Ativan have "reverse" effect on anyone else?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/25/2009 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I am a chronic migrainer w/ depression/anxiety and muscle aches. Why is it so hard to get psyches to prescribe xanax or valium? My new psyche (didn't have insurance for 3 years) prescribed Ativan to me. I went back to her in one month and told her that it did not work for acute anxiety and on occasion had a "reverse" effect on me. In other words, the ativan seemed to actually "cause" insomnia instead of help me sleep.

Has anybody else experienced this?

Thank you and I wish you much peace.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/25/2009 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, kellyinCali,

I haven't used Ativan for sleep, but the two times I've tried to take it regularly for anxiety, I've gotten "rebound anxiety." According to my therapist's resources, it has a very short half-life (I think maybe it was 6-8 hours), and maybe in the beginning, that's just too short for some of us.

I do like it for being fast-acting in a pinch, but if I consider using an anxiolytic regularly, it'll be something other than Ativan for me.



Co-Moderator, Anxiety and Panic Forum


DX: Anxiety, Depression, LPR (acid reflux)

Meds: Paxil, Nexium, Zantac

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/25/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your response, Percycat. I just read up on it and learned about that "rebound" effect. In my case, I don't remember even being able to "fall asleep" but I have had a similar response to sleep aids, over the counter and prescription. My chemistry loves to "reject" medicine. I have the hardest time finding meds that don't make things "worse" instead of better.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/25/2009 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell and the A & P forum. I am Kitt. :)
I have used Ativan but it worked well for me.  If your looking for a sleep aid you may want to go with Trazodone or Seroquel which are both prescribed off label to  help with sleep.
An anxiolytic  that is not a benzo, Buspar may help with you anxiety.  I use this med and it works fairly well most of the time without much for side effects.
Take care and may you walk in peace,

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Co-Moderator Depression
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/26/2009 1:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you. I have an p-doc appt. on Tuesday. I only take the benzo as needed during the day (which is rare, thankfully) but tend to become anxious when I cannot sleep, especially if I have an early appt.

btw...I love your quote. :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 4/26/2009 1:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi: kelly Just the right place for me to be. The psysco. prescribed ??? Nortriptyline ??? for my insomnia. They don't want me to take the Atavan because it is addictive . I used to use it for anxiety attacks and sometimes for sleep.
The nortriptoline is supposed to also used for depression,migraine headaches, anxiety,,,,,, Well I didn't get sleep, got a headache, and an anxiety attack which I could not use because of possible side effect. Anyone tried it.   
I had used atavan (lorazapam) for years and it worked very well even one half at tablet would work for sleep.
                                                           NOW WHAT    june

Post Edited (june17) : 4/26/2009 12:55:25 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/26/2009 1:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi June.. I'm sorry you went through that. I just heard of Nortriptyline tonight in fact while talking with a friend. She has had great results with it...especially for sleep. It just goes to show that our "chemistry" is different.

May I ask you.....WHY do they not want you to take the Ativan?

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/26/2009 1:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, brain fart. You already answered my question...because it is addictive. My p-doc doesn't like to prescribe xanax or valium b/c she says their is a higher rate of dependency. Why insist on trying something "new" when a person is in a state of acute anxiety. In my case, I was moving, had bronchitis and my 17 yr. old kitty was put to sleep. That's a great time to insist that I try something NEW. I really do WISH that the ativan worked for me. It's fine for mild anxiety during the day but causes me to either not sleep or wake up in a couple of hours after taking it. I haven't taken it a lot because who wants to be up all night? I take one of my Moms valium and I'm fine.
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