Ativan for the Treatment of Insomnia in Adults

Ativan for the Treatment of Insomnia in Adults
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Ativan is a benzodiazepine medication originally created to help patients suffering from chronic anxiety. Ativan calms the body and temporarily slows down brain activity, allowing relaxation. Since the medication does have a sedative-like quality, more and more doctors are willing to prescribe Ativan for the treatment of insomnia.

If you are currently struggling your way through sleepless nights and are not on medication, or if you are taking a medication that is no longer helping you, talk to your doctor about Ativan.

Taking Ativan

When doctors write prescriptions for Ativan for the treatment of insomnia, a typical dosage is anywhere from 2mg to 4mg. Ativan pills are produced in doses of 0.5 mg, 1mg and 2mg. If you need to take 1.5 mg, you will have to break a 1 mg pill in half. The maximum dosage of Ativan allowed is 10mg per day. If you are taking 10mg of Ativan, you likely are suffering from health issues other than insomnia and may have to take several 2 mg doses throughout the course of the day. If you are being prescribed Ativan for insomnia only, you will likely need only one dose daily. It is best to take your medication once you are in the house for the night and can relax. Take your pill an hour before bedtime to give it time to work in your body.

If you do suffer from extreme anxiety and need larger doses of Ativian, it is highly unlikely that your doctor will instruct you to start taking 10mg initially. It is more common that you will begin taking 1 mg to 2 mg per day and your doctor will tell you when you can begin increasing your dosage.

It is also important to remember not to stop using your Ativan cold turkey. If you feel that the medication is no longer benefiting you, talk to your physician, who may want you to gradually reduce your dosages until you work your way down to zero.

Side Effects

Virtually every medication has potential side effects, and Ativan is no exception. One important thing to remember is that Ativan has similar traits to medications such as Valium, Xanax and Serax. It is vital to tell the the prescribing physician if you are already taking one of these types of medications. It is necessary to alert your physician if you are allergic to any of these medications, as well.

Common side effects of Ativan include: sleepiness, dry mouth, constipation/diarrhea and nausea. Some of these side effects can be easily dealt with. Make sure to take your medication in the evening hours, so that the drowsiness does not interfere with tasks such as driving or working. If constipation continues to be a problem, ask your physician if it is okay to take a regimen of gentle stool softeners. Nausea with any medication can usually be curbed by eating a few crackers right before taking your pills. If any of these side effects are greatly effecting your overall quality of life, it is important to talk to your physician.

In rare cases, more serious side effects can occur from Ativan, such as fever, rashes or trouble breathing. A physician should be contacted as soon as possible, if you are plagued by any of these issues.


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