The information below is presented as a generalized and educational overview. The specific details of treatment protocols mentioned in this article may not reflect the protocols utilized by A Mission for Michael.
If you would like to learn more about AMFM’s individualized programs to aid those struggling with mental health disorders, please reach out.
We look forward to hearing from you: (844) 993-2217
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety disorders affect millions of people every year. While anxiety is a normal part of life, those who struggle with anxiety disorders deal with symptoms that are more intense and last for a longer time. Anxiety can be debilitating to someone’s life, but it can be treated. Taking Ativan for anxiety can be a good short-term treatment option while working on a long-term anxiety management plan.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. Anxiety is common when you have a feeling of fear, apprehension, or nervousness. While anxiety can be a normal part of everyday life, some people may struggle with severe, long-lasting anxiety that can interfere with their daily functioning. Forms of anxiety that are more intense and long-lasting are known as anxiety disorders.1
Anxiety disorders can be very debilitating and can negatively affect someone’s life in many ways. If left untreated, the symptoms of anxiety can continuously worsen. However, anxiety can be successfully treated, and you can learn to cope with the symptoms to live a normal and healthy life.
It is not always easy to tell if someone is fighting with anxiety. There is a stigma that surrounds mental health issues that might make someone want to cover up the fact that they are struggling. However, if you think you or someone you know may have an anxiety disorder, there are some signs you can look for. Common signs of anxiety disorders include:
- Avoiding situations that cause worry
- Body language is tense and jittery
- Complaints of chest pains or racing heart
- Compulsive or controlling behaviors
- Feeling irritable
- Having trouble sleeping
- Restless behavior (talking fast, reacting sharply to noises, or pacing)
- Talking about fears that seem irrational
If you are trying to determine if you or someone you care about may be struggling with anxiety, you can look for some of the common symptoms of anxiety. Common anxiety symptoms include:2
- Avoiding things that trigger anxiety
- Feeling restless, nervous, or tense
- Feeling tired or weak
- Frequently thinking about worries or fears
- Having a sense of impending danger or panic
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea or digestive problems
- Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
There are certain risks associated with prolonged anxiety without proper treatment and support. These risks can lead to many long-term health issues that can negatively affect someone’s life in many ways. Common risks associated with anxiety include:
- Digestive disorders
- Heart palpitations
- Increased blood pressure
- Lowered immune system
- Muscle tension that can lead to chronic muscle and joint pain
- Problems at functioning at work or school
- Social isolation
- Substance abuse
THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF ANXIETY
When someone struggles with anxiety, there are some common types that someone is likely to struggle with.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worry or fear about everyday life events for no obvious reason. People with GAD symptoms will tend to worry frequently about ongoing daily activities. These intense worries may seem irrational or irrelevant to others from the outside looking in.3
Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder that causes fear in social settings. People with social anxiety disorder have trouble talking to people, meeting new people, and going to social events. It often stems from a fear of being judged or scrutinized by others.
High Functioning Anxiety
People who have high functioning anxiety will experience many of the common symptoms of anxiety but may not appear to struggle with anxiety in social settings, at work, or in other aspects of their lives. Since those who struggle with high functioning anxiety may appear to be doing well in everyday circumstances, their anxiety may go undiagnosed or unrecognized by others in their lives.
Generic Name Prepare for Consequences
The anxiety medication Ativan may also be referred to by the generic name lorazepam. If you take the generic version of lorazepam, you will receive the same anti-anxiety effects as taking the brand–name version of the drug.
How Long Does Ativan Last?
The duration that Ativan anti-anxiety medication will last will vary depending on the individual, the type of Ativan taken, and the dosage. Ativan can be taken as a pill, a liquid concentrate, or by injection.
With the tablet or liquid form of Ativan, the effects are usually seen within two hours and will last for twelve to twenty-four hours. In the injection form, Ativan will take effect much quicker (in about fifteen to thirty minutes) and last approximately the same amount of time.5
Ativan Side Effects
Like any medication, there may be some side effects that occur when taking Ativan for anxiety. Ativan side effects may include:
- Blurred vision
- Changes in appetite
- Loss of coordination
If any of these Ativan side effects last for a long time or become worse, you should talk to your doctor about adjusting the dosage or stopping the medication.6
WHAT IS ATIVAN USED FOR?
While Ativan is usually used as an anxiety medication, it can also have different uses.
Ativan is FDA-approved for managing anxiety disorders and short-term relief of anxiety symptoms. Ativan may also be used to treat anxiety that is associated with depressive symptoms. Generally, those who need to take Ativan for anxiety struggle with symptoms that range from moderate to severe.
Ativan for anxiety should only be taken for short-term anxiety relief while you work with a medical professional on a long-term anxiety treatment plan.
Ativan for anxiety should not be used for long-term anxiety treatment or the treatment of everyday anxiety symptoms. Use of this drug should only be for those with moderate to severe symptoms where other medications or treatment options haven’t been effective.
Ativan may also be prescribed for some off label uses. Ativan is sometimes used as a short-term treatment for the symptoms of vertigo. Treatment of vertigo with Ativan should only be for short-term management of symptoms and when other medications have not been effective.
HOW FAST DOES ATIVAN WORK FOR ANXIETY?
When someone takes Ativan anxiety pills or the liquid concentrate form, they will usually begin experiencing the effects within two hours of the first dose. The Ativan injection form will take effect on the body much quicker, in about fifteen to thirty minutes.
Ativan has a relatively long half-life of about twelve hours, so it stays in the body for a longer duration of time. This half-life means that you may not feel Ativan’s full anti-anxiety effects until you have taken the drug for a week or longer.
Ativan Dosage for Anxiety
When taking Ativan for anxiety, your prescribed dosage will depend on the individual and form of the substance being taken. Ativan for anxiety is usually prescribed in 0.5, 1, or 2mg doses that would be taken two to four times a day depending on individual factors and the severity of a person’s anxiety.7
ATIVAN INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS/MEDICATIONS
Drug interactions may change how effective Ativan is for anxiety treatment or may increase the risk of serious side effects. You should talk to your doctor about all medications you are taking before taking Ativan.
Since many people struggle with both depression and anxiety simultaneously, they may take SSRI inhibitors that are used as antidepressants. Some antidepressants can have an interaction with Ativan.
Common antidepressants that are known to have an interaction with Ativan are Zoloft, Cymbalta, and Lexapro. Taking Ativan with any of these antidepressants can lead to adverse effects. If you are taking these medications or any other antidepressants, consult with your doctor before taking Ativan.8
Ativan may have an interaction with stimulants such as Adderall. Ativan is a sedative medication that has calming effects. If it is taken with stimulants such as Adderall, the effects of both drugs can offset one another and lead to both being less effective.
Taking central nervous system depressants such as lorazepam or diazepam with opioids can lead to adverse effects. The combination of benzodiazepine medications and opioids can increase the central nervous system depressant effects and lead to severe dizziness, confusion, and drowsiness.
Sedative hypnotic drugs slow down the activity in the brain. When sedative hypnotics are taken with a depressant like Ativan, it can lead to adverse effects due to heavy sedation.
Ativan and alcohol can be a dangerous combination. Both substances are depressants and when taken together it can heighten the depressive effects of both substances. This combination can lead to dangerous consequences that may even be deadly by severely slowing the central nervous system, heart rate, and breathing.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ANXIETY
Anxiety can have many negative effects on someone’s life, but you don’t have to go through it alone. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, there are many treatment options available.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven to be effective for the treatment of anxiety disorders. CBT helps patients analyze how their thoughts affect their behaviors and emotions.
By analyzing thinking patterns, patients can begin to get an idea of what thoughts or situations are triggering anxiety. Once patients recognize these situations that trigger anxiety, they can begin to develop coping mechanisms to deal with the everyday stresses of life in healthy ways.
When receiving treatment for anxiety, medications may be prescribed to help manage anxiety symptoms. Prescription medications, such as Ativan, can act as a good short-term treatment option while you work on developing coping mechanisms and creating a long-term plan for managing your anxiety.
Natural therapeutic solutions may also be a good idea for the treatment of anxiety. Participating in activities like exercise, yoga, meditation, or tai chi can be good ways to calm the body and mind to manage anxiety symptoms. Making sure you eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep can also be natural ways you can stay healthy and will help manage anxiety symptoms.
Psychotherapy involves attending sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist to work on mental health problems. These therapy sessions usually focus on talk therapy where you will learn about your moods, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Over time, you will begin to learn how these elements affect your anxiety and you will be able to learn coping mechanisms that help you manage anxiety symptoms.