Ativan Withdrawal: Symptoms and Timeline

Like all benzodiazepines, Ativan (generic: lorazepam) can cause both physical and psychological dependence. Stopping it suddenly often results in severe withdrawal symptoms, and even tapering it gradually will still cause withdrawal symptoms in some people.

Symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal are similar to those resulting from alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal and can be very unpleasant. Those who have taken large doses of Ativan over a prolonged period of time are most at risk for withdrawal symptoms, although they can occur after as little as one week of regular use.

Because Ativan can be habit-forming, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions. It should not be taken in larger doses or more frequently than prescribed, and should not be taken for longer than 4 months.

In addition to potential dependence and withdrawal, taking Ativan inappropriately can lead to forming a tolerance to the medication, making it less effective in treating anxiety. Stopping Ativan should always be done under the supervision of a healthcare provider, to minimize discomfort and complications.

Symptoms of Ativan withdrawal may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, confusion, irritability, sweating, dizziness, numbness or tingling of extremities depersonalization, rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, headaches, depression, memory loss, hallucinations, and seizures.

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