Ativan is not linked to weight changes, but related drugs, such as Xanax, are often associated with a change in weight.

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.

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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Editor – Erica Weiman
Erica Weiman graduated from Pace University in 2014 with a master's in Publishing and has been writing and editing ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more
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Dayabandara, Madhubhashinee; Hanwella, Raveen; Ratnatunga, Suhashini; et al. “Antipsychotic-associated weight gain: ma[…] treatment adherence.” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, August 22, 2017. Accessed November 1, 2021.

Puttegowda, Beeresha; Theodore, Joseph; Basappa, Ramesh; Nanjappa, Manjunath Cholenally. “Olanzapine Induced Dilated Cardiomyopathy,” The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, March 2016. Accessed November 1, 2021.

Willems, Inge A.T.; Gorgels, Wim J.M.J.; Voshaar, Richard C. Oude; et al. “Tolerance to benzodiazepines among long-[…]sers in primary care.” Oxford Academic Family Practice, August 2013. Accessed November 1, 2021. “Xanax.” September 1, 2021. Accessed November 1, 2021.

Anxiety & Depression Association of America. “Clinical Practice Review for GAD.” July 2, 2015. Accessed November 1, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.