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Ativan has several different uses. The drug is approved for use for treating anxiety. It is in the classification with benzodiazepines, which work by affecting the central nervous system to bring about a calming effect. It is not listed under the approved drugs but is prescribed for reducing symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol. Although it is not officially approved for these uses, it has also been effective in preventing nausea due to chemotherapy and to help in cases of insomnia.
This medication can be taken with or without food. It is important for the patient to try to take the dose every day at the same time. Dosage will depend on how well it works and how well the body responds to treatment procedures.
There are several side effects associated with the use of Ativan. None of them are considered to be serious, unless they worsen or persist. Patients may experience dizziness, headache, blurred vision, constipation, and change in appetite, drowsiness, loss of coordination, nausea, and change in sex drive or heartburn. Most of the patients who take this medication do not experience serious side effects. Very serious side effects can include mood changes, unusual weakness, signs of infection, trouble breathing, slurred speech, trouble walking or vision changes. Any of these should be reported to your physician immediately. There are a few very rare side effects that can be very serious. These are Yellowing eyes or skin and seizures. If you experience these two symptoms you should seek medical help immediately.
This medication can cause dizziness, drowsiness or blurred vision. Avoid any alcoholic beverages as they can make these worse. It is important not to drive or operate machinery or participate in any activity that requires you to be alert and have clear vision, until you are sure how Ativan will affect you.