Ativan is the brand name for a drug called lorazepam, a benzodiazepine that is used to treat conditions like anxiety, depression and panic attacks. People who suffer from serious anxiety have a chemical imbalance in the brain, and lorazepam and other benzodiazepines work to correct that imbalance and calm symptoms such as depression and panic attacks.
Like most benzodiazepines, Ativan can be addictive, especially if you take it for a long period of time. It is advised that doctors only prescribe the medication for a few weeks, in order to help the patient get through particularly difficult episodes of anxiety and depression. It is preferable to find a more long-term solution to treat the condition, but drugs like Ativan can be useful if the symptoms have become unmanageable.
Side Effects of Ativan
As well as the calming effects that Ativan has on the symptoms of anxiety and depression, this medication can have some unwanted side effects. If you take it for too long, you can become addicted, but it is equally dangerous to stop taking Ativan suddenly if your body has built up a tolerance to the active ingredients. Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, dizziness and even hallucinations.
Medications containing benzodiazepines should not be prescribed to people who have a history of drug abuse, and they should never be mixed with alcohol. Lorazepam should not be given to pregnant women, or children under the age of 18.
If you have been prescribed Ativan for your own anxiety and depression, you should not give or sell your tablets to someone else; benzodiazepines are considered a controlled substance and it is illegal to sell or distribute tablets. It could also be damaging to your own health to get rid of medication that you should be taking.
How Ativan Works to Tackle Anxiety
All benzodiazepines, Ativan included, work by acting on specific cells in the brain which stimulate the production of a chemical called GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter, responsible for calming activity in nerve cells; while this chemical is produced naturally, people with anxiety issues may need to boost their levels by taking benzodiazepines like Ativan.
How to Take Ativan Safely
Ativan is quite a strong medication and if your doctor has prescribed it for you, you should make sure you follow their instructions carefully. The tablets should be taken whole with water, and you should only take the amount you have been prescribed. There are websites which sell Ativan and other benzodiazepines online, but you should not be tempted to buy these as they may not contain the ingredients you expect and could even be dangerous.
If you are not used to taking Ativan, it can make you feel quite drowsy and can affect your ability to drive or carry out other activities. It is illegal to drive under the influence of benzodiazepines unless you have a prescription, so if you do feel that you can safely get behind the wheel of your car, it is best to carry your prescription on the off-chance you are stopped by the police.
Sometimes you may accidentally miss a dose of Ativan; if this happens, do not be tempted to take double the number of tablets. Simply take your next dose as normal and continue from there; taking more tablets than you have been prescribed could lead to an overdose.
Ativan is an excellent tool for tackling serious episodes of anxiety and depression, but only if you follow the doctor’s instructions and take them safely. If you take them for too long or take too many tablets, benzodiazepines can easily cause more problems than the anxiety you were diagnosed with in the first place.