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aviona's avatar

Does Ativan take a really long time to work for anyone else?

Asked by aviona (3240points) May 6th, 2009

I’ve been on both Xanax and Klonopin in the past, but now I use Ativan as my anti-anxiety med. I’ve noticied that it takes a very long time (sometimes up to two hours) to take full effect. Has anyone else experienced this?

I had some Klonopin left over and was having pretty major meltdown so I took one. Boom, I was calmed down within 15 minutes. But, at the same time it also can kind of knock you on your ass and act as a sedative or sleeping pill.

Ativan just really isn’t cutting it, though. When I need it, I need it pronto. I can’t generally predict two hours in advance that I’m going to have a meltdown.

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20 Answers

casheroo's avatar

Ativan still affects me, but definitely isn’t as strong as Xanax. When I had severe panic disorder/agoraphobia, I took Xanax. Ativan is still a great drug though.

steve6's avatar

Ativan is a hypnotic and will produce amnesia. The sedative effect is not as noticeable as with other benzodiazapenes but there is a fine line between the dose that produces sedation and the dose that produces full-on blackout amnesia. It is used among other things to make you forget about your surgery. I take it as a sleeping pill but it is dangerous because if I take just a little too much I go to amnesiaville and will sleepwalk and even sleepdrive. Does this help? Oh, by the way, is your the rook you spoke of a bird? I thought in my carnal mind it might be your joy button.

Supacase's avatar

I took Ativan during extended recovery from a surgery and it made me throw up every time. Not calming when it is your stomach that is trying to heal. I went back to Klonopin and have had much better results. I know doctors are reluctant to keep people on Klonopin because it can be addictive, but I would suggest discussing it with your doctor. It works for me just as it does for you – meltdown >> Klonopin >> peace. It is a miracle drug, IMO.

aviona's avatar

Thanks for the input @everyone. I guess I just keep coming back to the old adage of everyone’s body chemistry being completely different!

@steve6 the rook is the part of the ear. I linked a picture in that thread.

steve6's avatar

Clothespins (Klonopin) make me depressed and unable to function. Valium is much better as a sedative.

steve6's avatar

I saw the link but unless I have to I try not to use them. I am virus paranoid. Thanks for the explanation. I was trying to figure out if you were poking a mynah bird to get him to shut up or what.

aviona's avatar

You’re funny @steve6 for the clothespins comment and the not clicking links thing! haha.

Oh I ♥ Valium.

steve6's avatar

Street lingo. I actually coined that one and it has caught on here in my town.

casheroo's avatar

@steve6 Valium would not help her. That is a muscle relaxant.
valium is my kryptonite :( my body becomes physically addicted immediately. great for endometriosis though haha

steve6's avatar

They are all benzodiazapenes that have been engineered to various indications. They all work the same way though.

aviona's avatar

You guys are using big words and it’s confusing my brain.

wundayatta's avatar

When I first took klonopin, it totally knocked me out. I cut down to half a pill, and when that was still too much, a quarter pill. That was just about right. Took my anxiety, but didn’t knock me out. I don’t know if this will work for anyone else—I tend to be pretty sensitive to drugs. I have friends who can down a pill and barely even notice it.

aviona's avatar

I’m pretty sensitive to some drugs, but one Klonopin seems to do the trick.

chicadelplaya's avatar

My mother was recently prescribed ativan for anxiety and it only took her like an hour before she felt a dramatic difference. Thank goodness…

augustlan's avatar

Xanax FTW. I take 1/2 a .5MG tablet when I just need to settle down, and a whole one if I’m in serious distress. 15 minutes later, I’m good. Why did you switch?

aviona's avatar

I was originally prescribed Klonopin—don’t know why. Then switched to Xanax because Klonpin was knocking me on my ass as previously stated (even when split in half).

When my new psychiatrist went to refill my Xanax prescription in the computer he was all, “Ativan, right…oh wait…Xanax? Well, why don’t you try Ativan, it’s less addicting. It’s a good drug…blahblahblah…” So, that’s how I got on Ativan haha.

augustlan's avatar

I’d definitely ask to be switched back to Xanax. How often do you take it? If it’s only as needed, I’d think it’d be pretty hard to get addicted to it. IMO, Klonopin is a little hard-core for a panic attack… everyone I know that’s ever taken it had the same problem as you. It’s a knock-out pill. For when you can’t cope at all.

aviona's avatar

I’ll check out @augustlan. Thanks. Like I said I took some leftover Klonopin today and felt fine—good actually. And I renewed my prescription this evening. Maybe cutting them in half will be alright. If not, Xanax it is!

What’s the difference between them all—anyone know?

casheroo's avatar

@aviona I’ve been doing some googling and came across this chart f you don’t know what those drugs are just google, obviously you’re looking for Lorazepam vs. Alprazolam. Klonopin is Clonazepam.

aviona's avatar

Thanks @casheroo. Interesting. Is that “Time to peak plasma level” in hours do you think?

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