Ativan is an anti-anxiety medication employed to address conditions like panic attacks, neurosis-related states, and various stress-induced disorders.
The active component, Lorazepam, exerts a range of effects including central muscle relaxation, hypnotic properties, anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects, sedation, anticonvulsant action, and antiemetic properties.
Lorazepam falls into the category of medium-duration medications, typically utilized for managing panic attacks and alleviating anxiety. As per the instructions, Ativan is not effective for acute delusional, hallucinatory, or affective disorders. Moreover, it's not recommended to use Ativan as the primary treatment for psychotic disorders such as depression or anxiety-related conditions.
Extended use of Ativan can potentially lead to tolerance and a gradual reduction in effectiveness. Additionally, it carries the risk of fostering drug dependence and addiction.
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Indications for Use
- Psychoreactive conditions
- Treatment of intense nervous emotional strain and anxiety
- Management of psychosomatic disorders and alleviation of panic attacks
- Schizophrenic states
- Symptoms associated with Vegetative-vascular Dystonia (VSD)
- Insomnia arising from stress and heightened anxiety
- Adjunct treatment for epilepsy (part of a comprehensive therapy)
- Applicable in cases of depressive states with concurrent anxiety (requires careful administration)
- Headaches accompanied by heightened muscle tension
- Mitigation of neurosis-like states and neuroses featuring tension and anxiety
- Prophylaxis against nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy.
- Allergic reactions to any components of the medication
- Angle-closure glaucoma
- Depressive neuroses
- Myasthenia gravis
- Acute intoxication
- Pregnancy and lactation
- Individuals under the age of 13 (safety and efficacy have not been determined)
The drug should be used with caution under the following circumstances: in the presence of liver impairment; heart failure; hypertension; multiple sclerosis; and in cases of reduced body weight.
Ativan intensifies the effects of central nervous system depressants, which encompass phenothiazines, narcotic analgesics, barbiturates, antidepressants, hypnotics, anticonvulsants, and sedative antihistamines. The medication also magnifies the effects of both general and local anesthetics, as well as augments the impact of curare-like drugs. Concurrent use of Ativan and alcohol can lead to paradoxical reactions, characterized by psychomotor agitation, aggressive behavior, and a state of pathological intoxication, along with heightened depressive effects on the central nervous system. Moreover, nicotine curtails the activity of lorazepam, hastening its metabolism.
Administration Guidelines for Ativan
Typically, adults are prescribed a daily dosage of 2 mg of Ativan, distributed over three doses. It is advisable to take half of the daily dose in the morning and afternoon, while the remaining half is recommended just before bedtime.
Depending on the severity of symptoms, the Ativan dosage may vary between 1 mg taken three times a day. The highest permissible daily oral dose is 6 mg.
Abrupt discontinuation of Lorazepam may lead to the onset of withdrawal syndrome.
Ativan Side Effects
As stated in the guidelines, Ativan rarely induces side effects and, based on user reviews, the treatment regimen involving the medication is generally well tolerated. The most frequently reported adverse effects encompass the following disruptions:
Central Nervous System: Elevated fatigue, muscle weakness, ataxia, dizziness, and amnesia. Digestive System: Constipation, dry mouth, nausea, diminished appetite, impaired liver function, and dysphagia, along with instances of diarrhea.
In addition, the use of Ativan might lead to alterations in peripheral blood composition and trigger mild allergic reactions, manifesting as itching and skin rash. According to user feedback, intravenous administration of the drug may be associated with probable local reactions like venous thrombosis and phlebitis.
Undesirable side effects related to Ativan treatment are most commonly observed at the initial stages of therapy or when exceeding the recommended dosages outlined in the instructions.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Considerations
The usage of the drug is prohibited during pregnancy. It should only be employed for essential medical reasons in exceptional instances, as it has been associated with the emergence of abnormalities and pathologies in the embryo/fetus. The most pronounced detrimental impact is observed when the therapy is administered during the initial trimesters of pregnancy.
Administering Ativan during later stages of pregnancy is linked to central nervous system abnormalities in the unborn child. Continuous use of the medication throughout pregnancy can lead to the infant developing dependence on the drug, potentially leading to withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation of the therapy. Lactating women should be mindful that Lorazepam is excreted in breast milk. Consequently, if there arises a necessity for Ativan usage during breastfeeding, discontinuation is recommended.