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?


Do I need a prescription for Ativan (lorazepam)?


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


  • 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
PTSD Quiz: Test Your IQ of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

See more info: lorazepam on RxList
RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Depression Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors