Compare Ativan vs. Lunesta

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

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Lunesta
(eszopiclone)

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 sleep. Lunesta (Eszopiclone) is good for falling asleep and staying asleep. Not as habit-forming as some sleep medicines, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly.
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 Lunesta
55%
+16% better vs. Ativan
36%
+15% better vs. Ativan
17%
+2% better vs. Ativan
592 reviews
Have you used Lunesta (eszopiclone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtivanLunesta
  • Sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »
  • Headache 8%
  • Unpleasant Taste 14%
  • Somnolence 7%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Infection 2%
  • Dry Mouth 2%
  • Nervousness 2%
  • Depression 4%
More Lunesta side effects »
How it works
AtivanLunesta
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.Lunesta (Eszopiclone) is in a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it interacts with your brain to make you relaxed and sleepy.
Type of medication
AtivanLunesta
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AtivanLunesta
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for
AtivanLunesta
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtivanLunesta
  • 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 »
  • Continuous use for 2 weeks or more
  • Alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Less than 7 hours of sleep.
  • Undiagnosed psychiatric conditions
Detailed Lunesta (eszopiclone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
AtivanLunesta
  • 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
AtivanLunesta
  • 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 and drugs.
  • Might not be safe if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, lung disease, or a condition that affects metabolism.
Sleep
AtivanLunesta
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Lunesta (Eszopiclone) make you feel drowsy and sleepy, leading to falls and severe injuries. This is especially a risk if your older. Falls from sleep medicines like Lunesta (Eszopiclone) have caused severe injuries such as hip fractures and head injury. You may need a lower dose if you're taking other medicine that affects your nervous system or have issues with falls in the past. Check with your doctor first.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Can cause headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
Upsides and benefits
AtivanLunesta
  • 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.
  • Effective at helping people fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
  • Not as habit-forming, so you can use it for longer than most other sleep medicines.
Downsides and risks
AtivanLunesta
  • 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.
  • More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
  • Might not be safe if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, depression, lung disease, or a condition that affects metabolism.
  • It's easy to become reliant on sleep medicines. In the long run, it's better to learn good sleeping habits and behavior so that you can sleep better naturally.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AtivanLunesta
  • 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 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.
  • Only take it if you have time to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Very addictive. Meant for short-term treatment. Dependence can form after daily use for 2 weeks.
  • Can cause headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.
  • Can cause sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-eating.
  • Works best if taken without food.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Withdrawal symptoms usually resolve in 1 to 2 nights.
  • Report any confusion or changes in thoughts or behavior.
Learn more
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LunestaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lunesta (eszopiclone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it