This side effect may go away with continued use of the drug. If nausea doesn't go away or is bothersome, talk with your doctor. Some people who take Ativan report having headaches afterward. If headaches don't get better or are bothersome, talk with your doctor. Ativan can cause your breathing to slow down.
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In rare cases, this can lead to respiratory failure. Weight gain or loss aren't typical side effects of Ativan, and studies have not confirmed these as side effects of this drug. However, weight changes may still occur. Some people who take Ativan say they have a bigger appetite. This might cause them to eat more and gain weight.
Ativan: Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and More
And other people who take it have a reduced appetite. This might cause them to eat less and lose weight.
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Some people who take Ativan can have temporary memory loss. If this happens, you may have trouble remembering things that occurred while you were taking the medication.
It's not common, but some people who take Ativan report constipation. If it doesn't get better or is bothersome, talk with your doctor. It's not common, but some people who take Ativan can experience vertigo. Vertigo is a feeling that things around you are moving when they're not.
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People with vertigo often feel dizzy. It's not clear if Ativan is the actual cause of symptoms of vertigo. Also, Ativan is sometimes used off-label to treat people who have symptoms of vertigo caused by other conditions such as Meniere's disease. It's rare, but some people who take Ativan have hallucinations. If you have this side effect, talk with your doctor about alternatives to Ativan. Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage and adjust it over time to reach the dosage that's right for you.
They'll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect. The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to suit your needs.
The usual oral dosage for Ativan tablets is 2 to 6 mg daily. This dosage amount is usually divided and taken two or three times daily. Older adults and people with certain physical conditions may need to start with a lower dosage. This might be 1 to 2 mg, taken two or three times daily for anxiety or once at bedtime for insomnia.
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If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. However, if it's just a few hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one on schedule. Ativan is approved to treat several conditions. In addition, it's sometimes used off-label for purposes that aren't approved by the FDA. Ativan is FDA-approved for the short-term treatment of anxiety symptoms.
It's also commonly used off-label for treating generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Ativan is FDA-approved for short-term treatment of insomnia trouble sleeping that's caused by anxiety or stress. Ativan is also used off-label for other types of insomnia. However, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine , it's not a first-choice medication for this use.
With this condition, seizures don't stop, or one seizure comes after another without allowing the person time to recover. Ativan is also sometimes prescribed off-label. Off-label use is when a drug is approved for one use but is prescribed for a different use. Ativan is sometimes used off-label for the short-term treatment of symptoms of vertigo. These symptoms include nausea and vomiting. In some cases, Ativan may be used along with other medications for this purpose.
Ativan and other similar medications aren't prescribed to treat depression itself. However, some people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety or insomnia. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe Ativan to reduce those symptoms. Ativan isn't typically used to treat pain itself. However, people who have severe, long-lasting pain are often prescribed Ativan or similar medications.
This may be because they have anxiety or trouble sleeping due to their pain. People with severe pain are often treated with opioid pain medications. Ativan and other benzodiazepine medications shouldn't be used with opioids. This is due to the risk of life-threatening side effects such as serious sedation, decreased breathing, coma, and death.
If you're taking Ativan, you shouldn't drink alcohol. Consuming alcohol with Ativan can increase the risk of serious side effects such as:. Ativan can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements and foods. Different interactions can cause different effects.
For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects. Below is a list of medications that can interact with Ativan. This list doesn't contain all drugs that may interact with Ativan. Before taking Ativan, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take.
Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions. If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Taking opioids with Ativan can cause dangerous side effects. These include excessive drowsiness, breathing problems, respiratory failure, and coma. Taking sedative drugs with Ativan can cause excessive drowsiness and breathing problems.
Examples of sedative drugs include:. Taking Ativan with probenecid, a drug that can be used to treat gout, can increase the levels of Ativan in your body. This can increase your risk of Ativan side effects. For people who take probenecid and Ativan together, the Ativan dosage needs to be reduced by half. Taking Ativan with valproic acid Depakene, Depakote , a drug used to treat seizures and other conditions, can increase the levels of Ativan in your body. For people who take valproic acid and Ativan together, the Ativan dosage needs to be reduced by half.
Zoloft sertraline can make some people feel tired or drowsy. Ativan can also cause drowsiness. Taking these medications together may cause you to feel even more tired or drowsy. Ativan and Ambien zolpidem shouldn't be taken together. Both medications are used to help promote sleep. If taken together, they can cause excessive sleepiness and sedation. Taking this combination of medications can also increase the risk of odd behaviors such as sleep-driving trying to drive while asleep. Taking Ativan with herbs or supplements that have sedative effects can cause excessive drowsiness and breathing problems.
Examples of sedative herbs and supplements that can cause these effects include:. Marijuana shouldn't be used with Ativan. Using marijuana with Ativan can cause excessive drowsiness or sedation. Some people can have bothersome withdrawal symptoms after stopping Ativan. These can occur after taking Ativan for as little as one week.
If Ativan is taken longer, withdrawal symptoms are more likely to occur. They're also likely to be more severe. Talk with your doctor before stopping Ativan. Your doctor may recommend that you slowly reduce your dosage before stopping the drug completely. If you think you or your child has taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or seek guidance from the American Association of Poison Control Centers at or through their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call or go to the nearest emergency room right away. There are other medications that are often used to treat the same conditions as Ativan.