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Ativan For Nausea and Vomiting

How Ativan Can Help You During Chemotherapy Treatment


Updated February 25, 2008

Ativan is a medication is commonly used to prevent seizures, reduce anxiety, and induce muscle relaxation. It can also be prescribed to aid in alcohol withdrawal, insomnia, and other conditions. In people undergoing treatment for cancer, Ativan is prescribed to prevent and treat the nausea and vomiting that often follow chemotherapy.

How Can Ativan Help Me During Chemotherapy

The most common side effects of chemotherapy are nausea and vomiting. The treatment itself or anxiety about treatment can cause mild to severe bouts of nausea and vomiting. Ativan can help relieve these side effects.

What are the Side Effects of Lorazepam?

You may experience fatigue, dizziness and weakness while taking Ativan. Keep an eye out for feelings of depression, sleep problems, and feelings of sedation. Let your doctor know about the side effects you are experiencing. If bothersome, other anti-nausea medications can be prescribed. Sometimes it takes trying out a few different medications before finding the best one for you.

Consult your doctor before stopping or changing the dosage. See complete list of Ativan side effects.

How is Ativan Given?

Ativan is available by prescription only. It is commonly given in a tablet form that can be swallowed or dissolved under the tongue. It can also be given intravenously (IV) or by injection, which is especially helpful if you have trouble keeping pills down because of vomiting.

For cancer patients, Ativan is normally prescribed "as needed," meaning you won't have to take the medicine on a regular schedule. For chronic nausea and vomiting, other medications may be prescribed, or taken in conjunction with Ativan.

What if Ativan Doesn't Work for Me?

If Ativan doesn't help with your nausea and vomiting, your doctor may change the dosage or prescribe another anti-nausea medications. Sometimes it takes trying a few different kinds of medicine to find the one that works best for you.

Important Information About Ativan

  • Avoid alcohol when taking Ativan because it can increase the effects of alcohol.
  • Ativan can become addictive. Follow your doctor's exact instructions when taking and stopping this medicine.
  • Your doctor must be made aware of any other medications you are taking. This includes prescription, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter medications. Ativan combined with other drugs may cause an adverse affect.
  • Use caution when driving and operating heavy machinery. Your doctor will let you know if you should not drive or operate heavy machinery based on your tolerance and dosage.


"Ativan." FDA. Accessed 17 Feb 2008.

"ACS Drug Guide: Lorazepam." American Cancer Society. Accessed 16 Feb 2008.

"Treatment of Acute/Delayed Emesis." 08 March 2007. National Cancer Institute. Accessed 17 Feb 2009.

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