Ativan Half-Life, Peak Concentration & Duration
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Table of Contents
How Long Does Ativan Effects Last?
Ativan typically lasts for 6-8 hours and is out of the system after 72 hours. The drug’s effects can be felt within 2 hours after administration. The drug’s half-life is between 12 and 18 hours. When taken orally, the drug is absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract.
Ativan (generically, Lorazepam) is a benzodiazepine that’s used to treat generalized anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and seizures. It’s also used in medical facilities to sedate aggressive patients. And, like all drugs, it can be used recreationally.
Ativan has an intermediate half-life which, according to clinical research, is longer than that of Xanax but shorter than that of Valium. The average half-life of Ativan is around 12 hours, but some studies suggest it could be up 18 hours.
Note that the primary metabolite of Lorazepam, Lorazepam Glucuronide, has a longer half-life of up to 18 hours.
Ativan Peak Plasma Concentration
The peak concentration of Ativan is reached up to 2 hours after intake. Ativan is absorbed directly into the gastrointestinal tract when it is taken orally but it can be administered intravenously as well.
Ativan Effects Duration
Users can feel the initial effects of the drug up to 2 hours after administration, as stated above. Its effects will typically last for 6 to 8 hours. Most doctors will prescribe 2 to 3 doses a day.
Although there’s minimal risk of excessive accumulation in the system, Ativan shouldn’t be taken for periods longer than prescribed because it can be habit-forming with harmful, even life-threatening, withdrawal symptoms.
How Long Does Ativan Stay In The System?
Research shows that Ativan is typically out of the system after 72 hours.
Various factors influence how long Ativan can stay in the system:
- Individual physical factors (age, weight, height, genetics, general health)
- Dosage (the body metabolizes higher doses at a slower pace)
- History of abuse
- Other drugs (data shows that alcohol, for example, reduces the clearance rate by 18%)
Before beginning an Ativan prescription it’s important to learn more about its side effects and abuse potential. It is not advisable to stop the drug abruptly because it could potentially lead to fatal withdrawal symptoms. Always consult a doctor for the proper dosage, course of administration and other available treatment options.
- Greenblatt D. J. Clinical pharmacokinetics of oxazepam and lorazepam. Clinical Pharmacokinetics. 1981; 6(2):89-105. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6111408.
- The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Lorazepam – Medical Countermeasures Database. 2019. https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/countermeasure_lorazepam.htm.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ativan® CIV (lorazepam) Tablets Rx only. 2007. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/017794s034s035lbl.pdf.
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