How Long Does Ativan Stay In Your System?

Ativan can be detected on specialized urine drug screens for around one week after last use. Factors that affect drug detection times include age, weight, metabolism, and history of drug use.

Lorazepam is a strong benzodiazepine-class drug found in the brand-name medication Ativan. It is commonly prescribed as a short-term treatment for anxiety disorders, severe seizures, insomnia, anesthesia, and as a comfort medication for alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Ativan Detection Times

Most basic drug tests and drug screenings are not designed to detect Ativan use or the use of benzodiazepine drugs in general, though there are enhanced drug screens that can.

How long Ativan stays detectable in the body depends on the type of drug test performed, with estimated detection windows such as:

Urine Tests

Lorazepam use may be detected in a urine sample for six or seven six days after ingestion, and lorazepam’s metabolites may be detectable for an additional three days.

Blood Tests

Lorazepam can be detected in blood samples for up to three days after the drug is ingested.

Saliva Tests

Saliva samples may produce a positive result for lorazepam for only up to eight hours after last use.

Hair Samples

Hair tests may, under the right conditions, be used to detect a pattern of regular or heavy lorazepam use for as long as 90 days after a person’s last dose.

False Positive

It should be noted that the drug sertraline is suspected to generate false-positive results for lorazepam in drug tests, and other inaccurate results are always possible.

Half-Life Of Ativan

The elimination half-life of a drug in the body describes the amount of time it takes the body to process, or metabolize, one half of the current dose of the drug present.

Lorazepam has a half-life of between 10 and 20 hours for different individuals. This makes lorazepam a relatively short-acting benzo.

Factors That Influence Ativan Clearance Rate

It generally takes between five and six half-lives for a drug to be fully eliminated from the body (though its primary effects will end well before this point). As a result, lorazepam is effectively eliminated from a person’s system after six days or longer. 

However, this can be impacted by a variety of different factors, including:

Effects Of Ativan

As a benzodiazepine, lorazepam produces its effects by binding to the GABA-A receptor in the central nervous system. This in turn slows down the central nervous system as a whole, relieving both mental and physical tension and stress while the drug is active in the body.

In higher doses or in combination with other drugs, however, lorazepam can produce a relaxed euphoria. And the drug is also often misused at lower doses as well as its effects are notoriously habit-forming.

Ativan Length Of Effect

Lorazepam is fast-acting, with a single dose of Ativan taking effect in around 15-30 minutes.

These effects peak at around two hours before falling off and ending after 6-8 hours as the concentration of the drug in a person’s system drops off. This is why redosing often occurs two to three times daily depending on a patient’s specific needs.

Ativan Side Effects

Lorazepam and other benzos like Xanax are classified as Schedule IV controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that these drugs have a significant potential for abuse and dependence.

For this reason, Ativan is only legally available from licensed pharmacies with a valid prescription from a healthcare provider. And it is only recommended for use on a short-term or as-needed basis.

Other side effects of lorazepam use can include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • concentration problems
  • headache
  • nausea
  • blurry vision
  • changes in sex drive/ability
  • constipation
  • heartburn
  • changes to appetite

Ativan Addiction Treatment

Misuse of lorazepam often contributes to the development of physical dependence, addiction, and Ativan withdrawal symptoms.

Because of this, facilities like the Ohio Recovery Center offer treatment programs for benzodiazepine dependence, including medical detox services, inpatient treatment, dual diagnosis care for co-occurring mental health concerns, and behavioral therapy.

Call today to learn more about how our medical professionals address prescription drug addiction.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration
  2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  3. Forensic Science International
  4. Psychiatry

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 18, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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