Ativan Side Effects

Ativan is the drug that is used in treatment of anxiety disorders, as well as, provides relief from depression-associated anxiety. Other conditions that Ativan is used to treat include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Alcohol withdrawal agitation
  • Cancer treatment aftereffects, such as nausea and vomiting
  • Post-surgery effects, such as recall of surgery
  • Decrease the anxiety before a surgery
  • Produce drowsiness before a surgery

Ativan belongs to the medication class known as benzodiazepines. It is available in multiple forms, such as:

  • Tablets
  • Injection
  • Concentrate solution that can be administered orally

Serious Ativan Side Effects

  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Hostility
  • Hyperactivity
  • Agitation

Less-Serious Ativan Side Effects

  • Skin rash
  • Drowsiness
  • Change in appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Amnesia
  • Coordination and balance issues
  • Issues with focusing

Long Term Effects

Cognitive Impairment

If Ativan is used for a long time, then it can cause other issues. Cognitive impairment happens to be one such issue. While in most cases, this issue can be got rid of by cessation of the drug, that may not be the case every time. Moreover, in elderly population, a certain degree of cognitive impairment may remain behind even after they have stopped taking the drug. This cognitive impairment can also speed up the rate of mental decline in the elderly who are suffering from dementia.


Other than Ativan side effects, there are certain precautions that should be taken. It should not be used by pregnant women since it can cause lead to birth defects in the baby. It should also be avoided by people who are allergic to benzodiazepines, such as

  • Xanax
  • Librium
  • Tranxene
  • Valium
  • Serax

You should also not take Ativan, if you have a history of depression or addiction to alcohol and drugs. People, who suffer from liver or kidney disease, have any breathing problems or glaucoma, should also stay away from this drug.

If you are taking this medication, do not mix it with alcohol or other medicines that make you sleepy. This is because the drowsiness will be increased in such situations. It is possible to get addicted to Ativan, so it should not be shared with someone who it is not prescribed to or taken against the doctor’s instructions.

Drug Interactions

Ativan should not be taken if you are also taking the following drugs:

  • Scopolamine
  • Other benzodiazepines
  • Aminophylline
  • Birth control pills
  • Amytal, Mebaral, Luminal, Solfoton, and other barbiturates
  • Theophylline
  • Antipsychotics, such as Abilify, Fanapt, Serentil, Invega, Risperdal, Geodon
  • Probenecid
  • Unisom, Sonata, or other sleep medications
  • Anesthetics
  • Codeine, Levo-Dromoran, Methadose, Darvon, and other narcotics
  • Benadryl or other allergy medications that also carry sedating effects
  • Etrafon, Anafranil, Lexapro, Sarafem, and other antidepressants
  • Depakene and other anti-seizure drugs