How Long Does Ativan Stay In Your System?

Ativan can stay in your system for weeks. If you’re a heavy Ativan user, lorazepam can take over a month to clear your system. More information on the half life of Ativan, as well as blood and urine detection times for Ativan here.

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Reviewed by: Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. Dr. Juan Goecke, M.D.

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: 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
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
Medical Reviewers
Dr. Dili Gonzalez, M.D. is a general surgeon practicing women's focused medici...
Dr. Goecke is a medical doctor and general surgeon with personal experience of...

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.

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