Generic Name: Lorazepam

Brand Name: Ativan

Strengths: Ativan 0.5mg, 1mg, 2mg

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What is Ativan?

Ativan is a very effective and popular anti-anxiety medicine. It comprises of an active component called lorazepam. Ativan belongs to a group of meds known as benzodiazepines. It appears to be as white powder which is soluble in water. Each Ativan tablet comprises of 0.5mg, 1mg, and 2mg of lorazepam. In addition to the active ingredient lorazepam, Ativan also includes various other inactive compounds like lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, and polacrilin potassium and magnesium stearate.

How Ativan works?

This medicine is known to work in the body by affecting the chemicals in the brain and the nerves i.e. the central nervous system that could be unbalanced in people who are suffering from anxiety disorders. Ativan suppresses the anxiety attacks and makes people feel calm and relaxed. Ativan can also be used to lessen the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, avert vomiting or nausea that’s due to chemotherapy, and also to treat insomnia, a sleep disorder.

How to take Ativan?

Ativan is recommended for oral administration and can be taken with a glass of water either with or without having food. The Ativan dosage depends upon your age, your medical condition and your response to the drug. This med is meant only for short-term use, so do not take it longer than recommended. The doctor will titrate the dosage depending upon your condition. Take the medicine exactly as prescribed and do not take it in higher or lower dosage strengths in order to avoid unfavorable health conditions. The med has to be taken on a regular basis in order to get the most benefit from it. One should not suddenly stop using the med without taking consent from the doctor as doing so could worsen your health.

Ativan Missed and overdose

Take Ativan regularly and at the same time every day so as to help you remember taking it daily. Do not miss any dose of Ativan at any time. It is always better to take the missed dose immediately when you remember. In case it is already time to take the next dose, then you can skip the missed dose and take the scheduled dose. Never take two Ativan doses at once just to make up for the missed dose. If you overdosed Ativan, then call for emergency help line number immediately or rush to the nearest clinic in order to get treated for overdose of Ativan. The symptoms of overdose with lorazepam includes muscle weakness, loss of balance, fainting, drowsiness, confusion and feeling light headed.


This med has the ability to impair your thinking or reactions, therefore do not engage in doing any activities that require you to be alert like driving etc. This pill is a habit-forming one, so take it only when necessary and prescribed.

Side Effects

Approach for medical aid if you experience signs of allergic reactions in your body like hives, breathing difficulty, swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.

Common side effects

  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling unsteady
  • Problems in remembering
  • Lack of balance

Severe side effects

If you experience any of the following severe side effects due to Ativan, stop using the medicine and rush to the nearest health care center so as to avoid dangerous health consequences.

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stomach ache
  • Changes in vision
  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Confusion, hallucinations


There are various drugs that could interact with Ativan. You need to intimate your doctor about all the drugs you are taking inclusive of any prescription meds, over the counter pills or any other natural or herbal supplements. Talk to your doctor before you take any sleeping pill, muscle relaxers, narcotic pain meds, meds that treat anxiety or depression, muscle relaxer, cough medicines etc. At all circumstances, take drugs along with Ativan only after verifying with your physician. When Ativan is taken along with certain drugs that could make you sleepy or slow your breathing can result in dangerous side effects that could even become fatal. Inform you physician if you have started or stopped using certain medicines as mentioned below:

  • For treating anxiety
  • Narcotic pain medicines
  • Seizure meds
  • Barbiturate
  • Meds that treat mental illness
  • Antidepressants
  • Medicines that has antihistamine like sleep, allergy or cold medicines
  • Aminophylline or theophylline
  • probenecid


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