Compare Ativan vs. Buspar

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only

Buspar (Buspirone)

Prescription only
Helps you relax.

Ativan (lorazepam) is an effective medicine for occasional or short-term anxiety. It's less likely to have drug interactions, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 642 reviewsforAtivan
Helps you relax.

Buspar (Buspirone) is effective for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and less effective for short-term use.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 67 reviewsforBuspar
Upsides
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in.
  • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other drugs like it, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
  • Buspar (Buspirone) works very well to control the symptoms of generalized anxiety syndrome (GAD).
  • Buspar (Buspirone) doesn't cause physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms.
  • Buspar (Buspirone) is only available as a generic, so the price can be pretty cheap.
Downsides
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Compared to other similar medicines, Ativan (lorazepam) is more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then suddenly stop.
  • Most people find that Ativan (lorazepam) gets less effective over time.
  • Buspar (Buspirone) can take as long as four weeks to become fully effective.
  • Not as effective for short-term anxiety conditions or panic disorders.
  • Most people find that it loses effectiveness over long periods of time.
  • Can cause drowsiness or dizziness when you start taking Buspar (Buspirone). Be extremely careful of activities that require mental alertness, such as driving.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
642 reviews so far
71%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?

Leave a review
67 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
45%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Buspar (Buspirone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
21possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Any side effect
    10%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Headache
    6%
  • Nervousness
    5%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Central nervous system disturbances
    3%
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Lightheadedness
    3%
  • Dry Mouth
    3%
  • Decreased Concentration
    2%
  • Excitement
    2%
  • Anger/Hostility
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Blurred Vision
    2%
  • Abdominal/Gastric Distress
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Numbness
    2%
  • Weakness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Severe sedation with opioid use
    • Taking with opioids
  • Tolerance and dependence
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Taking Ativan (lorazepam) for longer than 4 weeks
    • History of drug abuse
  • Withdrawal
    • Long-term use
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Memory problems
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Elevated blood pressure
    • Taking with MAOIs
    • Taking with Zyvox or methylene blue
  • Withdrawal reactions
    • Taking with or converting from benzodiazepine medicines
  • Abnormal and involuntary muscle movements
    • Duration of treatment
See more detailed risks and warnings