However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects (eg, severe drowsiness or unsteadiness) and age-related kidney or liver problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose.
Common side effects of Ativan include: Drowsiness . Dizziness . Tiredness . Muscle weakness . Headache . Blurred vision. Sleep problems (insomnia) Loss of balance or coordination.
Probably the most serious: falls and fractures, already a common danger for older people , because benzos can cause dizziness. They’re also associated with auto accidents, given that they cause drowsiness and fatigue. Moreover, “they have a negative effect on memory and other cognitive function,” says Dr.
In older adults who take benzodiazepines regularly, there is also a risk of worsening dementia symptoms when the drug is reduced or tapered entirely off. This is because people can experience increased anxiety plus discomfort due to physical withdrawal, and this often worsens their thinking and behavior.
Buspirone is an anti-anxiety drug that has been shown to be effective for older adults. Benzodiazepines , another anti-anxiety drug, are effective but should be prescribed carefully to older adults because of risk of memory impairment, unsteadiness, and falls.
Also, the elderly may not experience relief of anxiety with lorazepam . It may have the opposite effect on the elderly , causing symptoms including mental/mood changes, sleeping problems, increase in sexual interest, or hallucinations .
The usual range is 2 to 6 mg /day given in divided doses, the largest dose being taken before bedtime, but the daily dosage may vary from 1 to 10 mg /day. For anxiety, most patients require an initial dose of 2 to 3 mg /day given b.i.d. or t.i.d.
You might also hear it called a sedative-hypnotic or anxiolytic medication. Ativan belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. Ativan is used to treat anxiety symptoms, insomnia (trouble sleeping), and status epilepticus (a type of severe seizure). It’s also given before surgery to make you sleep.
Ativan is available as 0.5 mg , 1 mg , and 2 mg tablets, as is Ativan’s generic, lorazepam . For anxiety disorder, the typical dosage for lorazepam is 0.5 mg to 2 mg two to three times per day.
Short-half-life benzodiazepines, such as oxazepam , alprazolam , and triazolam , are usually recommended for older adults, because these agents do not accumulate in the blood, are rapidly cleared from circulation, and offer greater dosage flexibility.
In the elderly, nonbenzodiazepines such as zolpidem , eszopiclone , zaleplon , and ramelteon are safer and better tolerated than tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines, and benzodiazepines . Pharmacotherapy should be recommended only after sleep hygiene is addressed, however.
In two separate large population studies, both benzodiazepines (a category that includes medications for anxiety and sleeping pills) and anticholinergics (a group that encompasses medications for allergies and colds, depression, high blood pressure, and incontinence) were associated with an increased risk of dementia
New research links certain medications to dementia risk amitriptyline , paroxetine, and bupropion (most commonly taken for depression) oxybutynin and tolterodine (taken for an overactive bladder) diphenhydramine (a common antihistamine, as found in Benadryl ).
Sundowning is a distressing symptom that affects people in mid- to late-stage Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Also known by the term ‘late-day confusion ‘, it refers to the agitation and confusion often experienced by those with dementia towards the end of the day – hence the term ‘sundowning’. for your family.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Taking one of a class of anti-anxiety pills that includes Ativan , Valium or Xanax does not increase older adults’ risk of dementia , a new study finds.