A Brief Overview: Ativan (Lorazepam)

Of all the pages on our website, this one probably would be among the most useful for you. It is a quick guide about one of the most important drugs that is available today. This consumer information can help you make wise choices as you seek the right anti-anxiety or anti-convulsant treatment found today. You will learn here more about the class of drugs under which this one is labeled. You also will learn more about the function of it and how it can most help you.

You also will learn here about the various qualities of Ativan or other form of Lorazepam. It will keep you intrigued as you supplement the information provided to you by your medical doctor or psychiatrist. Description Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine drug. It has is consists of the following properties:

Anxiolytic-This component helps treat anxiety symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and so on. Beta-receptor blockers such as propranol and oxprenolol aid in this process.

Amnesic-This particular portion of Lorazepam has an effect on memory. It is part of what helps bring a person back to reality in order to calm that person down.

Sedative-This portion of Ativan or generic equivalent is what reduces irritability as well as excitement. It can be slightly hypnotic, and in high dosages people have to be careful because it can cause slurred speeches.

Hypnotic-The role of this along with sedatives is to help put a person to sleep. At the very least it helps relax a person.

Anticonvulsant-For sufferers of seizures, this medication helps calm a person down.

Oftentimes this component of this particular benzodiazepine helps control epileptic seizure episodes, as well as other violent attacks.

Muscle relaxant-This is part of what calm a person down. Implementing this portion of a benzodiazepine drug helps control the central nervous system. It also helps calm the muscles of your body. If necessary, it also helps relieve pain.

Speed of Results

This medication (Ativan or generic) usually works in about 15 to 30 minutes to relieve panic symptoms. This is true not only of this medication but of most benzodiazepine drugs.

Maximum Dosages

The maximum dosage level per day is 10mg, but usually it is only 2 to 4 mg for most patients. Usually the approved amount is up to 4mg.

Side Effects

Risk of side effects in Ativan users is minimal if they use this medication according to the instructions given by the doctor. However, since complications have been known to occur it is best if you are told about it now.

This will help you prepare in the event you do experience an undesirable reaction. The list of side effects you may experience include as follows:

Some of the most common side effects associated with using Ativan include this list:

Dizziness, Poor coordination, Sedation, Weakness

Additional mild side effects associated with use of Ativan include the following:

Altered appetite


Blurred vision



Decreased hearing


Slurred speech

And Sweating

Some people are allergic to all types of benzodiazepine medications, including Ativan. Therefore, you should use it wisely if you do. More serious side effects (and less common thankfully) include the ones listed below:

Difficulty breathing

Hallucinations, Low blood pressure, Low white blood cell count, Excitement or anger, Porphyria, Seizures


If you experience any side effects that are either dangerous or uncomfortable call for help immediately. If your psychiatrist or doctor is in the office that may be the first person you would call. However, if it is a serious issue such as you are going to faint or you have trouble breathing you should seek emergency help immediately. You may also want to contact your local poison control center for information.

Precautions (Overdose, etc.)

Never stop your Ativan abruptly. This can cause withdrawal symptoms such as violent shakes, rapid heartbeat, or extreme irritability. As your mental health care specialist or doctor to wean you off of it gradually. Be careful also only to take the dosage that is recommended by your doctor. If you overdose, you could put your self in danger. For instance, you might have trouble breathing and could end up unconscious. You might not ever wake up in the worst of worst cases. Therefore, be careful and never misuse or abuse this medication. Also beware that there is a tendency for people to become dependent on this drug. It is typically not recommended to use this medication for longer than 4 months.

In Case of Missed Dose

You should be very careful not to miss a dose. Otherwise, you could run the risk of experiencing another panic attack or seizure. However, if you have just missed a dose do not take a double dose. Just take another pill either as soon as you remember or at your next regularly scheduled dosage time. It usually depends upon when you have taken it last.


Ativan (Lorazepam) is currently available in three different forms: Oral liquid usually in 2mg/ml, Sublingual tablets in 0.5 mg, 1mg, 2 mg amounts, and regular tablets in 0.5 mg, 1mg, 2 mg amounts.

Extended Ativan Side Effects and Emergency Information

As always, every medication you are given should be used with care. This will ensure your total safety while you are treated. One of the ways to make sure you take this medication safely is to understand the side effects associated with it. Some of these might be associated with overdose, but they might be ones that occur in any case.

WARNING: Realize that this information will help you. However, you should always speak to your doctor before making any decisions about a medication. Symptoms by Category The side effects of Ativan are often categorized by groups of symptoms. These groups of symptoms include as follows:

General-Often chills and headache are an issue for people. Sometimes an infection or asthenia is also a problem. Skin rash or nausea and vomiting can sometimes occur in users.

Cardiovascular system-Sometimes people might experience hypertension or hypotension. This is only probably true for a very small number of patients though.

Digestive system-Sometimes this drug can cause liver problems, from very minor to severe. In the process, increased saliva might be a problem, as well as nausea or vomiting.

Nervous system-Often people who use this drug are slightly agitated and/or confused after taking it. Respiratory system-In rare cases, sleep apnea is a problem. Hyperventilation can also be an issue and so can respiratory disorder. Metabolic and nutritional- They also might notice alkaline levels increase and they might also experience what is known as acidosis (increased ion concentration).

Urogenital system-Cystitis is often another problem.  However, this one is probably one of the rarest.

Additional Adverse Reactions

Additional psychotic reactions or other psychiatric symptoms occasionally occur. These include mania, psychosis, rage, or hallucinations. Amnesia, hemorrhage, coagulation disorder, arrhythmia, and brain edema are also more examples of severe, rare symptoms. Warnings

You should always consult your doctor before you use any medications. This will ensure your total safety.

When you seek advice about treating your panic or anxiety disorder symptoms make sure you share with your doctor about your entire health history. You should also share any past or present health conditions with your psychiatrist, even if it is physical symptoms and not mental. Also, it is absolutely imperative that you let your doctor know about any and all medications you are taking. This includes both the prescription ones as well as the non-prescription ones.

Emergency Precautions

If you accidentally (or even on purpose) take more than the recommended dosage make sure you follow the instructions.

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