There are several reasons for using Ativan® (lorazepam). This prescription medication is approved to treat anxiety and severe seizures (known medically as status epilepticus) in adults and children as young as 12 years old.
Specifically, Ativan is approved to treat anxiety disorders, rather than just the common anxiety most people get before a stressful event. It is also approved for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms associated with depression. Ativan is not for "everyday anxiety" and is recommended only for short-term use (two to four weeks or less).
There are also several "off-label" uses of Ativan, including the following:
- Treating agitation
- Treating alcohol withdrawal
- Treating insomnia
- Sedating people on a ventilator (as it can be disturbing to be awake with a breathing tube or a ventilator in place)
- Preventing seizures
- Treating restless legs syndrome
- Treating myoclonus
- Treating spastic disorders and other types of muscle spasms, such as those seen in people with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis.
(Click Ativan Uses for a more in-depth look at the indications for Ativan, including information on how it works and how it can help relieve the symptoms of anxiety.)