There were more than a whopping 27.5 million prescriptions written for Ativan according to the DEA. This was in 2011, just in the United States alone. Currently, doctors give Prescriptions for Ativan to people suffering from many problems.
They include anxiety attacks, panic attacks, muscle spasms, insomnia or mild seizures. Sometimes, addiction is possible when you don’t use it properly. However, but also when you take it as prescribed. This is even though they classify it as Schedule IV drugs. The DEA describes them as having minimal risk for becoming addicted,
Do you have a prescription for Ativan, or have been using it for a while? Are you worried about Ativan effects on your body? Read on to get the answers!
What are the Short-Term Effects of Ativan Use?
Ativan is usually prescribed for a short period. Normally, it is for 1 to 3 months. In addition, they give it for sudden attacks of anxiety, panic, muscle spasms and insomnia. Otherwise, they’ll give it in small doses (.5 to 2 grams). It is not meant for chronic or severe attacks. After the 1-3-month period, you should contact your doctor. At that time, you should discuss reassessing the need.
Let’s say, your doctor may say that the benefit of taking Ativan is greater than the side effects. In this case, he is basing it on the symptoms you have described and your medical history.
The starting dosage is usually 2-6 mg per day. Also, they divide it up throughout the day. Incidentally, you take the larger dose before going to bed.
Normally, this is how the prescription goes. In the case of anxiety, you get 2-3 mg per day with 2-4 mg at night for insomnia. Sometimes, the doctor will decide that the dosage needs to go up. In this case, the usual does to increase is the one taken before bed.
For short-term uses, there are certain foods and supplements that you should consider. Therefore, you need to discuss them with your physician. they include St. John’s Wort, grapefruit juice, and even vitamin supplements. These supplements can help your body cope and lessen the side-effects.
Pregnant women should not take Ativan as it may harm the unborn child. Women who are breastfeeding should also not take this drug as they can give it to the baby. Also, you should avoid alcohol and other drugs while taking Ativan no matter what the dosage is.
When starting Ativan, it may seem like a “wonder drug”. This is especially after that first night of sleep after a long bout with insomnia. Furthermore, it can be the calm feeling you get in the midst of a panic attack. When used correctly, it can be a “wonder drug.” These feelings of calm and relaxation can be great at the time. However, it can lead a person to want to use it for a longer period of time, or to lessen the time between doses.
There are some Ativan effects that you can feel soon after starting taking it. They are feeling sleepy, having thoughts that aren’t clear and problems with your vision. This is even when the plan is to use them short term at a low dosage.
Eventually, negative side effects start to become evident. They include dizziness, feeling hyperactive, having hallucinations, feeling sad, feeling weak. In some cases, for those with epilepsy, it decreases their threshold for seizures. As a result, the signs become more visible.
Unfortunately, these good feelings are so desired by the person taking Ativan. Then, they build up a tolerance to the drug. When your desire to feel better turns into a craving, it’s time to talk to your doctor. As a result, this is what leads the person to eventually looking at long term use.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Ativan Use?
Long term use equates to long term Ativan effects. The side effects of short term use are now showing up as extreme. The person will start sleeping most of the day and has no energy while they are awake. They can become so confused that they appear to be delirious.
There may be problems with mental activity and feeling like they just can’t think straight. Unfortunately, these issues can remain even after taking the drug has stopped. It can affect the elderly patients even more. This is due to their already decreasing mental functionality. The person may have diseases such as Alzheimer’s or early stages of dementia.
This causes the body to adapt to this new level. Consequently, this leads to dependency. They would do anything to meet this chemical need.
In long term use situations, people become very concerned with getting the Ativan. This is above anything else. Their behavior starts to change and to scheme to get the drug becomes a priority. They will “doctor shop”. It means they will go from doctor to doctor to get a prescription. They exaggerate their symptoms, forge prescriptions or claim to have lost them.
Roles in the family structure may change. For instance, children may become the caregivers both emotionally and physically. Family members may feel shame or guilt about the long-term user. Boundaries have become nonexistent. Verbal and/or physical abuse is common in households where long term use is evident.
Guilt and shame are common feelings in the long-term users. Yet, the feeling of euphoria far outweighs the feelings of guilt and shame. Long term use can also be harmful to a person’s social life. They have torn families apart, ruined careers, and destroyed lives.
In fact, the very feelings that you started taking Ativan to end can intensify. Ultimately, this is the irony with long term use.
If you’re going to take Ativan, know the good as well as the bad. This means the short-term advantages and the long term Ativan effects. It can be a true blessing in a time of crisis but using it long term can put you in a constant state of crisis.
Set your goals about when and why to take it and then consult your doctor before taking it. Talk to your doctor when you start to feel better and let the doctor advise you as to weening yourself off. You know your body better than anyone else.