Anxiety Home > Ativan

Ativan is a drug that is approved to treat anxiety. The drug is thought to work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) -- a brain chemical that is naturally calming. Ativan comes in tablet, oral liquid, and injectable forms. As with all medications, side effects are possible during treatment. Common side effects of this drug include dizziness, weakness, and unsteadiness.

What Is Ativan?

Ativan® (lorazepam) is a prescription medication that is used to treat anxiety. An injectable form of the medicine is also available. The injectable form of the drug is used to decrease nervous tension and anxiety, as well as treat severe seizures (known medically as status epilepticus). Ativan is part of a group of medications called benzodiazepines.
 
(Click Ativan Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Ativan?

It is currently made by Biovail Pharmaceuticals.
 

How Does It Work?

Ativan is part of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. These medications have several effects on the body, including:
 
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Causing sleepiness
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Stopping seizures
  • Impairing short-term memory.
     
All medicines in this category can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is being taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why Ativan and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation
Advertisement


Topics

Medications

Quicklinks

Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2017 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.