Ativan is a powerful benzodizepine with a high risk of causing physical dependence and addiction. Here, we answer how yo ...
Evidence-based descriptions of the most popular Rx drugs and their effects. The full spectrum of prescription drug use from habit to addiction.
How is Ativan used? But, is it addictive? And, what about Ativan side effects? We answer here:
What is Ativan?Ativan (lorazepam) is a sedative medication, 3-hydroxy benzodiazepine drug, and is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety in patients. Lorazepam it is mainly available as tablets and a solution for injection, but it can also be found as a skin patch, an oral solution, and a sublingual tablet. In addition to lorazepam, brand name Ativan tablets contain lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, polacrilin, magnesium stearate, and coloring agents (indigo carmine (E132) in blue tablets and tartrazine (E102) in yellow tablets).
How is Ativan used?Ativan is usually taken divided into 2-3 doses at certain periods of the day. The starting dose for adults is 2-3 mg daily, a typical maintanace dose is 2-6 mg, and the maximum recommended dose is 10 mg per day. However, Ativan can be habit-forming. It's not recommended for long-term use (regular dosing for longer than 4 months), because of increased likelihood of withdrawal symptoms.
Why do people use Ativan?Health care professionals prescribe Ativan for short-term management of severe anxiety. It is fast acting, and because of its high-potency, Ativan use is recommended for the treatment of fast onset panic and anxiety. But Ativan is also used to treat other conditions such as:
- Acute seizures
- Agitation and seizures in case of overdose
- Ease symptoms of vomiting and nausea in chemotherapy patients
- Sedation of aggressive patients
- Sedation of hospitalized patients
Ativan effectsWhen Ativan is taken over a short-term period as prescribed, its effects can be positive. Ativan has a fast onset, and the effects last up to 8 hours. It helps reduce anxiety, sleeplessness, agitation and seizures. However, Ativan also may cause physical and cognitive impairments that users should be aware of, such as:
- Anterograde amnesia
Is Ativan addictive?Taking Ativan repeatedly over a prolonged period of time may result in physical and psychological dependence and Ativan withdrawal symptoms. Because of its highly addictive properties, doctors do not recommend Ativan use for longer than 3-4 months. The likelihood of dependence is relatively high with Ativan (lorazepam), and one-third of individuals treated with the drug develop dependence within 4 weeks of therapy.Signs of Ativan addiction include:
- Compulsively taking Ativan
- Continued use despite the awareness of negative consequences to health, home, work or social life
- Craving Ativan
- Loss of control over frequency and dose
- Taking Ativan to cope with everyday stress
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Ativan can stay in your system for weeks. If you’re a heavy Ativan user, lorazepam can take over a month to clear your ...