Anxiety Medication Overview of Ativan

Ativan (available generically as lorazepam) is a powerful anti-anxiety drug in the class of medications known as benzodiazepines. It is a fast-acting drug that is used in the short-term treatment of anxiety disorders.

Ativan is extremely effective at easing anxiety and can be quite helpful in treating panic attacks. However, Ativan has the potential to be even more addictive and prone to abuse than other benzodiazepines, due to its potency, short half-life, and inactive metabolite. To avoid tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended that Ativan be used regularly for no longer than 4 weeks.

Ativan is usually taken as a tablet, either two to three times per day or only as needed (not to exceed two to three times per day). The most common side effect is sedation, followed by dizziness, weakness, and unsteadiness. Ativan has low toxicity and is rarely fatal in overdose unless the overdose is taken in combination with alcohol.

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