Ativan vs. Norpramin

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

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Helps you relax. Ativan (Lorazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and sleep. Less likely to have drug interactions, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.Coming soon.
How it works
Ativan (Lorazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.Coming soon.
Type of medication
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
  • Depression
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Ativan (Lorazepam)
of people say Ativan (Lorazepam) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Side effects

The Ativan FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Ativan side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Norpramin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Norpramin »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      Detailed Ativan (Lorazepam) risks & warnings »
      Coming soon.
      Pregnancy category
      DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

      The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

      See the FDA package insert
      • 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.
      • Not safe to use with alcohol.
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      • Stopping Ativan (Lorazepam) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and muscle pain or burning. Withdrawal symptoms can last 6 weeks or longer. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
      No specific sleep-related info.
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
      • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
      • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other benzodiazepines, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
      Coming soon.
      Downsides and risks
      • 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 benzodiazepines, more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
      • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
      Coming soon.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
      • Starts working in 45 minutes when swallowed.
      • Starts working in 10 to 20 minutes when dissolved under your tongue.
      • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
      • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
      • Not safe to use with alcohol.
      Coming soon.
      Learn more
      More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about NorpraminSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert