Anxiety issues are known to anyone who has ever felt even slightly uncomfortable. Of course, with people who truly suffer from them, anxiety and similar disorders are a serious impediment to normal life. Nevertheless, today we have the incredible progress of technology and medicine to thank for having a multitude of options when it comes to medicine for treating anxiety disorders. In this brief article we will explore Ativan, one of the most potent and popular anxiety disorders medicines in the world.
Known under the generic name Lorazepam, Ativan is a high-potency drug with short to intermediate acting. We will explain everything for you step by step. While high potency is self-explanatory, short to intermediate acting means it doesn’t take long for Ativan to kick in once ingested. This is very good, since many other similar drugs have longer acting periods. Ativan is a benzodiazepine drug (the class of drugs most commonly used for treating anxiety and similar issues), and is one of the few benzodiazepines with all six intrinsic effects of the drug class. Those effects are the following: Ativan is anxiolytic, meaning it relieves you of anxiety, it is amnesic, meaning it causes brief episodes of amnesia, it is a sedative/hypnotic, a muscle relaxant, and also an antiemetic drug, meaning it prevents nausea and vomiting, something uncommon in benzodiazepines.
Ativan has been on the market since 1977, and its primary purpose has always been the treatment of anxiety, although it can be used to treat many other conditions. It is commonly used for short-term treatment of anxiety and panic disorders, insomnia, acute seizures and sedation of aggressive or otherwise hospitalized patients. Ativan has a high addictive potential relative to other benzodiazepines and as such should not be used for a period longer than four weeks (optimally around two). Like any other benzodiazepine, long-term effects of Ativan are tolerance, dependence and even cognitive impairments, which is why it is essential you consult your doctor and seek advice and recommendations before you start using the drug. Needless to say, Ativan is a prescription-only medicine.
Because of its wide array of applications, Ativan is considered to be a dangerous and highly abused drug, as some people deliberately use it to sedate someone or induce amnesia. Furthermore, it should be noted that Ativan can cause withdrawal symptoms in patients who don’t obey doctor’s orders with regard to prescribed treatment, and with this drug, these symptoms can be severe and include anything from insomnia to psychosis.
Finally, some groups of people should not be using Ativan because of its potency and adverse effects. Older people and children are more sensitive to any of the side effects of the drug and should avoid it unless specifically ordered by the doctor to take it.
Since Ativan has all intrinsic properties of benzodiazepine, any of them could be also classified as a side effect if unwanted. Apart from the aforementioned, like most benzodiazepines, the side effects of Ativan are amnesia, depression, loss of libido and paradoxical effects like irritability and aggression.