Ativan 2 mg is used to treat anxiety disorders or to relieve symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder.
However, it is only used for short-term management and will have to be substituted if long term treatment is required.
Ativan 2 mg tablets can also be used to treat certain types of seizures in which there is a sudden burst of fear or terror accompanied by signs that include shaking, confusion, blurred vision, increased heartbeat, and sweating.
If you are considering taking Ativan 2mg tablets for any reason, you should start by talking to your doctor or health care provider.
What is Ativan 2mg?
The active ingredient in these tablets is lorazepam. Lorazepam is from the benzodiazepine class of drugs which are used for managing anxiety and sleep problems.
It acts on chemicals in your brain that may become unregulated and cause anxiety.
This medication works by reducing transmission between your nerves. As a result, you feel relaxed.
How Does it Work?
All benzodiazepines work in a similar way by increasing a natural chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is responsible for regulating your mood and keeping you calm.
When GABA is released it causes your nerve cells to become less excitable thereby reducing feelings of anxiety.
In addition, lorazepam works as an anticonvulsant by slowing down nerve impulses between brain cells.
How and When Do I Take Ativan 2 mg tablet?
For anxiety or insomnia, take one tablet once a day orally or as instructed by your physician.
It can be taken with or without food without any consequence, so it’s really up to the patient to decide what they prefer. Ativan 2 mg tablet can also be given rectally (into your back passage) usually given when oral administration is not possible and is used for severe anxiety and/or to help control severe nausea and vomiting.
The person administering the drug will use gloves when handling to avoid contamination. They will then dissolve 2-4 tablets in 15-30ml of water; and use an enema bottle to administer it into your rectum; you may feel warmth or some slight stinging as it is working but that should subside within about 20 minutes.
How Long Do I Take Ativan 2 mg?
Many people with short-term anxiety take low doses of Ativan for just a few days until they feel better and then stop taking it.
It is important to know that you can’t take Ativan forever or even for an extended period of time.
The drug has more severe side effects at higher doses and withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking it after several weeks or months.
Can I Stop Taking It?
Like any medication, you should always consult your doctor before trying to stop taking this one.
If you do stop, it’s important to taper off over time under medical supervision.
Stopping abruptly could cause withdrawal symptoms like seizures, confusion, nausea and vomiting. And because it takes long for the drug to be eliminated from the body, it can still be present in your system days or weeks after taking it.
If you do want to quit using Ativan completely, consult with your doctor about how best to taper off safely.
Are There Any Side Effects?
A few side effects may occur when taking Ativan tablets.
However, you should know that it can cause drowsiness, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, headache, double vision, and sleepiness if taken in high doses.
Less frequently reported are disorientation/confusion, transient blurred vision; rarely reported are hypersensitivity reactions.
If you take any other medications while taking this tablet, these effects may be reduced or increased and you may experience other side effects as a result of taking a combination of drugs.
Never drive or use machinery for several hours after taking this tablet as doing so can significantly impair your ability to function safely.
What Precautions Should Be Taken When Taking Ativan
All patients using Ativan should be cautioned against carrying out risky functions requiring complete mental alertness.
Patients should be advised that the use of alcohol or other drugs that suppress brain activity together with Ativan may result in reduced brain functionality.
For patients with liver impairment, it will take significantly longer to clear the drug from the body as a result, the effects will last longer than normal.
Additionally, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your doctor before using Ativan or any other drug/medication.
What to avoid when taking Ativan?
Although sedative drugs like Ativan can be helpful, they can also cause drowsiness and dizziness.
Always take caution when operating heavy machinery or driving a vehicle while taking Ativan because it could impair your judgment and reaction time. Many people have reported falling asleep behind the wheel after taking Ativan so don’t risk your safety or someone else’s by driving under its influence.
Keep in mind that you should avoid drinking alcohol while taking Ativan because it has been shown to increase the side effects of intoxication.
Avoidance of large caffeine intake (more than 300 mg/day) and sources known to significantly interact with lorazepam are recommended during therapy with lorazepam.
The recommended dose for Ativan tablets is 2 to 4 mg taken by mouth three or four times daily. If you are using Ativan to treat insomnia, start with a lower dose of 1 mg before bedtime.
The amount of sedation or calming effect will increase with each dose until you find your sweet spot that helps you feel relaxed without causing drowsiness throughout the day.
It may be rare, but a few people may have withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop taking the drug after long-term use.
Symptoms include anxiety, tremors, and irritability. To avoid these symptoms, taper off your dosage slowly over one to two weeks rather than stopping abruptly.
What If I Forget a Dose?
If you miss a dose of Ativan and you are almost due for your next dosage, ignore it and proceed with the next dose. It is not advised to double up on doses as this may lead to complications.
If more than 3 hours have passed since your missed dose, do not take an extra one. Just resume your regular schedule.
Get into a habit of taking your medication about the same time every day, so that you develop consistent blood levels and reduce side effects (such as drowsiness) from coming on too fast.
For example, if you notice that your memory seems worse when you forget to take an evening dose for several days in a row, try setting an alarm or asking someone else in your household to remind you each night before bedtime.
Never stop taking any medications without consulting with your healthcare provider first; altering drugs without guidance can lead to worsening symptoms and unnecessary complications down the road.
Ativan (lorazepam) is a sedative. Take Ativan exactly as instructed by your doctor.
An overdose of Ativan can be fatal. If you or someone else takes an overdose of Ativan, get emergency medical help right away.
Taking an overdose of Ativan can cause drowsiness, confusion, coma, slowed breathing, low blood pressure with lightheadedness, weak pulse, heart failure—even death.
Remember even normal doses can be considered an overdose for an unborn child so this drug should be avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, after careful evaluation, your doctor may still prescribe it, if he/she considers it to be absolutely necessary.
Drug Abuse and Dependency
Despite their reputation, Ativan (lorazepam) tablets are not simply tranquilizers, and they can be addictive.
When taken as prescribed, Ativan (lorazepam) is generally safe. However, some patients do become dependent on it for sleep, causing significant problems if they try to stop taking it.
If you think you may be getting addicted to Ativan, you should talk to your doctor immediately; abrupt discontinuation of lorazepam may lead to other complications such as withdrawal symptoms.
Symptoms of dependence include: inability to fall asleep without using lorazepam, waking up feeling like you need more sleep than normal (but never getting that sleep), and craving/searching for more Ativan despite physical harm from withdrawals.
At high doses and/or when combined with alcohol or other drugs, lorazepam can slow breathing to dangerous levels, causing death.
Who should not take Ativan?
Do not take it if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, are allergic to any benzodiazepines, or if you are in a state of shock, including diabetic shock.
Ativan may cause drowsiness or dizziness; use caution when performing operations that require alertness.
Taking benzodiazepines during pregnancy may cause birth defects, especially skull malformations and cleft palate. Also, avoid its use when if you are breast-feeding
Some drugs interact with Ativan, causing it to slow down or speed up how quickly other drugs leave your body.
There are some drugs that are known to interact with Ativan including haloperidol, temazepam, diazepam, flurazepam, and triazolam. If you take any of these medications or any other medication, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what to expect from your treatment moving forward.
In some cases, switching between medications is possible but requires a doctor’s supervision as well as lab tests to ensure that each drug doesn’t interfere with another in a way that could be harmful to you.
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