Compare Ativan vs. Remeron

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

Ativan
(Lorazepam)

Remeron
(Mirtazapine)

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.Improves mood. Remeron (Mirtazapine) is okay for treating depression and good for sleep. More likely to cause weight gain than any other antidepressant.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.1035598705501615Ativan
Reviews for Ativan (Lorazepam)
70%
of people say Ativan (Lorazepam) is worth it
50%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Remeron (Mirtazapine)
47%
23% vs. Ativan (Lorazepam)
42%
8% vs. Ativan (Lorazepam)
26%
11% vs. Ativan (Lorazepam)
Side effects
AtivanRemeron

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

More about Ativan side effects »
  • Drowsiness 36%
  • Increased appetite 15%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Weight gain 10%
  • Constipation 6%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Abnormal dreams 3%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Thinking abnormal 2%
More Remeron side effects »
How it works
AtivanRemeron
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.Remeron (Mirtazapine) is an atypical antidepressant. It stimulates your body to make certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
AtivanRemeron
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant
Prescription only
Available as
AtivanRemeron
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
AtivanRemeron
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Ativan (Lorazepam)

After 4 weeks using Start and Remeron (Mirtazapine), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
AtivanRemeron
  • 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 »
      • Age 24 years or younger
      • Using other medications that affect serotonin
      • History of heart problems
      • History of liver problems
      • Higher dose
      • Alcohol
      • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
          Detailed Remeron (Mirtazapine) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          AtivanRemeron
          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
          CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

          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.

          See the FDA package insert
          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.
          • Not safe to use with alcohol.
          No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          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.
          Sex
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
          • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
          • 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.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.
          • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
          • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
          • Can increase appetite and weight.
          • Remeron (Mirtazapine) can increase appetite and cause you to gain weight.
          Upsides and benefits
          AtivanRemeron
          • 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.
          • Effective at relieving some depression symptoms.
          • Starts to work more quickly than most antidepressants.
          • Might be a good option for people who have insomnia with their depression, because it can make you very sleepy.
          • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
          • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
          Downsides and risks
          AtivanRemeron
          • 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.
          • Not as effective as other medications for depression.
          • More sedating than other antidepressants.
          • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
          • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
          • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          AtivanRemeron
          • 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.
          • Makes you sleepy. Take at bedtime.
          • Can increase appetite and weight.
          • Takes 8 to 12 weeks to see full effects on mood.
          • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
          • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
          Learn more
          More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about RemeronSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert