What Meds

Psychiatric Medications

Brand Name: Ativan

Ativan is the brand name for Lorazepam, an antianxiety agent. Ativan is a benzodiazepine and mild tranquilizer, anxiolytic, sedative, anticonvulsant and central nervous system (CNS) depressant.

Ativan works by binding to its specific attachment site on the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-benzodiazepine receptor complex without displacing GABA and improving GABA's attraction to its own receptor site on the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor complex. It also exerts tranquilizing action on the central nervous system with no appreciable effect on the respiratory or cardiovascular system.

Ativan does not affect the liver as much as most benzodiazepines, a relevant consideration for patients taking birth control pills, anti-abuse drugs, propranolol, ulcer medications, or other drugs that also affect the liver.

Ativan’s effects can usually be felt within one week when used for anxiety, and within 1 to 6 hours when used for insomnia.

Why is this drug prescribed?
Ativan is FDA-approved to treat:

Ativan is also used to treat:

How much of this drug is typically used?
Injection solution: 2mg/ml, 4mg/ml
Tablet: 0.5, 1, 2mg

Ativan is sometimes used to treat seizures in children. Ativan has not been studied for use in children under 18 years old for any other diagnosis.

Ativan is a sedative and may affect a person’s coordination and concentration. Patient’s should not drive or operate machinery until Ativan’s effects are known not to interfere with the ability to safely engage in these activities.

Ativan is very addictive and can cause psychological and physical dependence; it should not be stopped abruptly, but doses should be gradually tapered when Ativan is discontinued to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

For Pregnant or Nursing Mothers: Ativan’s safety in pregnant or nursing mothers has not been established. Ativan is not recommended during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

Ativan should Not be used for people with the following medical conditions:

Ativan may be used with caution in people with liver or kidney disease, though a lower dosage may be needed.

Adverse Reactions
Ativan may cause the following reactions:


Interactions with Drugs and Other Substances
Drugs or substances that may interact with Ativan include:

Use in Child Psychiatry
Lorazepam is one of the most commonly used benzodiazepines in adults. It is not well studied in children, but is sometime used for acute agitation and anxiety in a hospital setting, or for anxiety in an outpatient setting, as it is relatively short acting.

As a class, benzodiazepines are most commonly used to treat anxiety disorders in child psychiatry. They are sometimes used for adjunct treatment of bipolar mania and to treat catatonia. Overall, however, benzodiazepines are not as commonly used in children as adults, due to concerns about potential dependence, and benzodiazepines may be more likely to cause paradoxical disinhibition in children compared to adults, especially in children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental delay.



Footer Links: