Ativan (lorazepam): Weight Loss, Weight Gain and Other Side Effects

Ativan a benzodiazepine drug that is prescribed to treat anxiety and other mood or nerve disorders. Like most drugs, Ativan (lorazepam) does have various side effects that can be unpleasant or dangerous. Benzodiazepine drugs are commonly misused and abused. Therefore, patients should take great care to follow the prescribed dosage recommendations and to avoid taking Ativan in any way that could lead to addiction or dependence.

Ativan: Weight Loss, Weight Gain and Other Side Effects
Ativan is a sedative drug that is used to treat epileptic seizures, anxiety, insomnia and acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Ativan is the brand name of the generic drug lorazepam, which belongs to the class of benzodiazepine drugs. Benzodiazepine drugs have been used for medicinal purposes since the 1960s.

Ativan is designed to be a short-term treatment option and is generally prescribed for only a few weeks of use. Ativan does have some possible side effects, which may be either negligible or severe depending on the dosage and the individual.

Ativan can be taken orally in tablet form or it can be injected in either muscle tissue or intravenously. It works by affecting the brain’s gammaAminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA receptors slow down the movement of excited neurons, producing a calming effect on the patient’s nerves and muscles. This makes Ativan and other benzodiazepine drugs effective at treating seizures, anxiety and other conditions or symptoms. Ativan begins to lose its efficacy when the brain becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug -which happens after just a few weeks of regular use.
  • People who are prone to having seizures are often prescribed Ativan, usually alongside other medications. Ativan is usually prescribed along with other medications to treat patients with epilepsy.
  • Patients suffering from acute or general anxiety disorders can take Ativan for short-term relief.
  • People who are going through acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms can benefit from taking Ativan as it mitigates the risk of seizures or delirium tremens, which is characterized by tremors, hallucinations and anxiety symptoms.
  • Those suffering from insomnia have also found Ativan to be helpful, though there is a risk of rebound insomnia when patients stop taking the drug.

Patients who have a history of alcoholism or drug abuse may be prescribed an alternative medication due to the risk of dependence that comes with taking benzodiazepines.

Like most medications, Ativan does carry the risk of certain side effects. Some people may experience little to no side effects, while others may experience more severe ones. Side effects tend to become more severe when the drug is taken for a longer period of time, when it’s taken in doses that exceed the prescribed amount, or when it is taken with other drugs. Two of the most common side effects of Ativan are weight loss or weight gain.

Other side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Sore, aching muscles
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Amnesia
  • Difficulty concentrating
Benzodiazepines have been misused for almost as long as the drugs have been around. They are commonly abused in combination with alcohol and other drugs, which can lead to dangerous overdoses that may result in coma or even death. People who take Ativan over a prolonged period of time will likely form a tolerance to the drug, prompting them to take more and more to gain the desired effects. Higher doses can bring about more of the severe side effects, including drastic changes in breathing and the heart rate, chronic insomnia, paranoia and volatile mood swings. Withdrawal symptoms are common when people stop taking Ativan or other benzodiazepine drugs. Withdrawal symptoms are remarkably similar to the symptoms that Ativan treats, including seizures, insomnia and anxiety.

Share on Social Media: