Ativan is usually prescribed for anxiety and mood disorders, sleeping trouble, and seizures. Catatonia is a category of mood disorders known to pose severe risks of morbidity and mortality and needs early intervention. This is a state of neurogenic motor immobility and behavioral abnormalities manifested by stupor. Characterized by mental disorder this condition is often coupled with psychiatric issues like schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, depression and narcolepsy.
Catatonia is caused by irregular production of neurotransmitters further accentuated by irregularities in the GABA receptors and glutamate receptor systems in the brain. It is further accompanied by an underlying neurological, physiatrist or physical illness.
A scientific study was performed over a period of nine years, closely monitoring twelve catatonic patients suffering from mood disorders, in the emergency department, inpatient and outpatient units of a general hospital. The patients received intra-muscular injection (IMI) of two milligrams of Ativan either once or twice during a two hour span. If the intramuscular injections failed, intravenous dripping (IVD) of ten milligrams of diazepam in five hundred and fifty milliliters of normal saline solution for eight hours every day was prescribed to the patients.
What conclusions were drawn from the study?
It was found that nearly eight patients had full remission of catatonia after receiving one dose of two milligrams of Ativan through intramuscular injection (IMI), two of those patients need more doses of two milligram Ativan through intramuscular injections. The response rate was determined to be 83.3%. All the catatonic features of the patients were remitted within a period of twenty four hours with a 100% response rate.
It is hence experimentally proven that Ativan is safe and effective to relieve catatonia in mood disorder within a day. This further backed with psychiatrist consultation may go a long way in full diagnosis and rapid treatment of the Catatonic condition.
When is Ativan effective against Catatonia, taking into account the underlying condition and dosage?
Benzodiazepines are the first choice treatment for catatonia, regardless of the underlying condition. Their use is safe, easy and effective with remission rates of the order 75-85% sometimes even up to 100%. A sometimes lower remission rates were observed below 25%, this may be due to the delay between actual diagnosis and treatment period. There are also a few exceptions to this condition, especially amongst schizophrenic patients suffering from Catatonia for whom Ativan may not prove effective.
The effectiveness of Ativan was especially seen at significantly higher dosages especially between eight and twenty four milligrams a day. The dosages are sometimes higher for pediatric patients up to fifteen milligrams, but the side effects observed were low or minimal. There is no consensus however as to how long Ativan may be used, and are generally discontinued once the patient makes a recovery from the underlying catatonic condition. In a few situations though, it was seen that symptoms return after the medication period had ended. However, this still proves to be a safe way to treat the condition amongst most patients.