Articles, DRUGS

Ativan (lorazepam) – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

It never is easy having to deal with all the tension the current world burdens us with. Be it financial or purely psychological, physical or environmental, each person in their own shell inhibiting this planet is some way or the other entangled with a serious anxiety issue. It starts with the mundane daily activities where even a small kid due to bullying pressure may feel depression and anxiety when forced to go to school. An adult office goer feels the same anxiety in a different environment when the heavy work pressures and the busy schedules tie him up in a knotted morose everyday life.

However, some people handle anxiety better than the others, hiding them well underneath the polite smiles and head nods but for some, an external force of medication, something like a prescribed drug is often needed to keep their systems collected and running. Such a drug is Ativan (lorazepam). The generic name for ativan is also known as lorazepam and it is categorized under benzodiazepines which are drugs that are for the central nervous system and brain. These drug classes manages and makes amendments with issues regarding the brain or the nervous system which is especially why drugs like ativan can be trusted as a true anxiety reliever medicinal drug.

The working mechanism of this drug is quite simple. The anxiety is encouraged and induced by a certain type of hormone or chemical that binds together to make up the hormone that force anxiety levels to go high. The job of this medicine is to treat the hyper anxiety by controlling and regulating the hormone that keeps the issue at bay thereby keeping the system calm. Apart from anxiety overdose, this drug also treats other nervous disorderly problems including insomnia and panic attack.


Often at times this drug is also used for sport or fun purpose which is believed as a misuse of the benefits of the drugs. One should strictly refrain from doing so.


A person with anxiety issues experiences life in a much more intense manner. The trigger points can have him shatter into pieces while people deem him to be unsocial or mentally unstable. But the life of a person with a weak spot for anxiety attack also experiences surrounding psychological and physical problems. Anxiety makes you hyper and to control yourself often you as a patient might force depression down your neck thereby also affecting your social life. Physically too can it break you down as anxiety and panic attacks result in appetite loss and change in physical features. The once bright and jolly you gets shoved deep within. This is when drugs like lorazepam starts to work its wonders pulling your sinking boat right on to the surface. Given below are some of the beneficial ways in which ativan can help you regain yourself.

  • Anxiety relief: as discussed before, anxiety is a common cause that can easily be tackled using the benefits of this drug. Ativan uses the chemical compositions within the brain, altering them in a subtle change so that the hormonal secretion that beckons the anxiety attacks can be regulated and controlled. Doing so, anxiety is taken care of.
  • Panic and stress buster: alongside anxiety, it is also natural that some of us might experience panic attacks which is almost a similar phenomenon compared to anxiety. Once again hormones inducing panic within your system are regulated using the benefits from this drug. The same goes for tension relievers or stress busters. When the stress gets too high for you to handle, under the doctor’s approval, you can use lorazepam to handle situations better.
  • Insomnia cure: insomnia means sleepless nights owing to the extra tension or possibly the anxiety attacks. Insomnia leads to sleepless nights which in turn increase anxiety possibilities all the more since your body is now deprived of one of the main functions that keep sanity levels in check. The use of ativan actually calms and relaxes your system thereby allowing you to sleep.
  • Alcoholic’s tale: it is actually proven by some studies conducted, where ativan actually helps you get over your addiction for alcohol. Alcohol intake can turn into a serious addiction, one where turning back from it becomes difficult. At this time, lorazepam can tamper with the chemical bindings within your brain thereby changing hormonal quotients in your head. Alcohol addiction can then be controlled.
  • Depression state: depression too is a psychological factor that weighs us down. Depression can be a result of too many anxiety attacks which breaks us down a little bit each day. depression is not easy to get over and might incur heavy damage to your personal self. Benzodiazepine drugs gels in with the hormone producing quotient thereby bringing about change in your system, possibly aiding you through your depression period.
  • Hypersensitivity: hyper sensitivity is a nervous disorder which makes you hyper and more sensitive. This too can lead to anxiety or panic attacks and once again we find our self looking forward to lorazepam.


Based on your medical requirements and your age or demographic, it is quite necessary that you follow the lead of your doctor and abide by his guidelines. Your doctor will tell you about the consumption and dosage part.

Ativan or lorazepam is strictly to be taken by mouth based on the dosage the doctor prescribed to you. this is an enhanced drug with active ingredients and should never be chewed during intake. You can have this medicine before or after your meals as suggested by the doctor. However, it is for the best that you keep an hour or so in between the meal and the medicine intake so that the drug gets ample time to work it’s effect without the food hindering.

A glass full of water should be enough for you to gulp down the medicine. Breaking the medicine would accumulate the ingredients together which would increase the risks of overdosing. Also, overdosing on deliberate usage is strictly advised against. One must at all times respect the benefits of the drug and refrain from using this drug for purposes that are not medically or legally listed.

Also, do not suddenly stop your dosage as the ativan tablet might have a reversal effect.


Taken orally, the dosage is measured by the doctor based on your requirement even though age plays a huge role in administering dosage. While adults can be prescribed a higher dose, children and elderly are restricted to the basic minimum and only increased based on patient’s reaction. The patient’s reaction also matters since psychological factors usually don’t resemble all individual. Patient’s recovery should be monitored individually and on need the lorazepam dosage or the duration can be increased.

The base dose is either 0.04mg or lorazepam 0.5mg which can be used as a light anesthesia which usually is injected into your system by a professional for mild central nervous system. for the adults, the usual doses range from 2 to 6mg, the ativan 2mg being an initial dosage for anxiety relief in adults. If the drug dosage shows ineffectiveness, you can work your way up to even 10mg, but only on doctor’s recommendation.

For children or elderly ativan 1mg is the initial dose which can also work its way up to 2mg and even at certain cases ativan 5mg.

For the adults having to deal with insomnia, a dosage unit of around 2mg to 4mg is prescribed which you need to intake at once, preferably before bed time for the best response. If the response for this is poor, you can increase the dosage but always keep the doctor’s approval in priority as overdosing may even cost your life.

While on the dosage never quite leave the dose suddenly as it can cause adverse effects. Always start by reducing the dose a little everyday until you reach the end.


Ativan belongs to a class of drugs that fall under the benzodiazepine category. If you are using any other medication of that category, before consuming lorazepam, please disclose the list of the medicine to your doctor.

A brief history of all your medical histories should be presented to the surgeon if you are going through the course of ativan and is scheduled for a surgery recently. The same applies for all allergy medicines. Allergy medicines are highly reactive and therefore before your doctor prescribe this to you, disclose to him past history of allergies and their cure remedies.

Elderly ladies and children are usually studied to have more side effects or reverse reactions to this and therefore one at all times should keep an eye out for side effect hints.

If you have a violent history or drug abuse or alcohol abuse, keep them away at all times since these too reacts strongly with the medicine and is a bad combination when brought together.


Since the drug ativan falls under the benzodiazepine category, it is reactive with the other drugs that fall under the same category and therefore the other benzodiazepine drugs might react with the lorazepam.

The case is same for the allergy medicines which as mentioned before are highly reactive in nature. Allergy medicines therefore should also be refrained from whilst going through the course of ativan.

Any sort of pain relief medicine would usually attack the hormonal system altering the chemical compositions which would reduce the pain. now even the ativan reacts with the hormones and therefore mixing both of them might result in heavy side effect.


While some may heavily benefit from this drug, for many it may not be a compatible option. Not every single individual body reacts the same way and therefore side effects may come individually. While for some side effects are really negligible, for others it might be a heavy cause. While some people cannot feel anything, for others side effects should mean a quick rush to the doctor and disclosing to him all the discomfort which if ignored will build up to something more difficult.

Given below is a list of some of the most common side effects that you might face once you use this drug:

  • Calm and drowsy: the lorazepam is a calming drug which helps you overcome anxiety or panic attacks. To aid you in that, the drug keeps your nerves calm and collected. Often the counter effect might be in the form of over calming where you become too calm and might even feel drowsy a lot. the adverse side effects might also react in daytime sleepiness.
  • Nausea and dizziness: ativan side effects also include heavy feelings of nausea. Nausea feelings are simply your body’s way of dealing with a foreign antibody or a foreign drug introduced to your body. However, this might also be an incompatibility issue. Along with this comes dizziness and feeling of light headedness.
  • Sore muscles and headache: muscle cramps or muscle twitches are a common side effect for a beginner and this might be easy to overcome once you get used to this drug in your system. muscle sores may be in the form of abdominal pain or heavy head ache. Muscle cramps however, should not be treated with pain medicines since it reacts with the ativan drug.
  • Confusion and convulsion: since this is a medicine that has adverse effect on the psychology of a person, confusion or forgetfulness can be a side effect to this drug. However, slight in nature may not be a concern but when it results in convulsions, the doctor should immediately be reverted back to.
  • Hallucination: since this drug deals with the central nerves and the brain, many psychological issues may transpire inside you. heavy depression and a medicine to curb the anxiety can lead to serious psychological problem such as hallucination.
  • Change in behavior: change in behavior can be a good ordeal if not in the form of side effect. Change in behavior can result in you actually sinking more into depression if the drug back fires on you and the benefits actually end up pulling you more down. Even after a few dosage, if you feel no improvement, immediately concern the doctor.
  • Chills and dry mouth: chills possibly with a slight fever and cold sweats might be yet another form of side effect. Along with this you might either experience a form of dry mouth or might experience excessive drooling.
  • Appetite loss and insomnia: psychological issues have a toll on everyday activities too. Depression or anxiety medicines may cause loss of appetite or sleepless nights.

The benzodiazepine class of drugs has always ensured your central nervous system or your brain issues are always kept at the maximum priority lines. The lorazepam is one such drug that belongs in this category. Disorders such as anxiety or panic at certain times might get out of hand which is detrimental not only to yourself but to the people around you to.