Ativan (lorazepam)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is Ativan (lorazepam)?

Ativan (lorazepam) is a drug used for treating anxiety. Lorazepam belongs to the benzodiazepine family of drugs, the same family that includes

What brand names are available for lorazepam?

  • Ativan is the brand name available for lorazepam.
  • Loraz brand name for lorazepam has been discontinued in the US.

Is Ativan (lorazepam) available as a generic drug?

Yes

Do I need a prescription for Ativan (lorazepam)?

Yes

Why is Ativan (lorazepam) prescribed to patients?

  • Ativan (lorazepam) is used for the management of anxiety disorders, the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depression.
  • Ativan is effective for insomnia and panic attacks, and is used in combination with other medications to prevent nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy.
  • Ativan also is administered before anesthesia for sedation and used for prevention and treatment of alcohol withdrawal.
  • It also is used for treating seizures (status epilepticus).

What are the side effects of Ativan (lorazepam)?

The most common side effects associated with Ativan are:

Other side effects include:

Possible serious side effects include:

  • Extrapyramidal symptoms
  • Respiratory depression
  • Suicidal ideation/attempt
  • Seizures
  • Depression

WARNING:

  • Like all benzodiazepines, Ativan can cause physical dependence. Suddenly stopping therapy after a few months of daily therapy may be associated with a feeling of loss of self-worth, agitation, and insomnia. If Ativan is taken continuously for longer than a few months, stopping therapy suddenly may produce seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, vomiting, and sweating.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/9/2016
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