How much Ativan to take
August 11, 2010 8:18 PM   Subscribe

I took .5 mg of Ativan. What will happen if I take another .5?

I'm a nervous flyer, and I'm flying tomorrow. Twice -- it's a one-day business trip, so I'm flying there at 7:00 am, and home at 5:45 pm. And I can't sleep.

I asked for the Ativan specifically to help me sleep the night before--I've done these one-day trips before, and it's horrible flying in only to be sleepy when I'm there.

I took .5 mg about 40 minutes ago, and I'm still pretty anxious. If I take another .5 . . . what will happen? Will it completely knock me out? Will I be okay to deal with business colleagues tomorrow? I have to leave in six hours. I'd like to be asleep for at least some of those hours.

Damn. Now I'm nervous about flying *and* about the prescription I got to deal with the nerves.
posted by Badmichelle to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
If .5 mg makes you sleepy, then twice that will make you really sleepy - that's what it does to me, at least. Ativan (lorazepam) leaves your system very quickly (wikipedia), so you are not likely to feel lasting effects tomorrow, as long as you're giving yourself overnight to sleep. I'd take the pill and not worry about it.
posted by ella wren at 8:26 PM on August 11, 2010

Look, nobody here can answer the question for you. We're not your doctors. And ain't none of us can say what it'll do to you.
posted by Netzapper at 8:27 PM on August 11, 2010 [6 favorites]

It is worth noting that Ativan comes in three tablet sizes -- .5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg. To me this indicates that .5 mg is the very smallest dose and it's not unreasonable to take 1 mg. I am not a doctor and I'm definitely not your doctor, that's just my common-sense answer.

I have an Ativan .5 mg prescription and once or twice I have taken two pills instead of one. It was fine.
posted by kate blank at 8:30 PM on August 11, 2010

Well, your profile says that you are in Toronto, and if that is true, I most definitely hope you are asleep by now, and don't take that extra .5. Since you are flying out at 7 am, that means you probably have to be at the airport at least an hour earlier, which means you are up at least an hour before that. If you took the ativan now, you would probably wake up pretty logy and be that way for awhile.

Personally? I'd save that second Ativan until about 4:30 tomorrow afternoon for the flight home.
posted by msali at 8:30 PM on August 11, 2010

Does your health insurance have a 24 hour nurses line you could call? My experience has been like ella wren's for what it's worth.
posted by jessamyn at 8:30 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm not a doctor, I'm not your doctor, I don't even play one on TV- if you didn't feel like it affected you and you are anxious enough to ask this question on metafilter, take another 1/2 milligram- it is short acting. You might feel a little hung over tomorrow, but nothing a cup of coffee won't fix.
posted by TheBones at 8:32 PM on August 11, 2010

Response by poster: .5 doesn't seem to have done anything, so I guess I'll see what another .5 does. Thx ella wren.

(also: I know no one can say what it will do to me. I was looking for others' experiences. I'm not sure experimenting with this is a good idea when I have to be up early tomorrow).
posted by Badmichelle at 8:34 PM on August 11, 2010

(also: I know no one can say what it will do to me. I was looking for others' experiences.

In my experience, if you take too much Ativan (YMMV) you will become pleasently high. It will feel like you are lounging in the Garden of Eden and nude angels will give you a back and shoulder massage.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:57 PM on August 11, 2010 [4 favorites]

Badmichelle - body weight is an important factor here. What worked for ella wren may not work so well for you.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:17 PM on August 11, 2010

Actually, the length of time you've been taking the drug and your tolerance are more relevant than body weight here. (I'm tiny and could probably handle a larger dose than my boyfriend, who's nearly twice my size, just because I take it semi-regularly and he never has.) My experience has been that at a low dose, taking another pill magnifies the sedative effect without any other ill effects. Just a data point, don't mean to imply it would be the same for everyone.
posted by ella wren at 9:30 PM on August 11, 2010

If you're really nervous about it, does your health insurance offer a 24 hour nurse hotline? They are usually able to answer these sorts of questions for you and put your mind at ease.
posted by pazazygeek at 9:34 PM on August 11, 2010

I've taken 2 x .5 tabs for a flight and it didn't do that much, just made me a little mellow. I wouldn't suggest taking any more, though unless you need it. Maybe take 2 at the beginning of the flight and wait an hour and see how you feel?
posted by 1000monkeys at 9:37 PM on August 11, 2010

In my opinion as a non doctor, your choices are to be sleepy from lack of sleep or maybe sleepy from taking an additional smallest dose of Ativan. I would take the Ativan. Once you get to the airport you can sleep more on the plane if there are lingering affects.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:54 PM on August 11, 2010

I've dealt with a lot of people who've tried to kill themselves with massive overdoses of sleeping pills. You know what the treatment is? Wait. The kind of sleeping pills and sedatives you can properly overdose on are by and large off the market these days.

Which is to say, 1mg of lorazepam won't do anything bad.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 10:18 PM on August 11, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, all. I managed to get some sleep AND get up in time. Now all I have to deal with is the actual flights . . . but at least I got some sleep :)
posted by Badmichelle at 1:53 AM on August 12, 2010

My former doctor gave me 1mg ativans for anxiety and panic attacks. Per the bottle, which I am looking at now, I can take 1-2 tablets up to three times a day (!).

I took two tables (2mg) one time exactly. I felt like I was made out of awesome awesome unmotivated lazy pudding and never took two again. YMMV.
posted by jerseygirl at 8:34 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

jerseygirl: "... I felt like I was made out of awesome awesome unmotivated lazy pudding and never took two again. YMMV."

I thought that is the desired result. Awesome, awesome unmotivated lazy pudding!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:25 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

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