I also, felt a little unsteady. I was still out of sorts on day four but things gradually became less foggy there after. In your professional opinion, are these side effects likely to be from the initial large does of Ativan that I was given the night that I was drugged, or is it more likely that I was given additional doses of Ativan while I was being held captive?

4:52 pm November 15th, 2014

I am 81 years old and was having a severe bladder problem ONLY at night. One night I was awaken 7 times. The loss of sleep caused horrible fatigue. My doctor prescribed .5 mg once during the day and one at bedtime. I do not like prescription medicine. So for 10 days I only t, ook ONE .5mg pill at bedtime. Last Thursday upon awakening I fell with an end table breaking my fall. I stopped the pills, how long will it stay in my system?

5:30 am December 16th, 2014

Can I drink alcohol the day after I took Ativan . I don’t take it everyday but say I took it Thursday morning can I drink Friday night without complications …thank you

8:01 pm February 18th, 2015

I have been on Ativan 4 about week at one a day do u think I could be Addiction to it I have taking myself off it and my head feels funny doze that mine I am having withdrawal from them

11:45 pm February 18th, 2015

Hi just like to no I was put on Ativan for anxiety been on it now for about four weeks 1 mg nearly ever day. I stop taking it three days ago I have a funny feeling in my head ever think soon not reall this is the side effects coming off it why am worrying that I am addicted to it addicted.

1time user
10:08 am February 24th, 2015

I took about 4 maybe 5 mgs of Atiavan about5 days ago and i do not take it normally. How long will it be gone from my system? If i took a UA test this afternoon would it show up? I weight 100lbs and im 5.1″ and im also very heathly and active with a fast metabalizam. Please help me with this question! Thank you

5:31 pm March 2nd, 2015

Hello Tina. It’s not addiction, don’t worry. It’s physical dependence, and as scary as it may sound, it really isn’t anything abnormal. Our organism tends to become accustomed to many changes that occur in the environment and inside our bodies as well. After taking Ativan for a month, your body and brain became used to its chemicals. Now that you’ve stopped use, the body feels that something is missing-which is why you say you are getting some funny feelings. The good news is: this will all be gone in a short while and your organism will return to functioning as it used to. You can talk to a doctor if the withdrawal symptoms get more uncomfortable or if they persist for more than a week or two.

7:05 am March 17th, 2015

I have been on Ativan for over 20 yrs. I have a dr that likes vacation so I went 4 days without my Ativan! I take the Ativan for severe anxiety & panic attacks also MS & major depression! the 4th day went to my dr to get my script they had me to do a saliva test with a cotton thing in my mouth! I took it willingly I have nothing to hide well it took over 15 minutes I take so many meds my mouth was extremely dry! when my test came back it was negative please explain? I was a person when I would here this from people I would think they were lying now I’m in the same predicament what can I do I need my meds desperately! PLEASE HELP!

Leave a Reply