What is Ativan (lorazepam)?
Ativan (generic name lorazepam) is a drug that categorized as a benzodiazepine. Among the many Ativan uses are treating insomnia, as a preanesthetic, counteracting a seizure, preventing alcohol withdrawal syndrome, sedation, and to relieve the nausea of chemotherapy patients. The primary use of Ativan, however, is an anti anxiety medication.
This is a highly potent medication taking about only one tenth of the dosage to create the same effect of other drugs in this category. The half-life, on the other hand, is rather brief by comparison. The Ativan half-life is between 10 and 20 hours. Other drugs of this type begin at 20 hours and may have as long as a 200 hour half-life.
Lorazepam addiction is a common side effect when this medication is taken for any extended period of time. In fact, approximately one third of individuals who take Ativan for more than a will experience withdrawal symptoms when coming off of the medication. This makes it one of the most highly dependance forming benzodiazepines. The short half-life is part of the reason for this phenomenon. Since the drug leaves the system relatively quickly, the body begins to crave the next dose sooner.
Because of its high dependency, Ativan has flourished as a black market drug. Never buy Ativan on the Internet or from a country other than the US. These medications may be mixed with other dangerous substances. Ativan should only be taken if prescribed by a medical doctor and should only be taken as directed on the label.
If you have a history of addiction to drugs or other substances, your doctor may decide that Ativan is not worth the risk. There are less addictive alternatives that may be used as treatment first, leaving this as a last option. Also, if you have glaucoma, you should let your doctor know before taking Ativan. This medication may result in complications of the condition.
As with many other medications of this sort, you may require a higher dose after a period of time to achieve the same effect. Do not double your dose if you miss a dose as this may result in an overdose. Rather, take the medicine as soon as your remember. If you are close to your next dose, it is better to skip the missed one.
Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication, and be sure to determine how the drug affects you personally before driving or operating machinery while under its influence.
I took this medication for ~5 months for pretty extreme anxiety while dealing with a teenager in and out of rehab. I must say, it works great! Not only was I able to sleep at night, but I stopped obsessing over my sons problems and was able to function at work. I did build up a tolerance though.. By the 5th month of taking it, it barely worked anymore on the prescribed dose. Around the same time my son kicked his addiction and I didn't ask the doctor for any more lorazepam refills. I read some horror stories about benzo withdrawal, but I had NO issue at all. I know 5 months is longer than most doctors would like to prescribe it, but I am grateful I had it.
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