Anxiety Home > Ativan Uses

Ativan is approved for treating anxiety disorders. It is also approved for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms associated with depression. However, the drug 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 for Ativan, such as treating alcohol withdrawal and restless legs syndrome.

What Is Ativan Used For?

Ativan® (lorazepam) is a prescription medication that is licensed to treat anxiety. An injectable form of the medicine is also available. The injectable form of Ativan is used for decreasing nervous tension and anxiety before surgery, as well as for treating severe seizures (known medically as status epilepticus). Ativan is part of a group of medications called benzodiazepines.
 

Ativan and 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. These feelings can grow progressively worse.
 
Depending on the type of anxiety, a person can experience several possible anxiety symptoms, including:
 
  • Feeling shaky, jittery, or nervous
  • Feeling tense, fearful, or apprehensive
  • Avoiding certain places or activities because of fear
  • A pounding or racing heart
  • Trouble catching your breath when nervous
  • Unjustified sweating or trembling
  • A knot in your stomach
  • A lump in your throat
  • Finding yourself pacing
  • Being afraid to close your eyes at night for fear that you may die in your sleep
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Fear of dying.
     
In general, two types of anxiety treatment are available for an anxiety disorder:
 
Ativan is approved to treat anxiety disorders. 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).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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