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What Factors Affect Ativan® Dosage?

By S. Berger
Updated May 17, 2024
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Lorazepan, also known by one of its brand names of Ativan®, is a drug of the benzodiazepine family, which is used to treat anxiety disorders as well as convulsions. Like the other medications in its class, calculating the proper Ativan® dosage often depends on the condition it is being taken to treat. Many other factors can influence the dose of this drug, such as the age and weight of the person using the drug, as well as the method by which the drug is administered.

Anxiety is one of the more common reasons for lorazepam to be given. Initial Ativan® dosage often consists of 2 milligrams (mg) to 3 mg, to be taken orally two times per day. When this medication is being taken for stress-related insomnia, however, a single dose of 2 mg to 4 mg taken half an hour before bed could be used.

This drug is not recommended for use for more than a few months at a time, due to the development of tolerance and the risk of physical dependence, or even addiction. Despite these risks, an individual's Ativan® dosage may have to be increased after a month or two of treatment to control anxiety symptoms adequately. In order to avoid dangerous effects from higher dosages, the amount of this medication that one takes should never be increased without obtaining the advice of a medical professional.

Provided in its injectable form, this drug can be used to treat seizures quickly and effectively. Aborting a seizure usually requires a 4 mg injection, given over the course of two minutes to avoid irritation to the injection site. Another Ativan® dosage of 4 mg may be given after ten minutes if the seizures do not subside. Due to the time that this drug takes to absorb into the blood through the muscles, it is generally administered into the veins for this purpose.

Another potential use for injected lorazepam is to relax the muscles and provide surgical amnesia before a procedure. For this use, the preferred ativan® dosage of 0.05 mg per 1 kilogram (kg) or 2.2 pounds (lb) of body weight can be used if an intramuscular (IM) injection is given, or 0.02 mg per 1 kg, or 2.2 lb, of body weight for an intravenous (IV) injection. An IM injection should be given two hours prior to the surgery, and an IV injection ideally takes place 15 to 20 minutes beforehand.

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