Ativan, also called Lorazepam, is a prescription medication that is used as a tranquilizer in anxiety patients. The medication that is often referred to as a sedative-hypnotic is a derivative of the group of medications and drugs called Benzodiazepines. At times, this drug is also recommended by doctors for sleeping issues. In fact, the medication is quite different from most drugs belonging to its class, as it is employed by physicians before an operation or any medical procedure to calm down the patients. Not to mention, Ativan is a regular prescription for seizures and the likes of it, where the medication is injected in the hospital to relax the nerves. The anxiety pill comes in two forms for administration, one being tablets and the other as a solution for intravenous injection.
How Ativan works with brain chemicals?
Ativan structure has been formulated in a way that it binds to the benzodiazepine receptors on the post-synaptic GABA-A channel. Basically, it helps with the increase in conductance of chloride ions by causing a shift into the cell for stabilization. This is achieved by enhancing the GABA receptors off its inhibitory effects. The inhibitory action of Ativan in two different places in the brain namely amyglada and cerebral cortex aids in smoothing the ends of anxiety and seizure disorders respectively.
Little information on what the GABA receptors do can shed enough light on the Ativan mechanism. GABA receptors regulate sleep and other calming effects in the brain. So it is easy now to guess how the medication acts on these receptors to influence the sense of relaxation. When it increases the effects of GABA, it tones down the functions of CNS to induce serenity.
Ativan as a drug
Ativan may cause addiction if used for over a month. The risk of dependence increases with higher doses and longer-term use. During the treatment, patients experience significant reduction in anxiety and fear. However, after the discontinuation of the drug, some of them have a relapse, so they start taking the drug again (but this time without consulting a doctor).
Over time, patients may develop tolerance to the drug, which decreases its effect. In this case, they have to increase the dose or frequency of use to achieve the desired effect. This may enhance the side effects of Ativan and lead to:
sleepiness, lethargy and fatigue;
vertigo and headache;
sickness, vomiting and diarrhea;
allergy; low white blood cell count;
increase in LDH levels and activity.
Drug addicts sometimes use Ativan to relieve the withdrawal symptoms when they can’t get their next fix. Alcoholics first take it to relieve withdrawal symptoms, and then mix it with alcohol to increase intoxication. Anyway, if you’ve become addicted to Ativan, you need to see a narcologist and undergo a full treatment
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