Ativan for Anxiety

Since my diagnose of MAV back in November, my doctor prescribed me Ativan to control the anxiety and panic I’ve been getting before and during my episodes. She prescribed 1mg tablets to be taken once or twice a day. I have never taken more than 1 tablet per day and only when needed - sometimes daily, sometimes every other day. I’ve noticed this past week that I have been having weird thoughts, not really suicidal but more of wondering about death, thinking of my parents who are both gone, etc. etc. Ativan is the only drug I am taking at the moment and thoughts such as this are a warning when taking them.

My question is, has anyone taken Ativan and stopped? Do you think 3 months of inconsistent usage at this low dose would cause withdrawl? I’m nervous about taking this drug anymore after reading so much about the serious addiction issue and of course these weird thoughts I’m getting.

HI Tamsha,
The thing that’s good about Ativan is it works quickly…but for a slower and longer lasting effect, Valiuml and Klonopin are better options, and I believe less apt to cause addiction/tolerance. Because these drugs depress the central nervous system, they could also cause a bit of depression in mood. If anxiety is your problem, maybe taking a low dose antidepressant would alleviate some anxiety and the need for benzos? Many people seem to do well on Celexa, and it is a common prescription for anxiety as well as depression … and helping MAVers.

Good luck!

Hi Tamsha
I used to take Ativan for sleep, and Kelley is right - it is longer acting and more appropriate for that. I can’t take it during the day other than a lick or two…it’s way too sedating for me. If taken continuously you would have to taper off the drug to avoid potential discontinuation effects. If I were taking it for anxiety, I’d ask instead for valium or perhaps celexa.

I got addicted to Ativan very easily, though I was already having thoughts about dying before I started taking it. When it’s working, Ativan is great, but I found that once it wore off I was needing it again almost immediately. I stopped taking it after a few weeks and my doctor helped back me off of it slowly. Haven’t touched it in 2 years, though the bottle is still in the cabinet.

Everyone is different, so I am not surprised if you or anyone else had a weird reaction to it. We all are very different people and no two people will get the same results from the drugs.

I love my ativan…having said that the first time I took it I thought I was dying but I mDe myself take it again and then after a week I was fine…this med has let me leave my house, get through quick shopping trips and manage going to school functions…my ent told me I shouldn’t be taking it and it should make it worse not better…so I’m going to find another doctor to fill my script I just don’t want to look like I’m trying to get pills…but they make things easier to cope with has anyone had their doctor say it’s bad for mav and vertigo? I had to go off them for a few days for some eng testing and I feel a little panicky probably in my head but I’m feeling like I’m walking on a trampoline again…