Compare Ativan vs. oxazepam

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

Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only

Serax (oxazepam)

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.

5.1/ 7 average rating with 642 reviewsforAtivan
Controls anxiety symptoms and alcohol withdrawal.

Serax (oxazepam) helps make sure the seizures that happen during alcohol withdrawal don't get worse. Serax (oxazepam) is also good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.

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.
  • Serax (oxazepam) is a first choice medicine to treat seizures that can happen in alcohol withdrawal.
  • Serax (oxazepam) only lasts for a short time, so there's little risk of hangover effects or sleepiness.
  • Serax (oxazepam) is recommended for people who have advanced liver disease because it doesn't affect the liver.
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.
  • Serax (oxazepam) is addictive, so its use for anxiety should be limited to the shortest time possible.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price near you
$9.17
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Reviews
642 
71%
think this treatment is worth it
51%
think this treatment works well
15%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?

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Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
The Serax (oxazepam) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Severe sedation with opioid use

    Taking with opioids

  • Tolerance and dependence

    Taking more than the prescribed dose

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Withdrawal

    Long-term use

  • Driving impairment

    Alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Breathing problems, coma, and death

    Taking opioids

  • Low blood pressure

    People age 65 or older

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings