What is Ativan?
When used as prescribed, Ativan is an anti-anxiety medication that is also used to treat panic disorders, some types of seizures, and insomnia. Ativan is similar to other benzodiazepines that are often misused, including Xanax, Valium, and Ambien. Pharmacologically, Ativan (and other benzodiazepines) work by enhancing the effect of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, resulting in sedation and hypnotic effects. Ativan is also sometimes used as a date-rape drug.
Ativan is classified as a benzodiazepine. Ativan is a Schedule IV drug, meaning that it has value as a prescription drug but that it has some potential for misuse. Thus, Ativan is a controlled substance that requires a prescription. Prolonged use may cause physical or psychological dependence.
The active ingredient in Ativan is the benzodiazepine lorazepam.