Anxiety Home > Ativan for Anxiety

Ativan® (lorazepam) is a prescription medication approved to treat several conditions, including anxiety. Ativan is part of a group of medications called benzodiazepines. These medicines have several effects on the body, such as relaxing the muscles, impairing short-term memory, and reducing anxiety.
Most people experience feelings of anxiety before an important event, such as a big exam, business presentation, or first date. Anxiety disorders, however, are illnesses that load people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear that are chronic and unremitting, and that can grow progressively worse.
A person can experience several possible symptoms of anxiety, including:
  • Feeling shaky, jittery, or nervous
  • Feeling tense, fearful, or apprehensive
  • Avoiding certain places or activities because of fear
  • A pounding or racing heart or trouble catching your breath
  • Unexplained sweating or trembling
  • Fear of losing control, going crazy, or dying.
Ativan is approved to treat this condition in adults and children as young as 12 years old. This medication 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).
(Click Ativan Uses for more details on treating anxiety with Ativan. This article also discusses how Ativan works, possible off-label uses, and whether it is safe for use in children.)
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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