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Ask Dr Sameer Kauchali Your Own Question
Dr Sameer Kauchali
Dr Sameer Kauchali, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience:  I have a diploma in Mental Health and app 5 years of clinical experience in General Psychiatry
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Today l was given a prescription for the anti anxiety

Resolved Question:

today l was given a prescription for the anti anxiety medication known as ativan ( lorazepam ). I'm clearly a little concerned about taking this medication as l have heard some disturbing storys about it's side effects ect. My phycisian assured me that every will be fine as she has only precribed it for the short term and she believes it to very beneficial in the treatment of GAD. l have already taken my first dose 1mg and are curious as to how long it takes before it actually starts working? Any honest answers would be appreciated. Thanks
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr Sameer Kauchali replied 8 years ago.
Hi there.

As always it is important to make a correct diagnosis. I am assuming that the diagnosis of GAD was made by your Dr. Pharmacological treatment of GAD involves using an SSRI (eg Prozac) as well as a benzodiapine initially when the SSRI is started. The lorazepam is prescribed to help with worsening of anxiety in the initial period of treatment with the SSRI. The lorazepam that has been prescribed is quite safe at that dose (maximum allowed doses per 24 hours is 12mg) and can be safely taken for up to 2 weeks without the danger of becoming addicted to it. Its onset of action is quite rapid and would suggest that you do not use it before driving or doing any potentially dangerous activity that requires attention and full focus. Of course once some of your symptoms become less severe, you can also choose to see a psychotherapist whose help can really be tremendous in understanding and dealing with your condition. Besides all the above explanations, it is also important to rule out other organic conditions eg thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism) and this easily by done by asking your physician for a blood test. Do ask your physician if all the necessary basic tests have been done on you.

Hope that helps.
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