Generic name: Lorazepam
Available strengths to buy online at our pharmacy: 1 mg, 2 mg tablets;
Drug class: Benzodiazepine/anxiolytic; sedative-hypnotic
Ativan (lorazepam) is a benzodiazepine indicated for management of anxiety disorders or the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety. The use of a drug for its approved indications is called its labeled use. In clinical practice, however, physicians often prescribe medications for unlabeled (“off-label”) uses when published clinical studies, case reports, or their own clinical experiences support the efficacy and safety of those treatments. Physicians may use Ativan outside its approved indications to treat social phobia, post traumatic stress disorder, agitation in acute mania and psychosis, acute alcohol withdrawal, and other conditions. Like other benzodiazepines, for example Clonazepam, or Diazepam, Ativan is associated with the fast relief of symptoms of stress and or depression associated with anxiety.
Ativan’s effectiveness for treating anxiety may be explained by its pharmacological action in the brain at
specific receptor sites. Receptors are specific sites on the nerve cell membrane that receive a signal from a neurochemical called the neurotransmitter. Once a neurotransmitter locks in on the receptor, the neurohemical signal is changed to an electrical or another chemical signal and travels down the neuron. The receptor sites in which benzodiazepines elicit their action are found in various regions of the brain, and the specific receptors are also known as benzodiazepine receptors. The coupled reaction of benzodiazepines to the receptors facilitates the inhibitory action of the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in that region of the brain. Benzodiazepines’ action on GABA receptors appears to produce their anxiolytic, sedative, and anticonvulsant actions. Ativan, for example, is an effective anxiolytic, hypnotic, and antiseizure medication.
Overdoses from oral ingestion of benzodiazepines alone are generally not fatal. Most fatalities reported with benzodiazepines involve multiple medication ingestion, particularly the combination of a benzodiazepine with CNS depressants, including alcohol, narcotics, and barbiturates. Mild symptoms of benzodiazepine overdose include drowsiness, confusion, somnolence, tiredness, loss of coordination, clumsiness in walking (ataxia), and slow reflexes. Benzodiazepine overdose, when these agents are taken alone, is rarely fatal. When multiple medications are implicated in benzodiazepine overdose, severe symptoms include difficulty breathing, slowed heart rate, low blood pressure, loss of coordination, and loss of consciousness leading to coma and, potentially, death. Any suspected overdose should be treated as an emergency. The person should be taken to the emergency department for observation and treatment.
• Ativan may be taken with or without food.
• Ativan may cause sedation and drowsiness, especially during initiation of therapy, and may impair your
alertness. Use caution when driving or performing tasks that require alertness. Avoid alcohol when taking Ativan, because alcohol may intensify these effects.
• Store the medication in its originally labeled, light-resistant container, away from heat and moisture. Heat and moisture may precipitate breakdown of your medication.
• Keep your medication out of reach of children.
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