Ativan Side Effects

Ativan and Insomnia

Ativan has an FDA approved indications for short-term use of treatment of insomnia with recommended dosage of 24 mg orally at bedtime as needed. In general Ativan is not a first-line medication for insomnia because of the relatively high incidence of morning drowsiness. Shorter-term medications like Ambien, Restoril, and Lunesta are more frequently used as hypnotics because of their shorter duration of action and lower incidence of morning drowsiness.

Nonetheless many patients with anxiety, especially anxiety in the evening leading to insomnia use their Ativan therapy for both its antianxiety and is hypnotic benefits. One issue with prolonged use of Ativan for insomnia is the potential for physical tolerance and withdrawal side effects which can include seizures with abrupt withdrawal. If Ativan is used for any period of time even once daily for insomnia the dough should be tapered gradually discontinued rather than abruptly discontinued.

Typical Ativan side effects when used for insomnia include dizziness, ataxia and the potential for false, hypotension, and confusion. Special care should be taken not to use Ativan for insomnia if heavy alcohol intake has been part of the evening routine. The potential for respiratory depression and accidental overdose with Ativan when combined with alcohol is potentially very serious reason life-threatening. In addition Ativan should not be combined with other benzodiazepines or hypnotics for insomnia.

If Ativan is prescribed for short-term use of treatment of insomnia patient should be sure to discuss with their physician how long they should take the medication, be sure the physicians aware of any other medications that their taking and discuss their use of alcohol.

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