What is Ativan?Ativan is an antianxiety medication, belonging to a drug class known as benzodiazepines. Ativan is used for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety that results from depression.
What is the most important information I should know about Ativan?Pre-existing depression may develop or worsen while taking Ativan.
People with major depression may be at increased risk for suicide while taking Ativan. Ativan should be avoided in people with depression who are not being adequately treated with antidepressant therapy.
Use of such as Ativan may increase your risk for potentially fatal respiratory depression (lowered breathing rate).
Prolonged or excessive use of Ativan may lead to physical and psychological dependence. Speak to your doctor before increasing your dose of Ativan or abruptly stopping this medication.
People taking Ativan may have a decreased tolerance for alcohol and other central nervous system depressants. Use caution when operating a vehicle or other machinery.
Who should not take Ativan?People with acute narrow-angle glaucoma or psychosis should not take Ativan. People with major depression should not take Ativan unless they are being adequately treated with antidepressants.
Women who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding should not take Ativan.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Ativan?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Ativan. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have been diagnosed with depression, psychosis, acute narrow-angle glaucoma, liver or kidney disease, respiratory disorders, or heart disorders. In addition, tell your doctor if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse before taking Ativan.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual starting dose is 2-3 milligrams (mg) daily, divided in two to three doses.
Insomnia Due to Anxiety or Transient Situational Stress
Adults: The usual dose is 2-4 mg, once daily, and may be given at bedtime.
For elderly people, the recommended initial dose is 1-2 mg daily in divided doses and should be adjusted as needed.
How should I take Ativan?Take Ativan exactly as your doctor prescribes, with the larger portion of the daily dose taken at bedtime as appropriate. Do not take more than the prescribed dose, as serious side effects, including physical and psychological dependence, may occur.
What should I avoid while taking Ativan?Avoid driving or operating dangerous machinery, as Ativan may cause drowsiness.
Avoid alcohol and other central nervous system depressants, as this can cause serious respiratory disorders.
Avoid abruptly discontinuing Ativan, especially during long-term treatment. Do not stop taking this medication or change your dose without first consulting your doctor.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Ativan?If Ativan is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Ativan with the following: alcohol, anticonvulsants, barbiturates, antianxiety medicines, antipsychotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, clozapine, narcotic pain killers, probenecid, sleep medicines, and theophylline.
What are the possible side effects of Ativan?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: sedation, dizziness, weakness, unsteadiness, respiratory depression, fatigue, amnesia
Can I receive Ativan if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The use of Ativan during pregnancy should be avoided. Because Ativan passes into breast milk, breastfeeding should be avoided in women taking Ativan. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breatfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Ativan?If you miss a dose of Ativan, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. 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 Ativan?Store at room temperature.