Ativan is a benzodiazepine drug with short to medium duration of action. It has all 5 intrinsic benzodiazepine effects. It is a powerful anxiolytic and since it’s introduction its principle use has been to treat the symptoms of anxiety.
Ativan affects the GABAa receptors which results in a slowing down effect on the central nervous system.
A benzodiazepine is a psychoactive drug, meaning it acts upon the central nervous system and effects brain function. They have very sedative, hypnotic (sleep-inducing), anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and amnesic properties.