Ativan is a drug that belongs to a class of medications known with the name Benzodiazepines. The drug is available in the form of oral tablets, oral concentrate solution, and injection.
Ativan in its generic form is called Lorazepam that is used for the treatment of insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy, nausea. It acts on the brain and nerves in order to produce a calming effect. This drug typically enhances the effects of a specific natural chemical in your body.
The injection form is used in emergencies like prolonged epileptic seizures. Doctors also use it before surgery to reduce anxiety, produce drowsiness, and other medical procedures, typically for people who are anxious about them.
The manufacturing of Ativan’s oral tablets is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to Valeant Pharmaceuticals in 1977.
Ativan dosage is based on the form it is being used in, i.e. oral, liquid, or injection.
It is recommended to take Ativan exactly as per the prescription by your doctor. Its oral tablets are available in different strengths, i.e. 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg.
Based on your medical condition, your doctor may prescribe you to take 2 to 3 tablets a day, typically in cases like anxiety and 1 tablet per day in case of insomnia or trouble sleeping. Based on how your body responses to the treatment, your doctor may slowly increase the dose to prevent any side-effects.
With the increasing age, your doctor may reduce your dose.
Ativan tablets should be taken with a glass of water.
Ativan concentration oral solution comes in a bottle along with a calibrated dropper and has various doses marked on it. You can mix the concentrated dose of the oral solution with your liquid or semi-liquid foods, such as water, fruit juices, or pudding.
In case you need an injection, your doctor will inject the medication into your vein or muscle directly.
Always remember that overdose of Ativan can be fatal and can cause the following symptoms:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Muscle weakness
- Fainting or coma
In case you experience any of these symptoms after having your dose, immediately call your doctor or a family member for help.
Ativan Missed Dose
There could be instances when you forgot to take your dose. In such a case, take your dose as soon as you remember it.
In case you are taking multiple doses per day and you forgot one dose and it’s almost the time to take the next one when you remember it, simply skip the last dose and take the next one on time.
It is recommended to always remember your dose and never overdose just to make up for a missed one.
Among the side-effects of Ativan are dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, nausea, loss of coordination, drowsiness, heartburn, constipation, change in sexual desire or ability, and change in appetite. In case you experience any of these symptoms while on Ativan dose, you must speak with your doctor about it. Ignoring these symptoms may lead to a severe health condition.
Mind the fact that your doctor would prescribe this particular medication based on your current health condition while looking at its benefits that are greater than the risk of side-effects. And, not everyone who takes this medication gets the side-effects.
In case you feel any side effects, do seek medical help right away because the symptoms could get worse if remained unattended. Such symptoms could be yellow skin or eyes, slow or shallow breathing, and seizure.
Although the chances of this drug to cause serious reactions are less, immediately seek medical attention when you experience any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, such as itching, rash, swelling, trouble breathing, and severe dizziness.
Note: This isn’t a complete list of side-effects, as there can be many. It is recommended that you see a doctor if you experience any unusual effects while on Ativan drug.
Ativan is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of several health conditions. However, before you use this drug, make sure to carefully read through the label or simply go with the doctor’s direction.
The following are the FDA-approved uses of Ativan:
- Ativan for Anxiety
Ativan is approved by FDA for certain short-term treatment of anxiety and its symptoms. It is widely used off-label for the treatment of panic attacks and generalized anxiety disorder.
- Ativan for insomnia or sleep disorder
Ativan is also approved by FDA for the treatment of sleep disorder called insomnia, typically caused by excessive stress or anxiety.
It is also used off-label for the treatment of other types of sleep disorders. However, it is not the first option in terms of medication for insomnia treatment according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
- Ativan for seizures
The IV form of Ativan is approved by FDA for the treatment of a severe seizure type called Status Epilepticus.
Seizures typically don’t stop with this condition and often come repeatedly without allowing you enough time to recover.
- Ativan for sedation during a surgery
The IV form of Ativan is approved by FDA to be used for causing sleep before surgery.
Non-FDA Approved Uses
The following are the Non-FDA-approved uses of Ativan:
- Ativan for depression
While Ativan or any other similar medication is not typically prescribed for the treatment of depression, it can be used to treat the symptoms of anxiety or insomnia among people with depression. It can be combined with other medications for the purpose of symptoms reduction.
- Ativan for nausea from vertigo
Although Ativan is not prescribed to people with the symptom of nausea from vertigo, it can be combined with other medications to get the desired results in case of symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
The Bottom Line
It is always recommended to see a doctor on an immediate basis if you experience any of the symptoms that we discussed above, as simply ignoring the symptoms may lead to severe health conditions.
Immediately seek medical help whenever you experience some unusual symptoms to avail the right preliminary treatment.