Ativan

Generic Name: Lorazepam

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Ativan is a medicine used for the management of anxiety disorder, short-term relief of anxiety symptoms (such as trouble sleeping), and anxiety associated with depressive symptoms.

    Ativan is a federally controlled substance because it has abuse potential.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Ativan works by slowing down your brain activity, thereby producing a calming effect.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Ativan has been shown to have calming effects.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Ativan exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Your healthcare provider may ask you a series of questions from time to time, which will help assess how well your symptoms are controlled with treatment.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: drowsiness.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Mental and physical dependence can occur. Keep Ativan in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse.

    Symptoms such as seizures, stomach cramps, vomiting, and sweating can occur if you stop taking Ativan or decrease your dose. Do not stop taking Ativan or change the dose without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Ativan if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or other similar medicines (such as alprazolam).

    Do not take Ativan if you have an eye condition called acute narrow-angle glaucoma (high pressure in the eye).

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Ativan. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse; personality disorders (such as schizophrenia); liver, kidney, or breathing problems; glaucoma; depression or suicidal tendencies; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Anxiety Disorder

    Adults and adolescents ≥12 years: The usual starting dose is 2-3 milligrams (mg) twice or three times a day.

    Trouble Sleeping Due to Anxiety or Stress

    Adults and adolescents ≥12 years: The usual dose is 2-4 mg once a day at bedtime.

    Your healthcare provider may increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    If you are elderly or have liver impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

    It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Ativan exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Ativan without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Ativan.

    Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you known how Ativan affects you.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Ativan is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Ativan may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Ativan can harm your baby if you take it during pregnancy. Ativan can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Ativan, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.

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