Ativan has several different uses. The drug is approved for use for treating anxiety. It is in the classification with benzodiazepines, which work by affecting the central nervous system to bring about a calming effect. It is not listed under the approved drugs but is prescribed for reducing symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol. Although it is not officially approved for these uses, it has also been effective in preventing nausea due to chemotherapy and to help in cases of insomnia.