Lorazepam is the active ingredient of drug called Ativan. It is advised for treatment of anxiety disorders. It belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs which includes diazepam branded as Valium, alprazolam branded as Xanax, clonazepam branded as Klonoopin, flurazepam branded as Dalmane, and others.
It is believed that over excitation of nerves in brain is likely to induce as anxiety and other problems of psyche. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) acts as a neurotransmitter, it is a chemical which is used by nerves in the brain for sending messages to each other. GABA causes reduction in the activities of nerves in brain. Ativan like other, benzodiazepines acts by increasing the action of GABA in brain.
Since lorazepam gets excreted from the blood very quickly as compared to other benzodiazepines, the chances of increased blood levels of lorazepam is greatly reduced hence chances of toxicity with Ativan are not there. Ativan has very less interactions along with other medications in comparison to other benzodiazepines preparations. Lorazepam was approved by FDA approved in March 1999.
Ativan is used for managing anxiety related diseases to provide short-term correction of signs of anxiety or helping in conditions of anxiety in presence of depression in patients. The efficacy of Ativan and other benzodiazepines has not been completely studied for continuation of treatment more than 4 months period. Ativan is useful in insomnia, panic attacks, and is combined with specific drugs for prevention of nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy. Ativan is also advised before anesthesia induction. It is also used as a help in alcohol withdrawal.
The dose of lorazepam can be adjusted to the specific need of the patient in regard to his condition and the results obtained. The normal dose for treatment of anxiety is in the range of 2-3 mg/day advised in two to three doses spread during the day. For helping Insomnia patients the dose used ranges from 2-4 mg to be taken at bedtime.
The missed dose can be skipped, if it is near the next dose to be taken. Over dosage may be avoided preferably by skipping the missed dose.
Ativan tablets can be stored at Room Temperature ranging between 15-30C. The Ativan Oral solution requires refrigeration in the range of 2-8C. Ativan Injections must be kept in refrigerator.
Ativan possible side-effects:
The generally encountered side effect is of Atvan is related to sedation The trial statistics reflect that 15.9% persons encountered dizziness, 6.9% of persons felt weakness and had unsteady gait. More side effects are feeling depressed, headache and improper sleep.
As all medications of the class of benzodiazepines, Ativan may cause physical dependence on abruptly discontinuing the treatment after a few months of regular use. One feels of loss in self-worth, agitated mood, and sleeplessness. After continued use of Ativan , if it is followed by disruption, it can cause seizures, tremors, muscle cramps, vomiting and sweating.
Ativan warnings and precautions:
Ativan like all other benzodiazepines has potential for interaction with other Central Nervous Suppressants which cause slowing of the brain’s activities like alcohol, barbiturates, narcotics, and tranquilizers. There are cases which experienced distinct sedation when Ativan was taken by them using the tranquilizer loxapine; it is not very clear confirming drug reaction. As a precaution Ativan use should be avoided along with loxapine.
PREGNANCY: Ativan like other benzodiazepines have the potential risk of causing fetal damage in respect of birth related deformities if taken by pregnant women during their first trimester. Ativan is better not used if there is a possibility of avoiding it to be ore appropriate throughout pregnancy period.
NURSING MOTHERS: Ativan has not been studies for its secretion in nursing mothers’ milk, if possible it be avoided during lactation period.
Ativan be used as prescribed and its dose should not be exceed. In case of an accidental or intentional overdose, the affected person should be taken to the hospital for gastric emptying and management of other symptoms and providing life support measures.