What is Ativan and its uses?

Lorazepam (Ativan) is under the functional class of Sedatives, hypnotics; antianxiety. It is chemically classified as Benzodiazepine. It potentiates the actions of GABA, especially in system and reticular formation.

Uses: for anxiety, irritability in psychiatric or organic disorders, pre-operatively, insomnia, adjunct in endoscopic procedures.

Dosages:

Anxiety
– It can be given to adult PO 2 to 6 mg a day in divided dose but not to exceed 10 mg per day.
– PO 0.5 to 1 mg a day in divided dose or 0.5 to 1 mg HS for geriatric patients.
– 0.05 mg per kg per dose, q4 – q8

Insomnia
– 2 to 4 mg HS for adult
– 1 to 2 mg HS initially

Side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, tremors, hallucinations, weakness, constipation, dry mouth, rash, orthostatic hypotension, blurred vision and tinnitus.

Ativan is contraindicated to pregnant women, narrow angle glaucoma, psychosis, allergies to benzodiazepines, COPD, children below 12 years old, and persons with history of drug abuse.

Caregiver should give assistance when patient is ambulating. Teach the patient and family to not use the drug for everyday stress or used longer than 4 months unless directed by the prescriber.

Treatment for overdose is by lavage, VS, supportive care and flumanzenil

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