Article at a Glance:

  • Ativan (lorazepam) is not known to cause weight gain or weight loss.
  • However, related drugs like Xanax (alprazolam) are linked to weight changes.
  • Benzodiazepines like Ativan are often used alongside antidepressants and antipsychotics that can cause weight gain.
  • Withdrawal from benzos can cause weight loss.

How Lorazepam Affects Weight

Ativan does not usually impact weight, and weight changes are not a known side effect of the medication. However, other drugs that are prescribed alongside lorazepam can contribute to weight changes.

Ativan (Lorazepam) Weight Gain

Weight gain is not a known side effect of lorazepam. However, when used for mental health conditions, lorazepam may sometimes be used alongside other drug classes like antidepressants or antipsychotics, which have both been linked to weight gain. Someone may assume that lorazepam is causing their weight gain, but a different drug may be the culprit.

Ativan (Lorazepam) Weight Loss

Ativan is not generally linked to weight loss and it is not a known side effect of the drug. However, weight loss can occur during withdrawal from benzodiazepines if you quit cold turkey.

Although lorazepam itself is not known to lead to weight changes, cases have been reported where it has been used alongside other drugs that were responsible for weight gain. This includes antipsychotics like olanzapine, which are commonly linked to weight gain.


  • Does Ativan lose its effectiveness?

    Benzos like Ativan do not typically lose their effectiveness over time. However, a person may stop experiencing side effects, like sedation, over time.

  • Do all benzos make you gain weight?

    Most benzos do not cause weight gain. However, they may be used alongside other medications like antidepressants that are linked to weight gain.

  • Does alprazolam cause weight gain?

    Alprazolam (Xanax) has been linked to weight gain in around 27% of people and weight loss in around 23%.

Ativan (lorazepam) Side Effects

Ativan’s most common side effects include:

  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Unsteadiness

Different Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Generally, recommended treatments for anxiety include antidepressants and antipsychotics, which are both linked to weight gain. These treatments include:

  • Venlafaxine
  • Duloxetine
  • Paroxetine
  • Escitalopram
  • Sertraline
  • Fluoxetine
  • Mirtazapine
  • Quetiapine
  • Olanzapine

If you or a loved one are misusing anti-anxiety medication or can’t stop despite negative consequences, it may be a sign of a substance use disorder. The Recovery Village can help. Our licensed clinicians and therapists can develop a treatment plan that addresses the substance use and any co-occurring anxiety you experience. Contact us today to discuss treatment options that can start you on the road to recovery.

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