Ativan (Lorazepam) as a treatment for Panic Disorders

Doctor talking to patient
Ativan is One of the Most Popular Drugs Prescribed for the Treatment of Panic Disorder Ativan or lorazepam is a popular medication recommended for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders.

About Ativan

Benzodiazepine drugs are the group of medications that sometimes also called tranquilizers. Ativan is one of the most common remedies in this group. There are other benzodiazepines: Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and Valium (diazepam). Their main effect is quieting mind and relaxing the body.

These remedies, including Ativan, can help alleviate the severity of panic attacks and other anxiety conditions. Substantially, therapists regularly recommend patients Ativan to combat generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.

Although Food & Drug Administration (FDA) did not certify Ativan for the treatment of other diseases, such as bipolar disorder and alcohol withdrawal, it is frequently used to treat these conditions. Sometimes doctors recommend Ativan to avert nausea and vomiting when doing chemotherapy and for sleeping problems.

The Ativan’s Effect on Panic Disorder

Ativan affects neurotransmitters (gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABA) in the head, that to some extent control the relaxing and sleeping abilities of the body. Thus, influencing these receptors, it slows down central nervous system (CNS) and originates quiet and peaceful states of the mind. By slowing down the CNS, Ativan helps reduce the severity of panic attacks and anxiety disorders.

Ativan is good for temporarily control panic symptoms. The medication gets in and out of the body system very fast, making it necessary to take several times a day in order to manage anxiety. Some patients may need to take Ativan for a few weeks before it starts affecting them.

Ativan Side Effects

Some possible side effects of Ativan that a patient can experience are the following:

  • Feelings of apathy, fatigue and sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Migraine
  • Nausea
  • Loss of libido
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Indigestion, pyrosis
  • Faintness, giddiness and impaired coordination
  • Blurred vision

If you experience any of these side effects, inform your doctor.

Other adverse reactions might occur when taking Ativan. Among them are rapid changes in mood, delusions, suicidal thoughts, difficulty moving and breathing problems. Contact your doctor immediately if you have any signs of these adverse reactions to Ativan.

Addiction to Ativan

Like all the other benzodiazepines, Ativan is a prescription medicine. If misused or overdosed, it can lead to a physical or mental addiction. The most common withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, nervous agitation, distemper and muscle spasms.

Most probably your doctor will tell you how to avoid dependence issues. Never stop taking the drug before consulting your doctor first.

Whenever you have doubts whether terminate your treatment or not, your prescribing doctor will take care of evenly decreasing your dosage.

Other Precautions to Taking Ativan

Patients with certain diagnoses should take Ativan with caution. These diagnoses include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Lung disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Liver disease
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Depression

Drug Interactions: As Ativan has a general sedative effect on the central nervous system (CNS), for that reason a patient should avoid consuming alcohol and other CNS depressants when taking this medication. Tell your doctor about all the remedies you take, including over-the-counter medications.

Drowsiness and Dizziness: 

Ativan can create feelings of fatigue and faintness, which are very common adverse reactions. A patient can experience lack of coordination when taking Ativan. Pay attention to your body system and be careful if you have to operate any machinery or drive.

Pregnancy and Nursing: Lactating mother or pregnant woman should be aware that Ativan is likely to be passed to a child. Inform your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy or currently pregnant and discuss the risks.

Older Adults: Aged people are usually more sensitive to drugs and quiet often experience adverse reactions. To minimize those, your dosage of Ativan may be lower than for younger people.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is a general overview of the use of Ativan for panic and anxiety disorders. This summary does not outline every possibility, such as potential side effects, outcomes, complications or precautions and contraindications associated with taking Ativan. Any questions or concerns you may have about your prescription should be addressed with your doctor or pharmacist.