Drinking while taking Ativan

Started by

My elderly mother who has COPD and living independently was prescribed Ativan to help her sleep at night. She also consumes alcohol every night. What dangers and long term effects can this combination have with her?


Debralee, I would google 'Ativan, alcohol, and the elderly' to get some info...I would also just google 'Ativan and the elderly' and wait until you see what comes up...there is actually a site that talks about what has happened to many elderly people who take Ativan, especially for those who have dementia (you didn't say your mother has dementia, but it's good info anyway)...Ativan can be deadly in an elderly person and I know this because of what happened to my own Mother...try to get her off of it, but always check first with her doctor...does she have a doctor who deals only with elderly patients?
Two words. Respiratory depression.
OK, four more words. Get a new doctor.
The general wisdom is that one shouldn't drink while taking Ativan. If someone does, most likely nothing will happen beyond the synergistic drunkenness, but still not a good idea. So much depends on how much Ativan, how much liquor, what other habits (e.g. smoking) she might have, and if she is on oxygen. Does your mother drink to the point of being tipsy or drunk? or does she just have a drink?
My mothers nightly routine is have dinner, consume two drinks of gin and tonic and then take .5 miligrams of ativan before going to bed. She does not have dementia, but is on oxygen for Copd. She does not smoke. She is at a healthy weight and no diabetis. She takes a baby asperin daily, cholesterol medicine, and heart medication (do not know why that is prescribed, she has no heart disease). She has her blood tested every three months to monitor her liver. Her ativan usage is strictly monitored by her doctor and pharmacy. Just wondering about thelongterm usage of ativan combined with the alcohol comsumption.
Debralee, from what you described, I would not worry.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support