Compare Ativan vs. oxazepam

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

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Serax
(oxazepam)

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.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.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Coupons for Ativan
Best available price for 60 (0.5mg) tablets of ativan
Coupons for oxazepam
Best available price for 90 (10mg) capsules of oxazepam
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

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Serax (oxazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Ativanoxazepam
  • Sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »

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

More about oxazepam side effects »
How it works
Ativanoxazepam
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.Serax (oxazepam) is a benzodiazepine. It binds to certain parts of nerves called GABA receptors, and stops the spread of signals that cause anxiety symptoms, or seizures in alcohol withdrawal.
Type of medication
Ativanoxazepam
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Ativanoxazepam
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for
Ativanoxazepam
Risk factors for serious side effects
Ativanoxazepam
  • 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 opioids
  • People age 65 or older
  • High blood pressure
Detailed Serax (oxazepam) 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
Ativanoxazepam
  • 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
Ativanoxazepam
  • 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.
  • Serax (oxazepam) is a first choice medicine to treat seizures that can happen in alcohol withdrawal.
Sleep
Ativanoxazepam
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
Ativanoxazepam
  • 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 and risks
Ativanoxazepam
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Ativanoxazepam
  • 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 Serax (oxazepam) exactly as your doctor tells you.
  • If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember; unless it's been more than 1 hour, then skip that dose and take Serax (oxazepam) at the next scheduled time. Don't take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
  • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Serax (oxazepam) affects you since it can make you sleepy. Drinking alcohol can make the sleepiness worse.
  • Serax (oxazepam) for anxiety is only good for 4 months. Talk to your doctor if you're still having anxiety and Serax (oxazepam) hasn't helped.
Learn more
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about oxazepamSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Serax (oxazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it