Ativan is a benzodiazepine, prescription narcotic that is primarily used to treat short- and long-term anxiety disorders and seizure disorders. The drug depresses the central nervous system, causing several neurological side effects such as drowsiness, apathy, and mood swings, but the use and abuse of this drug also has many physical side effects.
Many people are unaware of the significant impact medications can have on their metabolism, appetite and weight gain/loss.
Common Ativan Side Effects
More common side effects of Ativan use include:
- Dry mouth
- Appetite changes
Weight Gain & Weight Loss
Studies on Ativan use have documented that the drug can cause both weight gain and weight loss. The effects of Ativan, like any other medication, are dependent on a dozen factors like other medications being used, genetics, pre-existing health conditions, and more.
A decrease in appetite and weight loss are more common side effects of Ativan when the drug is taken short-term, whereas long-term Ativan use is more likely to result in weight gain.
Any central nervous system depressant works by slowing down brain activity and as a result the rest of the body’s organs function slower than usual while the drug is present. This can slow down the digestive system and affect one’s metabolism and perhaps lead to weight gain.
Ativan as a Benzodiazepine
Another possible reason the drug could lead to weight gain is due to the general side effects of using a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepine’s cause tiredness, drowsiness or apathy and this can impact how active a person is, ultimately affecting weight gain. The motivation to exercise may be depleted by the drug’s sedating and calming effects. Furthermore, Ativan is addictive, and this can also have a significant impact on appetite, eating habits and weight fluctuations.
When people become physically dependent and psychologically addicted to a substance, they lose control over their behavior.
Feeding the addiction becomes a necessity and things like nutrition, exercise, and other responsibilities fall to the wayside. This can result in overeating, under-eating, eating to fend off withdrawal symptoms, having no energy to workout, or having little to concern about eating. When addicts become so consumed with their addiction, they place all their time, focus and energy into maintaining a life that supports their addiction, or allows it to continue. This is one reason why several drug addicts experience a change in their diet, eating habits, weight and physical appearance.
If unwanted side effects do arise from Ativan use, patients should talk to their doctor or pharmacist immediately to avoid any serious damage.
If you’re concerned with your Ativan use and would like to learn more from a recovery professional, you can call our toll-free number, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 706-914-2327. Our recovery professionals are happy to assist you with all of your questions, concerns and needed information regarding Ativan.
For those of you seeking drug abuse, dependence or addiction treatment, we have connections to a wide-array of quality treatment services all across the globe and can help you find the options that are right for you and your unique needs. Only you can make the decision to better your health; if you’re ready, people are ready to help you the rest of the way. So call and ask for help today.