A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder

What does 'Ativan' mean?

Find out what Ativan means. Ativan is explained by Margaret McMillion - author of PERSONAL BAGGAGE


Ativan, also known as Lorazepam, is a controlled substance Schedule IV drug used for anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. It may be administered by mouth or by intravenous or intramuscular injection. The effects of Ativan are mostly drowsiness and sedation, but it may also cause insomnia, agitation, dizziness, weakness, depression, decreased blood pressure, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and disorientation. When used before surgery (preoperative administration) the patient will require teaching to ensure adequate recall of post operative instructions and should be provided with written materials. A non-hospital patient using the oral form of Ativan must be warned to avoid activities that require alertness, pregnancy, alcohol, smoking, or abrupt discontinuation of the drug. Ativan should not be given to patients with glaucoma and must be used with caution in the elderly, debilitated, and acutely ill.

In the Summer section of PERSONAL BAGGAGE when Penny is escorting her parents to Roanoke, Rev. Nichols mentions that he might jump out of the airplane and she gives him a half tablet of Ativan. Because they will soon have to change planes and she doesn't want him to go to sleep, Penny gives him only half of his normal dose.

Using Ativan in the Winter section of PERSONAL BAGGAGE, Penny administers it intravenously to sedate a confused Oncology patient who is trying to climb out of bed and has refused to swallow a tablet.

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Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
"...Digging in her purse, Penny located her father’s bottle of Ativan. She placed a half-tablet under his tongue and encouraged him to relax and breathe deeply while the recorded instruction lecture told them how to use air vents that would not blow air. Rev. and Mrs. Nichols were comfortable with temperature in the high eighties, but Penny ..."

Chapter 13: Chapter Thirteen
"... 102, so Penny checked Dr. Benton’s standing orders. Finally, two hours later, after Phenergan, Tylenol, and Ativan, the woman was asleep and Penny fastened the automatic blood pressure cuff to her patient’s arm as she had promised. It was 1 a.m. when Penny joined the other two nurses ..."

Chapter 15: Chapter Fifteen
"...the newcomer’s room, Penny looked in on Mrs. Posey, who had removed her covers and was trying to climb over the side rail while her sitter watched a replay of Ole Miss football. Returning to the Medication Administration Sheet, usually referred to as MAR, Penny found IV Ativan listed as one of the drugs to be given as necessary, and as she prepared the medication the sitter approached her. ..."

Chapter 19: Chapter Nineteen
"...were in such bad shape that a single subclavian was her only IV access and, unless they were compatible, only one solution could be infused at a time. The day-shift nurse reported that after infusing two units of blood, she had started Maureen on a combination of Benadryl, Ativan, and Decadron, a BAD drip, used to relieve nausea, anxiety, and pain. ..."

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"In a story of evolving relationships, Margaret McMillion breathes life into her characters, especially Penny, who must find..."

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