Ativan (Lorazepam) is a medicine which is used to treat anxiety, excitement, mania and status epilepticus. Ativan is also used as a pre-operative medication.

Why have I been prescribed Ativan?

  • Ativan (Lorazepam) is a medicine which is used to treat anxiety, excitement, mania and status epilepticus. Ativan is also used as a pre-operative medication.

How does it work?

  • Ativan belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. These work by increasing the amount of a certain chemical in the brain which calms the brain down and stops the nerves firing inappropriately.

When and how do I take it?

  • Ativan should be taken as directed by your doctor, depending on what you are taking it for.

What’s the dose?


Moderate and severe anxiety: 1-4mg daily in divided doses.

Insomnia: 1-2mg before retiring
Premedication before operative dentistry or general surgery: 2-3mg the night before operation. 2-4mg one to two hours before operation.

Elderly and debilitated patients:

Elderly and debilitated patients may respond to lower doses and half the normal adult dose or less may be sufficient. This initial dose should be adjusted as needed and tolerated.

Children (aged 5-13 years):

Premedication: 0.5 - 2.5mg at 0.05mg/kg to the nearest 0.5mg according to weight, not less than one hour before operation.

Could it interact with other tablets?

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Ativan:

The following types of medicine may interact with Ativan:

  • anaesthetics
  • anticonvulsants
  • antidepressants
  • antipsychotics
  • anxiolytics
  • barbiturates
  • benzodiazepines
  • cytochrome P450 enzyme inhibitors
  • hypnotics
  • medicines that affect seizure control
  • medicines which depress the CNS
  • narcotic analgesics
  • sedative antihistamines
  • sedatives

If you are taking Ativan and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

Herbal products should also only be taken after talking with your doctor.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Common side effects are:

Can I drink alcohol while taking it?

  • Do not drink alcohol with this medicine.

If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note
: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.