Ativan is the brand name for lorazepam, an anxiety-relieving medication approved by the FDA in 1977. Lorazepam is a prescription medication which is available both as a generic drug and under the brand name Ativan. Lorazepam is a potent, short-duration drug in a class of medications known as benzodiazepines. Here's how lorazepam works: GABA is a neurotransmitter found in the brain. When the brain becomes over-excited, GABA acts to inhibit this excitement. When lorazepam enters the brain, it binds to a receptor on GABA. This creates a powerful inhibitory effect, causing sedation and reducing anxiety. Lorazepam is often used to treat anxiety disorders and as a short-term treatment for insomnia. Sometimes, lorazepam is combined with other medications to abate the nausea and vomiting present in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Ativan is available orally and for injection. Tablets come in point five, one and two milligram preparations.Take lorazepam with water, and because the medication can be habit-forming, never take extra doses. The most common side effects of lorazepam include sedation, dizziness and weakness, but ask your doctor for a complete list.Also, tell your physician immediately if you experience severe depression, suicidal thoughts or any other significant changes. Lorazepam should not be combined with SSRI antidepressants and should be avoided by pregnant or nursing mothers. Ask your doctor for a full list of medications and conditions that should not be combined with lorazepam. Ativan can be quite effective for treating anxiety disorders and short-term insomnia. However, the medication should always be used under the direct care of a physician. Please ask for and review all of the patient information provided by your doctor before taking this medication. The information in this video is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise of your physician. Always consult your doctor before using this drug.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012