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The doctor prescribes such drugs if the patient has complained of anxiety and sleep disturbances. The effect of taking anxiolytics (tranquilizers) comes quickly enough, which allows you to use them as an "ambulance", including in the first stages of antidepressant treatment to quickly relieve symptoms.
However, they can cause dependence with prolonged use (more than one month) in large doses and with an independent (without the consent of the doctor) increase in dosage.
In addition, they are prescribed to relieve anxiety attacks, for example, during panic attacks. But when undergoing psychotherapy, their use to relieve seizures is undesirable.
Ativan belongs to the psychotropic drugs tranquilizers of the benzodiazepine series. The drug was synthesized in the United States as early as 1963. Since 1977, the drug has already been put on sale by the pharmaceutical company Wyeth.
The entire group of benzodiazepines, including Lorazepam, literally blew up medicine. Great opportunities have opened up. But, unfortunately, already in the 80s the first information began to appear about the occurrence of dependence on Ativan (Lorazepam). There is evidence that in the production of this group of funds it was already known about the possibility of dependence, but such information was not for doctors.
The guilty of the manufacturers have not been proven. And in 2010, secret data were discovered on studies that the benzodiazepine series drugs can actually lead to brain damage.
However, the effectiveness of Ativan is undeniable. It still remains one of the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines in the United States and Western Europe. Lorazepam is also included in the list of essential medicines by the World Health Organization.
Effects on the body
The main effects of Ativan on the body are:
Sedative Central. Anticonvulsant. Anxiolytic. Hypnotic. Muscle relaxant.
Medical indications for Ativan:
Acute anxiety disorders. Panic attacks. Emotional anxiety and tension. Preparing for surgery. Nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy. Stopping alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
To achieve a therapeutic effect in anxiety, Ativan is prescribed up to 2 mg 2-3 times a day. In case of development of insomnia – 1-4 mg 30 minutes before bedtime.
The use of Ativan for a long time, especially at high dosages, forms a psychological and physical dependence.
To prevent this from happening, continued administration of Ativan is ruled out. You cannot use the drug for more than 4 weeks in order to avoid the development of drug dependence.
Concomitant use with alcohol is strictly contraindicated.
With prolonged use, and even more so with the use of high dosages, overdose symptoms develop, in which there are:
Confused consciousness. Drowsiness. Disorientation in space. Coma.
How is Ativan addicted?
The development of dependence on Ativan is characteristic of a third of those taking this drug for more than 4 weeks. Lorazepam belongs to those benzodiazepines that have the highest risk of addiction.
Ativan can cause drug dependence from the 7th day of administration, even without exceeding therapeutic doses.
And if patients begin to violate the dosing regimen, then the dependence develops rapidly.
It is dangerous that even those who did not have any addictions to any disease in which Ativan is prescribed can be potential drug addicts. It can all start with just the small doses prescribed by the doctor. Over time, a person begins to realize that he simply cannot do without medicine. So psychological dependence begins to develop. The condition is aggravated by the fact that with long-term use of Lorazepam, its effectiveness is significantly reduced, which makes drug addicts constantly increase the dose. This is how physical dependence develops.
In drug addicts, the maximum effect after intravenous injection is noted after 10 minutes, with an injection in the muscle – within an hour. But when taking pills, the period takes from 90 to 120 minutes.
To achieve a euphoric state, drug addicts use Ativan as an independent drug, and in combination with other drugs. The most common combinations are Ativan and tranquilizers, Ativan and alcohol.