Published on 29 April 2022

Can You Take Ativan And Alcohol Together?

Lorazepam (ativan) ativan-and-alcohol
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Just because "Prescription Drugs" are prescribed by a doctor, many think they are safe. I'm afraid that's not right. Medicines are prescribed for beneficial effects and should be taken with all Safety measures. Your doctor will check how you know and will obey the rules that go with them. Your pharmacist will review the details again when you pick up the drugs. 

A study conducted in 2011 reported more than 27 million prescriptions were written for Ativan, which makes them the fifth most widely prescribed medicine. Day by day, its usage is increasing, which may cause addiction too. 

Taking Ativan with other drugs without letting the doctor know can be majorly unintentional. The person may struggle with substance use disorder, combining numerous drugs to become more intoxicated. To learn more about this, first, understand what Ativan is.

What Is Ativan?

Ativan belongs to the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Anxiety is treated using this drug. It has a very calming effect on the brain and nerves; This medication improves the impact of a natural substance in the body. You can find this medicine by a generic name that is Lorazepam.

Ativan is an antidepressant that is not available over the counter. You will require a prescription from a doctor to buy Ativan online from an online pharmacy or through your local drug store. But the sale and distribution of this medicine outside the U.S. don't follow the Safety regulations of the Food And Drug Administration. So, always take professional guidance before buying this medicine.

How Does Ativan Work?

Mainly Ativan is used to treat anxiety disorders effectively. It acts rapidly on the central nervous system by increasing the brain's gamma-aminobutyric acid(GABA) level. This GABA is responsible for maintaining sleep and a feeling of relaxation. Ativan can also regulate painful muscle spasms if taken as directed by the professional.

How Should You Take Ativan?

Please take this medication orally with or without food as your medical practitioner instructed. Your medical condition, age, and treatment response determine the dosage. To receive the best benefit from this drug, take it as your doctor advises. 


  • 5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg oral tablets
  • 2 mg per millilitre (mL) of liquid solution (2 mg/mL), 4 mg/mL. Liquid solution for injection:
  • 2 mg per millilitre (mL) of liquid solution (2 mg/mL). 

Dosage Of Ativan:

Ativan is available in two forms: pills and liquid and Intravenous (IV) injection of Ativan solution. Usually, Ativan is delivered Orally. The dose, frequency of administration, and length of therapy should all be tailored to the patient's response for the best outcomes. 

Insomnia caused by anxiety 

  • Single dose: 0.5 mg to 2 mg at bedtime. 
  • Maximum dose: 4 mg

For Anxiety 

  • Initial dose: 1mg to 10 mg 
  • Continuation dose: 2 mg to 3 mg/ two or three times daily
  • Maximum dose: 10 mg/ day

Every person's condition is different from others. That's why It is recommended to take the dosages of Ativan as directed by the doctors. So, you will experience more improvement. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Having a healthy heart is crucial to your body's functionality. However, when mixing Ativan and alcohol, your body can experience hypotension or bradycardia, putting organs at risk of decreased oxygen.
When Ativan is mixed with alcohol, your brain accepts signals to shut down specific body functions, including breathing. So, when taking Ativan with alcohol, your body's oxygen can fall, a primary risk factor for overdose death.
The doctor would not prefer you to consume Herbal medicines and Ativan simultaneously. Before getting the medication, talk to your doctor.

Who Should Not Take Ativan?

This medicine should not be consumed if you have the following conditions. It is advised to consult your doctor immediately if you face any of these symptoms:

  • Suicidal thoughts due to a low level of albumin proteins in the blood
  • Drug abuse and drunkenness with alcohol
  • liver issues asthma
  • serious liver illness
  • Apnea (sleep deprivation)

In case of Pregnancy:

Ativan and generic Lorazepam are classified as pregnancy category D drugs, meaning they pose a risk to pregnant women and their fetuses and should be avoided throughout pregnancy.  

Ativan And Alcohol:

One of the most dangerous drugs routinely perceived for depression or anxiety is Ativan. Even though it is a prescription medication, it can be abused. One of the Substances often abused with benzodiazepines such as Ativan is alcohol. Taking Ativan while consuming alcohol can harm your mental and physical health.  

Ativan is a Schedule IV controlled substance that can lead to addiction and misuse. While benzodiazepines like Ativan can be abused independently, they are frequently combined with other drugs like opioids and alcohol.  (Ghiasi, N., Bhansali, R.K. and Marwaha, R., 2021)


According to studies, 3% to 41% of alcoholics use benzodiazepines to enhance the effects of alcohol or reduce the impact of withdrawal. Ativan and alcohol have comparable effects on the brain and body; consuming both simultaneously can intensify those effects, sometimes fatally. 

Ativan and alcohol can lower your heart rate and respiration. The combined effects of the two can be stronger than if they were taken togetherly. The combination can result in severe sleepiness, breathing issues, coma, and death.

How Does It Affect The Brain?

When you consume alcohol, it passes through your digestive tract and into your blood, where it travels throughout your body, including to your brain, which affects several neurotransmitters, including inhibitory (GABA) and excitatory neurotransmitters.

 It binds to receptors and increases GABA activity while decreasing glutamate's action on receptors. In summary, it boosts inhibitory neurotransmitter activity while lowering excitatory neurotransmitter activity.

Increased dopamine activity in the brain is also linked to alcohol consumption. This surge in dopamine is followed by feelings of pleasure and reward, which can encourage people to drink more.

Possible Side Effects:

Consuming alcohol with Ativan or other medications can harm your health. Following are some common and severe side effects after taking Ativan with alcohol.

Common Side Effects

Severe Side Effects


Extreme sleepiness drowsiness 



weakness aggression slurred 


slurred speech,


memory issues

quick sensation of restlessness

The above list is incomplete. Please reach out so that you know your doctor if you want to see the side effects in detail. It is necessary to note that these side effects may vary from person to person according to their conditions.  

Withdrawal Symptoms

Discontinuing to take Ativan abruptly can be dangerous and cause severe side effects. Atavin has an average life of 10-12 hours. So, the withdrawal symptoms can occur within 24 hours which include.

  • Headache 
  • Difficulty in concentrating 
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Seizures 

If you experience the above symptoms, especially seizures, which rarely occur after discontinuing Ativan, contact the doctor soon.

Drug Interactions 

Apart from alcohol, Ativan may interact with other drugs. This can increase the risk of having side effects. So do not interact it with the following medicines.

  • Ambien 
  • Aspirin 
  • Benadryl 
  • Cymbalta 
  • Gabapentin
  • Ibuprofen 
  • Flexeril 

These are not the complete list of drugs whose interactions with Atvin occur. Suppose you want more details about it. Kindly contact your doctor. 

Also, read

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

If a person takes Ativan regularly, it may be possible to consume it with alcohol. If a medicine is to be taken as prescribed, it is essential to avoid alcohol for a few hours after taking the drug. 

Combining these two substances, even unintentionally, amplifies one's level of intoxication, so the risk of memory lapses, physical and mental distress, accidents, lightheadedness, and blackouts increase significantly. Mixing these two is, therefore, not recommended. Advice from the concerned medical practitioner is preferred for further queries. 

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