How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System?

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According to Daily Med, which provides information to the public about marketed drugs from the National Institute of Medicine, an oral dose of Ativan (lorazepam) stays in the system of healthy adults for up to 24 hours. Most of the drug is excreted through the urine; delayed excretion is possible in older individuals or those with kidney or liver disease.

Several other things can affect how long Ativan stays in a person’s system including their body weight or how much of the drug is consumed. According to, large doses of the drug can stay in a person’s system for several weeks. Ativan can also be detected in hair for about 90 days. A person’s age, however, will not affect the rate of absorption for this drug.

Daily Med explains that Ativan is a drug used to treat anxiety. It is of a class of central nervous system depressants known as benzodiazepines, which have a number of serious and potentially life-threatening effects. The most severe of these is respiratory depression, the potential for which is greater when Ativan is taken with other sedating drugs. For this reason, Ativan must be used cautiously, if at all, by individuals who are taking barbiturates, sedatives, antidepressants, antipsychotics, narcotic analgesics, anticonvulsants or antihistamines. Additionally, people who are taking Ativan should not drink alcohol and should use caution when operating machinery or driving a car.

As with other benzodiazepines, the long-term use of Ativan may cause physical or psychological dependence, especially in individuals with a history of addiction to alcohol or other drugs, Daily Med advises. The potential for dependence is decreased when Ativan is taken in moderate doses for short periods, generally two to four weeks. Further, Ativan must be discontinued slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, headache, nausea, vomiting, irritability, sweating and a host of other unpleasant effects.