Call American Addiction Centers for help today.

(888) 287-0471
Close Main Menu
Main Menu
  • Find a Rehab Center
  • AAC Facilities
  • Find Treatment
  • Paying for Treatment
  • Substance Abuse
  • About AAC
    Back to Main Menu
    Main Menu

Ativan Overdose Symptoms and Treatment

Questions about treatment?
  • Access to licensed treatment centers
  • Information on treatment plans
  • Financial assistance options

The drug Ativan, also known as lorazepam, belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines and is used primarily as a short-term treatment for anxiety or insomnia. Ativan calms users by slowing activity in the brain and relaxing muscles. Ativan often works within hours.
“Ativan may be taken as needed for anxiety or taken several times daily.”
The correct dosage of Ativan depends on many factors such as age, gender, medical conditions, and other prescribed drugs, among others. Ativan may be taken as needed for anxiety or taken several times daily. It should be taken precisely according to the prescribing doctor’s instructions. It’s important not to take more of the drug than prescribed or more often than prescribed, not just because of the potential for addiction, but because a user can build up tolerance with prolonged use.


  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 16 million Americans admitted using a prescription drug for non-medical reasons in the past year.
  • Ativan is not recommended for patients with a previous history of drug abuse, since it can be addictive.
  • The risk of Ativan addiction is greater for users who take it for longer than four weeks.
  • Alcohol and some other drugs can intensify Ativan’s sedative effect when they are taken together.
  • Ativan may cause or worsen depression.
  • Women who are pregnant shouldn’t take Ativan, since it can pass into breast milk.
  • Excessive drowsiness and confusion are two of the signs of an overdose on Ativan.

According to Medscape, drugs like Ativan are frequently abused and present in overdose situations; however, although Ativan is addictive, there’s no need to be defeated. Call us at to discuss ways we can help end dependence on Ativan.

Ativan Overdose Symptoms

Users who overdose on Ativan can suffer serious consequences. According to WebMD, some Ativan overdose symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Reduced muscle strength
  • Uncoordinated muscle movements (clumsiness)
  • Trouble talking
  • Paradoxical reactions
  • Low blood pressure
  • Trouble breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

Do You Know What to Do in the Event of an Ativan Overdose?

emergency helpIf a user displays signs of an overdose on Ativan, family or friends should call 911 or the U.S. National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Ativan can cause death, especially when mixed with alcohol or other drugs.

Amnesia and paradoxical reactions are two of the signs of an overdose on Ativan. A paradoxical reaction is when a patient displays the opposite behavior of what might reasonably be expected, such as when sedated drug users react with extreme aggression. Those who overdose on Ativan may also lose their short-term memory. Ativan has sometimes been used by criminals to poison their victims in the hope that they will not remember the crime or be able to testify against them.

Ativan Overdose Treatment

Ativan overdose treatment varies based on circumstances, such as a patient’s medical condition and the presence of any drugs or alcohol ingested in addition to Ativan. Potential emergency room treatments may include dialysis, gastric lavage, or pumping the stomach out to remove the drug from the user’s system. Overdose patients may also be given IV fluids and receive cardiac and vital sign monitoring. Activated charcoal may be given to minimize absorption of the Ativan; a drug called flumazenil, also known as Romazicon, may also be given to the user to counteract an Ativan overdose.

Coma patients, or patients with respiratory depression, will be admitted to the hospital, but patients who remain asymptomatic after six hours of observation may be released if it is determined that the overdose was not a suicide attempt. Patients who have attempted suicide will receive an evaluation by a psychiatrist.
“We can help you return to a healthy, sober and drug-free lifestyle.”
Patients must be weaned off Ativan gradually, since stopping abruptly may result in withdrawal symptoms. Follow-up Ativan overdose treatment may take the form of long-term medical treatment and psychotherapy to slowly reduce, and ultimately eliminate, drug abuse. These treatments may take place in a doctor’s office or drug rehabilitation facility.

We can help you return to a healthy, sober and drug-free lifestyle. Contact us today at for a confidential consultation.

We're here to help you find the treatment you deserve.
Substance Abuse Assessment
How our treatment is different?
American Addiction Centers photo
Editoral Staff
The editorial staff of is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed thousands of pages for accuracy and relevance. Our reviewers consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA, NIDA, and other reputable sources to provide our readers the most accurate content on the web.
Reach out to us day or night

Our supportive admissions navigators are available 24/7 to assist you or your family.

Call 888-287-0471
There was an error fetching your data