Compare Ativan vs. chlordiazepoxide

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

Ativan (lorazepam)

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
Reduces anxiety.

Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is good for lowering anxiety since its effects aren't as strong as similar medicines; however, it lasts longer in the body and can be more dangerous in older people.

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.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is available as a generic.
  • Because Librium (chlordiazepoxide) lasts longer in the body, it's preferred for alcohol withdrawal since it's less likely to cause seizures.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) can be used by itself, or with antidepressants to help lower anxiety.
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.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) lasts much longer in older people, so it's not safe to use if you're age 65 or older.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is not as strong as similar medicines, so it's only really useful to calm anxiety and for alcohol withdrawal.
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide) can be addictive, so you should use it for as short of a time as possible.
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

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Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
The Librium (chlordiazepoxide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Withdrawal symptoms
    • Taking Librium (chlordiazepoxide) for more than 2 weeks
  • Drowsiness and sleepiness
    • Drinking alcohol or taking narcotics
  • Addiction
See more detailed risks and warnings