Compare Ativan vs. Buspar

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

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Buspar
(Buspirone)

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.Helps you relax. Buspar (Buspirone) is effective for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and less effective for short-term use.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.14Ativan
Reviews for Ativan
71%
of people (All ages) say Ativan is worth it
51%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
642 reviews
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Buspar
46%
+25% better vs. Ativan
45%
+6% better vs. Ativan
22%
+7% better vs. Ativan
Have you used Buspar (Buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtivanBuspar
  • Unsteadiness 3%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Sleepiness 16%
More Ativan side effects »
  • Excitement 2%
  • Anger/Hostility 2%
  • Confusion 2%
  • Blurred Vision 2%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Numbness 2%
  • Weakness 2%
More Buspar side effects »
How it works
AtivanBuspar
Ativan (lorazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects areas of the brain that help calm you down. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.Buspar (Buspirone) is an anti-anxiety medication. It's used to stabilize chemicals in the brain that control mood and nervousness.
Type of medication
AtivanBuspar
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
AtivanBuspar
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for
AtivanBuspar
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtivanBuspar
  • Taking with opioids
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking Ativan (lorazepam) for longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
Detailed Ativan (lorazepam) risks & warnings »
  • Taking with MAOIs
  • Taking with Zyvox or methylene blue
  • Taking with or converting from benzodiazepine medicines
  • Duration of treatment
Detailed Buspar (Buspirone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Interactions
AtivanBuspar
  • 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.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
AtivanBuspar
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • 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.
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
Food
AtivanBuspar
No food related info.
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
Sleep
AtivanBuspar
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause drowsiness or dizziness when you start taking Buspar (Buspirone). Be extremely careful of activities that require mental alertness, such as driving.
Upsides and benefits
AtivanBuspar
  • 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 and risks
AtivanBuspar
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AtivanBuspar
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Take only as much as your doctor prescribes. Taking more than directed or taking this for a long time can cause you to become dependent on it.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Use caution or avoid use in older adults.
  • Take doses at about the same time each day.
  • It can take several weeks to get the full effect.
  • Don't eat or drink grapefruit juice when using Buspar (Buspirone).
  • Don't use Buspar (Buspirone) within two weeks of using an MAO inhibitor (like Eldepryl, Parnate, or Marplan).
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
Learn more
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about BusparSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Buspar (Buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it