If you are an insomniac, it seems you’re aware of Ativan. Still, do you know that it also helps with anxiety? Ativan is the trading name of lorazepam, prescribe for managing nausea and other after-effects of chemotherapy. For curing epilepsy and seizure episodes, it is of great help.
Ativan starts to release its effects within half an hour of consumption; people begin to feel calmer and relaxed. But, do you know Ativan contradictions is a matter of concern. Unlike most medications, side effects of Ativan can reflect when interacted with other drugs. This sheet is informative for knowing the possible interaction, reaction, and warnings to use it efficiently.
What is Ativan used for?
A doctor’s prescription is necessary to buy Ativan online or through a local pharmacist. As it belongs to a benzodiazepine class of drug, the FDA has approved it for treating:
- General anxiety disorder
- Chronic anxiety syndrome
Although, FDA has not yet approved it for treating disorders related to:
- Panic attack
- Used to suppress after-effects of cancer
- Muscle spasms
- Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol
- Acute insomnia
Physicians do recommend it off-label due to its potency in overcoming these health conditions.
Common side effects of Ativan
Although Ativan is a controlled substance, it does not qualify to be a narcotic. However, it may be habit-forming when not used as directed. It is safer for an acute term. One can become physically dependent if one consumes higher milligrams at a stretch for two weeks.
When a person follows the doctor’s word, the side effects appear to be less adverse and can be treated using natural remedies.
- Less concentration
- Dry mouth
- Head pain
- Blurred vision
- Lesser appetite
- Skin rash
- Less energetic
Weight changes will occur or not is yet to be defined. No research has highlighted compulsive weight loss or gains among patients. However, few changes in kilograms will occur depending upon the individual’s condition.
Some individuals during the Ativan course may feel an increase in appetite, due to which they tend to gain weight. At the same time, others may experience a loss in appetite, which may cause a weight reduction.
Serious side effects of Ativan
Side effects expand if you take it for a longer duration. From common effects, it transits to the severe impacts. If you experience any behavioral changes or discomforting sensations, kindly ring your doctor to tackle them professionally.
Severe effects on the respiratory region:
- Irregular breathing
- Respiratory depression
People who are more prone to consuming larger doses and drink alcohol simultaneously are likely to develop physical and psychological dependence.
- Excess sweating
- Body pain
- Yellow eyes
- Sleep apnea
Severe allergic reactions
- Skin rashes
- Swollen face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Faster heartbeat
Suicidal thoughts and behaviour
Chances of suicidal thoughts are lesser with those who have no negative mindset to take their own life at stake – words by Dr. Simon. A lot of anxiety is the primary trigger for people to think about ending their life. Therefore Ativan, when taken efficiently, may treat acute stress and is unlikely to develop life-threatening thoughts.
However, the Ativan effects can walk in the opposite direction. “A person who is already depressed and dealing with constant negative thoughts is likely to implement his killing intent by taking impulsive decision.
Most anti-depressants drug has warning written to indicate their user about the worse impact on existing depression leading to suicidal thoughts and negative behavior.
Lorazepam (read: Ativan) is a habit-forming substance that can be a massive threat for drug abusers and history of alcohol addiction. All the doctors should examine the patient’s intentions and medical history before prescribing any anti-anxiety pill.
Sexual side effects
Your therapist directed you to use Ativan for general anxiety. Little did you know that it will affect your sexual activity without much positive change in your mental state.
What causes ED? Unfortunately, there are lesser-known facts why does it lead to low libido. But Ativan indeed is one of the chunks, among the rest anti-depressants that causes erectile dysfunction.
Research reports have highlighted 10 % of men are affected by ED when taken with the intent to cure anxiety. Scientists have tried to examine some of the relative facts that can be a possible reason for such low sexual performance among men.
Serotonin level decrease is one of the indicating reasons benzodiazepine drugs do affect the level of these chemicals. It is known as the “happy” hormone that keeps the excitement flowing while maintaining the peak satisfaction level. This hormone is responsible for developing a firm erection. The decrease or increase in serotonin level may cause sexual side effects.
How long does Ativan side effects last? Ativan absorbs in the system within thirty minutes of consumption. Drowsiness is the expected effect that makes a person feel lazy during the daytime. The sedative properties make a person feel numb and lightheaded for up to eight hours after the last dose.
The different route shows variant effects; in case of injectable liquid, effects last around twelve to twenty-four hours. The time stated is based on the research. It does not necessarily apply in your case. If you observe side effects for more than a week, then report to your doctor immediately.
Ativan contraindications & warnings
Ativan can create dispute internally if given to people who are allergic or sensitive to benzodiazepine components. It has a contradictory history for people with closed narrow glaucoma (if not administered on time, it may lead to loss of vision). The warning box contains the acute duration of use and does not exceed more than four weeks.
Restrictions – It is restricted for people with few medical conditions, including:
- People with depression: Benzodiazepine class drugs, including Ativan, harm depressed people by worsening their condition. Doctors are advised to treat their condition using other depressants with lower doses.
- Older adults: For older aged people, it can increase cognitive impairment, fractures, falls, delirium and accident. If no other treatment is available, give them at lowest possible dose.
- Respiratory depression: Be cautious when treating people with asthma, sleep apnea, a pulmonary disorder, or irregular breathing.
- Pregnancy and lactation: Ativan use during the first and third trimester may defect in the baby’s health—problem in labor pain, improper brain development, addiction in an infant, or premature delivery. For breastfeeding mothers, serotonin components may pass to the baby via milk leading to frustration.
Withdrawal – The primary reason for withdrawal signs includes ongoing medication for a longer duration. Exceeding the prescribed timeline may lead to more tolerance development within the system. To suffice the need, a person takes a higher dosage for a prolonged duration and suddenly stops taking medicine. Severe signs of withdrawal include:
- Suicidal thoughts
Overdose: A situation where a person disobeys professional guidelines and consume more than the requirement, which leads to symptoms:
- Heavy drowsiness
- Loss of memory
- High or low blood pressure
- Irregular breathing
When existing drowsy effects come in contact with Ativan, it may result in a severe health condition. Do you know herbal applications such as CBD oil may cause negative interaction? Doctors always remind their patients to avoid combining opioids with benzodiazepines. Various medications may amplify the effects of lorazepam.
It is better to inform your doctor about your eating and drinking habits. Let your physician know about any health supplement, steroids, protein, over-the-counter drug, or herbal products you might be taking. This general information will assist your doctor in altering the dose accordingly.
Drug interactions may occur, if you consume:
- Cough medicine
- Asthma medicine
- Muscle relaxants
- Birth control tablet
- Opioid pill
- Sleeping pill
- Codeine or allergic medication
Food interaction with Ativan
Avoid food items that can accelerate the toxicity in your body; grapefruit is one of them. You should avoid juice or food prepared using grapefruit. Also, take caffeine in a lesser amount; you do not want a cup of coffee to mess with lorazepam. Drinking alcohol is another invitation to groups of toxic substances to enter your system.
How to avoid Ativan side effects?
Remember to take into the proportion that your body needs. Ativan is a safer drug when you use it smartly and correctly. The precise dosage helps in combating the side effects. Make sure to have it during the time of need. When anxiety hits your mind, then is the accurate time to have it.
The initial dose should be the lowest. Your doctor may give you Ativan 0.5mg – 2mg, as it can have a lesser impact on secondary effects. Even after it, you experience a change in your body’s response, then intimate your doctor immediately. Do not wait for it to pile up and screw you.
Similarly, when there is a time to stop the medication, please do not make it happen within a day. Before starting the course, when you visit the doctor, likewise before stopping the medication, doctor’s intervention is necessary.
Your healthcare service provider will formulate an exit plan for Ativan. He will ask you to stop it in a tapering schedule. Every week you will reduce 25% of the dose, which will finally lead to 100 % stoppage by the time you reach the fourth week. Slowly unwinding your body may help you save from the climatic exit with bearable withdrawal signs.
Also, if the adverse symptoms are increasing day by day, you need to control them and suppress your anxiety issue. In such a situation, ask your doctor to help you with alternative medication that may have a lesser severe effect.
Not everyone has a similar functioning and internal reaction to any medications. If Ativan is best for the rest, it doesn’t mean it suits you. Go for the drug, which works best for your body type. Finding the best alternative can be successful with close interaction with your doctor.