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How Long Does Ativan Last?

What Is Ativan?

Ativan is used to relieve anxiety. Ativan is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by slowing activity in the brain to allow for relaxation. Ativan is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy, insomnia, and nausea and vomiting from cancer treatment and to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal. Ativan side effects may cause several health risks, let’s discuss how to recognize serious complications from this medication and How long does Ativan last?

How Long Does It Take To Feel Effects?

When starting Ativan, anxiety or insomnia may improve rapidly or over a period of days or within hours of the first dose of medication. Ativan tablets and liquid start to work in around 20 to 30 minutes.

How Long Does Ativan Last?

The full sedating effect of Ativan medication lasts for around 6 to 8 hours. The most common Ativan side effects include feeling sleepy (drowsy) during the daytime. It’s not recommended to use Ativan for longer than 4 weeks.

How Long Does Ativan Last?
How long does Ativan last? An injection of Ativan begins to have effects in 15 to 30 minutes, and it lasts for 12 to 24 hours.

Factors That Affect Detection Time

There are a number of things that can influence How long does Ativan last. While rates usually follow a fairly consistent timeline, some people metabolize and clear the drug more quickly than others.

Biological Factors

Some of the factors that can influence How long does Ativan last in your body include the following:

  • Age: Older people tend to clear the drug more slowly than younger people. This is likely because older individuals have slower metabolisms, decreased organ function, lower blood flow, and other health issues that can affect how quickly the drug is processed and excreted.
  • Kidney function: Research has found that liver impairment does not have much of an impact on Ativan clearance rates; however, kidney problems are associated with prolonged drug half-life.
  • Height and weight: Taller, heavier people typically clear the drug more quickly than shorter, lighter individuals.

Dosage and Frequency of Use

How long does Ativan last? Higher doses of Ativan take longer to metabolize. The drug is also detectable for longer periods in individuals who have been taking the drug for a longer period of time.

Use of Other Substances

The concurrent use of other substances can have an impact on how quickly each is processed and excreted from the body. For example, consuming alcohol while using Ativan reduces clearance rates by 18%. Researchers believe that short-term alcohol consumption impairs the coupling of the drug or its metabolites with other molecules, which slows the metabolism process. [1]

How To Get Ativan Out Of Your System?

Physiological dependence on benzodiazepines such as Ativan is accompanied by a benzo withdrawal syndrome which is typically characterized by:

  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Irritability
  • Increased tension and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Hand tremor
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Palpitations
  • Headache
  • Muscular pain and stiffness

Instances are also reported within the high-dosage category of more serious developments such as seizures and psychotic reactions.

Withdrawal from a normal dosage of Ativan or any other benzodiazepine treatment can result in a number of symptomatic patterns. The most common is a short-lived “rebound” anxiety and insomnia, coming on within 1-4 days of discontinuation, depending on the half-life of the particular drug. The second pattern is the full-blown withdrawal syndrome, usually lasting 10-14 days; finally, a third pattern may represent the return of anxiety symptoms which then persist until some form of treatment is instituted. [2]

Physiological dependence on benzodiazepines can occur following prolonged treatment with therapeutic doses, but it is not clear what proportion of patients are likely to experience a withdrawal syndrome. It is also unknown to what extent the risk of physiological dependence is dependent upon a minimum duration of exposure or dosage of these drugs. Withdrawal phenomena appear to be more severe following withdrawal from high doses of short-acting benzodiazepines. Dependence on alcohol or other sedatives may increase the risk of benzodiazepine dependence.

How Long Does Ativan Last?
How long does Ativan last? Ativan tablets can reach full sedating effect after 1 to 1.5 hours and lasts for around 6 to 8 hours.

Overcoming an Ativan addiction permanently involves detox and its associated withdrawal. As a benzodiazepine, Ativan is a highly addictive drug that can easily trap a person who takes it for longer than the normally prescribed four to six weeks. And once addiction sets in, withdrawal is a normal part of trying to stop.

If you are currently misusing or abusing Ativan, it is important for you to understand withdrawal and detox before you begin treatment. Note that there is no way to fully stop using Ativan until you go through the detox and withdrawal processes. Also, note that undergoing professional rehab at a private clinic offers you the safest and most comfortable detox and withdrawal possible.

Ativan Overdose

If an overdose occurs call your doctor or 911. You may need urgent medical care.

Symptoms of Ativan drug overdose include confusion, impaired coordination, slow reflexes, coma, and death. A specific treatment to reverse the Ativan side effects does exist. This medicine, called flumazenil, can reverse the effects of Ativan but must be given through an IV at a hospital. Only a doctor can decide if you need this medication.

Symptoms Of Overdose

Potential signs of an Ativan overdose include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Extreme vertigo
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Lethargy
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Anxiety or panic
  • Mental confusion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Slurred speech
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Dangerously low blood pressure
  • Repetitive, uncontrolled movement of the eyes
  • Profoundly slowed breathing
  • Dramatically slowed heart rate
  • Coma

How Long Does Ativan Last In Your System?

How long does Ativan last? The half-life of Ativan, the amount of time it takes an individual’s system to metabolize the drug to half its original concentration in the bloodstream, is often stated to be about 12 hours; however, a better estimate is between 10 and 20 hours for most individuals. In most cases, it takes about five to six half-lives for the medicinal dose of a drug to be eliminated from an individual’s system. Abusers with significant tolerance may take amounts that are extremely high, and it might take longer for the drug to be eliminated. [3]


How long does Ativan last in our blood? Ativan can first be detected by blood tests six hours after ingestion. Blood tests can also detect the substance for three days after the last use. However, this detection window may be longer in cases where people have been taking Ativan at higher doses for three days or longer. 


Ativan is eliminated in the urine for one to six weeks, depending on how much is administered and for how long. Urine screening tests can detect Ativan in samples up to six days after the last use.


As with other drugs, Ativan can be detected in hair samples for much longer than with other methods. It can be detected with a hair test for up to 30 days after use. 


How long does Ativan last? Saliva tests have found that Ativan could be detected in samples for up to eight hours after us. However, saliva tests are rarely used to screen for benzodiazepines such as Ativan.

Dosage & Frequency Of Use

Ativan comes as a tablet and concentrates (liquid) to take by mouth. It usually is taken two or three times a day and may be taken with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Ativan exactly as directed.

Ativan concentrate (liquid) comes with a specially marked dropper for measuring the dose. Ask your pharmacist to show you how to use the dropper. Dilute the concentrate in 1 ounce (30 milliliters) or more of water, juice, or carbonated beverages just before taking it. It also may be mixed with applesauce or pudding just before taking the dose. [4]

How Long Does Ativan Last? Infographic

The infographic below provides insights into Ativan, a medication employed for anxiety relief and classified under benzodiazepines. Ativan functions by slowing brain activity to induce relaxation. Additionally, it is prescribed for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy, insomnia, nausea, and vomiting from cancer treatment, as well as to manage agitation during alcohol withdrawal. It is crucial to be aware of potential Ativan side effects, as they may pose health risks. Let’s delve into recognizing serious complications associated with this medication and explore the duration of Ativan’s effects.

Embed the above “How Long Does Ativan Last In Your System 1” Infographic to your Website. This infographic is provided by the We Level Up Addiction Treatment Center team. To use the above infographics, you agree to link back and attribute its source and owner at

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Embed the above “How Long Does Ativan Last In Your System 2” Infographic to your Website. This infographic is provided by the We Level Up Addiction Treatment Center team. To use the above infographics, you agree to link back and attribute its source and owner at

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Embed the above “Factors That Affect Ativan Detection Time” Infographic to your Website. This infographic is provided by the We Level Up Addiction Treatment Center team. To use the above infographics, you agree to link back and attribute its source and owner at

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Ativan Abuse Treatment & Inpatient Drug Rehab Texas

The FDA has found that benzodiazepine drugs, such as Ativan, when used in combination with opioid medications or other sedating medications can result in serious adverse reactions including slowed or difficult breathing and death. Patients taking opioids with benzodiazepines, other sedating medications, or alcohol, and caregivers of these patients, should seek immediate medical attention if that start to experience unusual dizziness or lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slow or difficulty breathing, or unresponsiveness.

As a benzodiazepine, Ativan comes with the risk of abuse, misuse, and prescription drug addiction. The physical dependence on Ativan can occur with prolonged use of the medication. How long does Ativan last and its withdrawal? A withdrawal reaction may occur when stopping Ativan, but this risk can be reduced by slowly reducing the dose of Ativan when stopping.

How Long Does Ativan Last?
How long does Ativan last? Ativan may last slightly longer than Xanax.

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As the addiction treatment community begins to realize that addiction is itself a mental disorder, the relationship between substance abuse and mental disorders becomes more complicated. The greater treatment community largely lacks a proper understanding of dually diagnosed conditions, so these conditions are still treated separately, or worse–not treated or diagnosed at all. The dual diagnosis treatment centers in We Level Up Florida, California, Texas, and New Jersey are some of the facilities that have professionals trained to help treat co-occurring disorders concurrently. This type of tandem treatment provides some of the best success rates. 

Get dual diagnosis treatment for individuals struggling with Ativan side effects or drug abuse. How long does Ativan last? and how to get into a safe drug detox? Call We Level Up TX today to learn how!


[1] How Long Does Ativan (Lorazepam) Stay in Your System? –
[2] The benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome – National Center for Biotechnology Information
[3] How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System? –
[4] Lorazepam – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health