Can you use Ativan for hangover anxiety? (+3 medications)

In this article, we will explore whether Ativan can be used for hangover anxiety. We will delve into research studies that investigate the efficacy of Ativan in managing hangover anxiety. Additionally, we will discuss alternative medications that may be effective in the management of hangover anxiety, along with general management tips for coping with this post-alcohol symptom.

Can you use Ativan for hangover anxiety?

No, you should not use Ativan for hangover anxiety. It is not generally recommended to use Ativan for hangover anxiety, as combining Ativan with alcohol can have potentially dangerous effects. While Ativan is commonly used to manage anxiety, it’s important to note that using it specifically for hangover anxiety may not be the best approach (1). 

If you’re experiencing anxiety as a result of a hangover, it’s recommended to focus on non-pharmacological methods to manage symptoms, such as staying hydrated, getting rest, and eating nutritious food.

If anxiety persists or is severe, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide appropriate guidance based on your specific situation. They can help determine the best course of action and whether medications like Ativan are suitable for your individual needs.

What does research suggest?

According to research, the use of Ativan for managing hangover anxiety is constrained due to potential serious side effects arising from its interaction with alcohol.

In a research study involving individuals who had consumed alcohol, the use of Ativan resulted in increased anxiety and agitation. The study suggested avoiding the combination of Ativan with alcohol to prevent potential psychomotor impairment (2).

However, various research studies have highlighted the effectiveness of Ativan in alleviating symptoms of alcohol withdrawal following alcohol discontinuation. In a specific study, lower doses of Ativan were employed to manage delirium associated with alcohol withdrawal, with the medication demonstrating effectiveness after the initial dose (3).

What are the potential risks of using Ativan for hangover anxiety?

While the specific side effects may vary, some of the general potential risks associated with using Ativan for hangover anxiety may include (6):

  • Sedation
  • Respiratory depression
  • Dizziness
  • Mood changes
  • Confusion
  • Fall risk
  • Impaired judgment
  • Potential overdose
  • Memory impairment
  • Paradoxical reactions
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Blurred vision

What alternative medications can be used for hangover anxiety?

There is no specific medication approved for treating hangover anxiety, and the most effective way to address it is through lifestyle and self-care measures. However, if anxiety symptoms are severe, your healthcare professional may provide suggest medications based on your individual symptoms such as (4,5):

Over-the-counter pain relievers




Antidepressants Buspirone


 When experiencing hangover anxiety, it is generally advisable to avoid the use of certain anti-anxiety medications, especially those that can interact with alcohol or potentially exacerbate symptoms including Ativan, citalopram, or mirtazapine.

What are the management tips for hangover anxiety?

If you’re experiencing anxiety related to a hangover, it’s generally advisable to consider non-pharmacological methods to manage hangover symptoms, such as:

  • Drink plenty of water to combat dehydration.
  • Ginger tea may help soothe nausea and calm the stomach.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers may help with headaches.
  • Practice deep breathing to reduce anxiety.
  • Reduce exposure to bright screens.
  • Gentle exercise can boost mood and circulation.
  • Steer clear of nicotine and stimulant-containing products.
  • Spend time outdoors for a breath of fresh air.
  • Get adequate sleep to help your body recover.

In my experience

In my experience, the use of medications for hangover anxiety is less common, and healthcare providers typically recommend non-pharmacological interventions in clinical settings. Antianxiety medications, including Ativan, may interact with alcohol, potentially exacerbating the condition. Therefore, healthcare professionals often advise against pharmacological interventions to avoid adverse interactions and worsened symptoms.

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