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Ativan is an approved medication for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, sleep difficulty due to anxiety or stress, trouble sleeping, severe agitations, status epilepticus, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and as a medication given right before anaesthesia. It is also used to treat alcohol withdrawal.

Ativan belongs to a class of drugs called Benzodiazepines. Ativan is a brand name for Lorazepam. It works by enhancing the effects of some natural chemicals in the body. Lorazepam works by enhancing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. It is a very commonly prescribed medication used to treat anxiety disorder in the USA. It was first introduced by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 1977 under the brand names Ativan and Tempesta.

How To Intake Ativan?

Take Ativan exactly as prescribed by the doctor in the prescription. Any overdose or underdose or completely stopping it immediately can have an adverse effect on the health of a person.

Points to remember before taking Ativan:

  • Read the medication guide before taking it.
  • Swallow the whole tablet. Do not crush, chew or break it.
  • If you cannot swallow the extended-release capsule, you may open it and sprinkle the medicine onto a tablespoon of applesauce. Stir this mixture well and swallow it without chewing. Drink water after swallowing the mixture. Take the mixture within 2 hours of mixing.
  • In the case of oral liquid, measure the liquid using the marked dropper that comes with the Ativan liquid package and dilute it with juice, water, soda or pudding.

Composition Of Ativan:

Each Ativan tablet contains 0.5 mg or 1 mg or 2 mg of lorazepam as an active ingredient and lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and polyacrylic potassium as inactive ingredients in it.

Measures Of Ativan:

Ativan is available both online and offline in the market in 2 different varieties. These are:

  • Ativan 1 mg, a small round-shaped, yellow-coloured tablet.
  • Ativan 2 mg, a small round-shaped, white-coloured tablet.

Dosages Of Taking Ativan:

The dosage of taking Ativan differs in adults to children. The dosages are:

Usual Adult Dose for Anxiety:

  • Initially, take 2-3 mg.
  • Take it 2-3 times a day.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Anxiety:

  • Initially, take 2 mg
  • The dose is divided by the required number of doses.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anxiety:

  • Initially, take 2-3 mg.
  • Take it 2-3 times a day.

The Impact of Ativan On The Human Brain:

Ativan works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. It works on the brain and CNS ( Central Nervous System ) and produces a calming effect. It slows down the movement of unbalanced brain chemicals resulting in the reduction of anxiety. It works by boosting the impact of a natural chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is in the brain.

Overdose And Missed Dose:


Overdose is a condition when a person takes an extra dose of medicine than the doctor prescribes for him/her. An overdose of any medication is dangerous to our health, so an overdose of Ativan also has some bad effects on our health.

Overdose of Ativan leads to dysarthria, paradoxical reactions, drowsiness, hypotonia, ataxia, hypotension, coma, cardiovascular depression, and respiratory problem, which may lead to death.

Missed Dose:

Taking medicine at an improper time and irregularly leads to a missed dose. People after missing a dose usually take a double dose which leads to overdose. In case you miss a dose, do not panic. Take the dose immediately or continue with your regular dose or consult your doctor.

Withdrawal Symptoms Of Ativan:

Symptoms that are shown when any medicine is stopped suddenly or accidentally are called withdrawal symptoms. All anti-anxiety pills have their withdrawal symptoms, hence Ativan. The symptoms are headache, sweating, tremors, difficulty concentrating, confusion, increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, rapid heart rate, nausea, abdominal cramps and vomiting.

Side Effects Of Using Ativan:

Ativan is Benzodiazepine. As Benzodiazepine has side effects, Ativan also has. It has some major side effects and some common side effects.

Common Side Effects:

The common side effects are:

  • Drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Restlessness

Major Side Effects:

The major side effects are:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Depression
  • Changes in libido
  • Memory problems
  • Slow breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts

Alternatives For Ativan:

Finding the exact alternatives is not possible, but there are some similar medications which are prescribed instead of Ativan.

Natural Alternatives:

The natural alternatives are:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Kava Kava
  • L-Theanine
  • Magnesium
  • Probiotics

Medicinal Substitute:

The medicinal substitutes are:

Other Medicine And Food Interaction:

One should make it clear to the doctor if he/she is taking any other medicines before the doctor prescribes Ativan as it can be dangerous if some specific medicines are taken with it.

Medicine Interactions:

Do not take these medicines with Ativan:

  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Dalmane
  • Librium
  • Tranxene

Other Food And Beverages Interaction:

Do not take these food items and beverages with Ativan:

  • Grapefruit
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • Cigarette


  • Alcohol leads to drowsiness. So taking alcohol along with Ativan can cause severe drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness and body imbalance.
  • Cigarette smoking with Ativan may decrease the effectiveness of the drug.

Food items and beverages which should not be taken with Ativan are:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Colas
  • Chocolates
  • Alcohol

Precautions While Taking Ativan:

Take some precautions before using Ativan to cure anxiety disorder:

  • Test whether you are allergic to Ativan or other Benzodiazepines.
  • Test whether you have any kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma, lungs/ breathing problems and mental disorder.
  • As drowsiness is one of its side effects, one should not drive, should not operate any machine or do any serious work as it can be dangerous.
  • Ativan can also reverse its effect of calming anxiety in old adults. So regular check-ups must be needed.
  • Ativan can also show its reverse effect in the case of children and cause restlessness, shaking and mood change.
  • Using Ativan while pregnant can harm your unborn baby.
  • Breastfeeding mothers are advised first to consult a doctor and follow the advice.
  • Do not take any other Benzodiazepines ( Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Versed, etc.) while taking Ativan as it can cause some serious allergic reaction.