Ativan is a drug, categorized as a benzodiazepine, that is effective in extremely low doses. This is due to its chemical make up. It is also very addictive. In part, this is because it has a low half-life of 10 to 20 hours. In combination, these two factors require patients to have the right dose to control their symptoms without creating a dependence. For this reason, patients may start by receiving a lorazepam 0.5mg pill, and may only take half of a pill at a time for a dose of 0.25 mg.
If the dose is ineffective, or if the body chemistry adjusts to this dose, a doctor may choose to gradually up the dosage. That is why there is also a lorazepam 1mg and a lorazepam 2mg pill available. Several things are accomplished by having these various different pills available. First, doctors can prescribe any small increment between 0.25 mg and 2 mg. Second, Instead of jumping right into a high dose without knowing the effects, a treatment can begin gradually. Third, when a person needs to come off of the medication, they can do so in increments to avoid any potential withdrawal symptoms. This is important because a person can have drastic effects from stopping Ativan “cold turkey” even if they have only be on it for a week.
Thus, you dosage of Ativan will depend on several different factors. First, you will likely begin on a very small dose to see how the drug affects you. Second, you will gradually reach your regular dosage instead of jumping right to it. Third, you will gradually increase your dose if the dose you were taking becomes ineffective. Finally, you will gradually decrease your dose if you either no longer need the medication or need to change to a different medication.
There is a definite risk of overdose with Ativan because of how potent it is. If you miss a dose of your medication, take it as soon as you remember unless you are close to your next dose. In that case, you should just skip the forgotten dose. Do not “double up” to try and make up for a missed dose. An Ativan overdose can be fatal. An overdose can quickly incapacitate a person making it impossible for them to call for help. Therefore, be sure to stick to a regular schedule, and take you medication according the instructions from your physician which should appear on the bottle.