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How Long Does Ativan Take To Work?

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The Quick Relief from Ativan

If you are someone who suffers from anxiety or panic attacks, you know just how debilitating they can be. The constant worry and fear can make it difficult to function in everyday life. Ativan, also known as lorazepam, is a medication that is commonly prescribed to help manage these symptoms. But how long does Ativan take to work?

Understanding Ativan

Ativan is a benzodiazepine medication that works by slowing down the activity in the brain. It helps to calm the mind and relieve the symptoms of anxiety and panic. It is typically prescribed for short-term use due to its potential for dependence and addiction. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and only take Ativan as prescribed.

The Onset of Action

When you take Ativan, it is absorbed into your bloodstream and travels to your brain. The onset of action, or the time it takes for the medication to start working, can vary from person to person. On average, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes for Ativan to take effect. However, it may take longer for some individuals.

Factors Affecting the Onset of Action

Several factors can influence how long it takes for Ativan to work. These include:

1. Dosage: The higher the dosage, the faster the onset of action.

2. Individual metabolism: Some individuals may metabolize the medication slower or faster than others.

3. Body weight: People with a higher body weight may require a higher dosage for the medication to take effect.

4. Other medications: Certain medications can interact with Ativan and affect its onset of action.

Duration of Action

Once Ativan starts working, it typically provides relief for about 6 to 8 hours. However, the duration of action can vary depending on the individual and the dosage taken. It is important to note that Ativan is a short-acting benzodiazepine, which means it is quickly eliminated from the body. This is why it is often prescribed for short-term use.

Tips for Optimal Results

To ensure that Ativan works effectively for you, consider the following tips:

1. Take it as prescribed: Follow your doctor’s instructions and take Ativan exactly as prescribed.

2. Avoid alcohol: Alcohol can increase the sedative effects of Ativan and may lead to drowsiness and dizziness.

3. Be patient: It may take a few doses for Ativan to reach its full effectiveness. Give it time to work.

4. Don’t abruptly stop: If you have been taking Ativan for a while, do not stop it suddenly. Talk to your doctor about tapering off the medication.

The Importance of Seeking Professional Help

While Ativan can provide quick relief for anxiety and panic symptoms, it is important to seek professional help to address the underlying issues. Therapy, counseling, and other forms of treatment can help you develop coping mechanisms and manage your anxiety in a healthy way. Medication should be used as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan.


In conclusion, Ativan can start working within 20 to 30 minutes after ingestion. However, the exact onset of action can vary depending on several factors. It is a short-acting benzodiazepine that provides relief for about 6 to 8 hours. To ensure optimal results, follow your doctor’s instructions and consider the tips mentioned. Remember that seeking professional help is crucial for addressing anxiety and panic symptoms in the long term.

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