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Ativan Effects

Introduction: Ativan

Ativan or Lorazepam is a common medication in benzodiazepine class of drugs. Benzodiazepines have a number of side effects and Ativan being in the benzodiazepine class of drugs means that it shares most of these side effects. Ativan is different from most benzodiazepines in terms of the serum half-life and metabolism. In fact, Ativan is one of the short acting benzodiazepines with an average serum half life of 14 hours. The most common Ativan effects are; drowsiness, weakness, headaches, clumsiness, depression and light-headedness.

Ativan effects

Below are some of the common Ativan effects in more detail. It is important to note that Ativan can be used orally or intravenously in emergency situations to manage conditions such as agitation and status epilepticus. Our focus will however be on the oral use of Ativan as opposed to intravenous use of Ativan.

1. Central nervous system Ativan effects:

Ativan has a number of common Central nervous system side effects. In fact, these side effects are the most common in patients using Ativan. Most patients using Ativan experience drowsiness that is dose-related. This symptom is common in the initial stages of Ativan usage. Drowsiness as one of the common Ativan side effects becomes less common after the medication has been used for a prolonged period of time. Other central nervous system Ativan side effects include; confusion, difficulty in thinking clearly, memory loss, loss of coordination and loss of balance. Such Ativan effects become less common over time. It is important to note that most of these side effects occur due to patients developing Ativan tolerance. This tolerance can result in withdrawal symptoms. Other central nervous system side effects experienced include; extreme dizziness and falls which are usually associated with elderly Ativan patients.

2. Respiratory side effects of Ativan:

Oral Ativan use is commonly associated with some common respiratory drug side effects such as respiratory depression. This side effect is common except in cases of overdose. Individuals with respiratory insufficiencies should therefore avoid Ativan to avoid severe health problems/complications.

3. Dermatological Ativan effects:

Ativan is also known to cause skin rashes that have been reported by most Ativan patients. Examples of skin rashes include hives and acne although rarely.

4. Endocrine Ativan side effects:

Ativan has also been reported to cause inappropriate ADH secretion which is endocrine related. It is important to note that this side effect is rare and only affects a certain group of patients. Inappropriate ADH secretion causes Ativan patients to develop low serum sodium levels which in turn makes patients become very weak, develop seizures with risk of severe hyponatremia. In most cases, inappropriate ADH secretion results in emergent hospitalization thus this side effect can't be ignored.

5. Hematological Ativan side effects:

Ativan also has a number of Hematological side effects. For instance, Ativan use is known to cause bone marrow related health problems i.e. blood dyscrasias such as; aplastic anemia, pancytopenia and neutropenia. Additionally Ativan has also been known to cause red blood cells to destroy the immune system i.e. hemolytic anemia which is a rare but very serious Ativan side effect.

6. Renal related Ativan effects:

Ativan also causes a number of renal side effects. It is important to note that these side effects are uncommon because they are caused by acute renal insufficiencies that are related to cardiovascular malfunctions/ collapses when patients overdose on Ativan.

7. Paradoxical stimulation Ativan effects:

Also, Ativan is known to cause paradoxical stimulation effects like many other benzodiazepines. For instance, Ativan causes; agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, rage, psychosis, hallucinations among other neuropsychiatric effects that are related to central nervous system effects i.e. depression. Such effects/reactions are commonly referred to as paradoxical reactions. They justify continuity of Ativan therapy. It is important to note that these paradoxical reactions are rare and very unpredictable. Ativan use in patients portraying paradoxical stimulation effects should be discouraged or done with caution.

8. Ativan overdose effects:

One of the most common overdose Ativan effects include; severe respiratory depression, cardiovascular collapse and death. Other overdose Ativan side effects include; suicidal tendencies. It is important to note that chances of overdosing on Ativan increase when Ativan is taken alongside depressants of the central nervous system i.e. alcohol. In case of an overdose, patients should seek immediate medical attention.


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