Compare Ativan vs. Silenor

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

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Silenor
(doxepin)

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 relax, and sleep. Doxepin is a non-addictive way to help people stay asleep, but it comes with a list of side effects.
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

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Have you used Silenor (doxepin)?
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Side effects
AtivanSilenor
  • Sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Silenor »
How it works
AtivanSilenor
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.Doxepin is a tricyclic antidepressant. It keeps norepinephrine and serotonin in your brain longer, helping you relax, and sleep. It also blocks the chemical that causes itch, and wakefulness.
Type of medication
AtivanSilenor
Prescription only
Available as
AtivanSilenor
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
AtivanSilenor
  • Alcoholism Anxiety Depression Anxiety Depression Anxiety Depression Psychoneurotic Personality Disorder Insomnia Pruritus Moderate
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtivanSilenor
  • 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 »
    Coming soon.
    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
    AtivanSilenor
    • 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.
    • Doxepin can interact with many different medications, vitamins, and alternative treatments.
    Alcohol
    AtivanSilenor
    • 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.
    • Stay away from alcohol while taking Doxepin, because it can slow your brain, and stop your breathing.
    Sleep
    AtivanSilenor
    • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
    • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
    No sleep related info.
    Weight
    AtivanSilenor
    No weight related info.
    • Doxepin can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain.
    Upsides and benefits
    AtivanSilenor
    • 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.
    • In a clinical trial Doxepin was able to significantly improve sleep quality.
    • Doxepin helps improve your appetite, energy level, and sense of well-being, which increases your interests.
    • Once your body gets used to Doxepin, most of the side effects go away.
    • Doxepin comes in a generic form, so it is pretty cheap.
    • Doxepin is not addictive.
    Downsides and risks
    AtivanSilenor
    • 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.
    • Some people taking Doxepin walk, drive, eat, and have sex while sleeping. Be sure to tell your doctor if this happens to you.
    • Doxepin can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain.
    • Taking Doxepin can make emptying your bladder difficult.
    • Some people have suicidal thoughts when taking Doxepin.
    • Doxepin can interact with many different medications, vitamins, and alternative treatments.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    AtivanSilenor
    • 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 Doxepin 30 minutes before bedtime so it starts working when you get in bed.
    • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert like driving, until you know how Doxepin affects you.
    • Follow up with your doctor so he or she can make sure Doxepin is the right medication for your depression.
    • Stay away from alcohol while taking Doxepin, because it can slow your brain, and stop your breathing.
    • Some people get dry mouth, or constipation when taking Doxepin. Sugar free gum or candy can help the dry mouth, and drinking more fluid can help with constipation.
    • Avoid direct sunlight while taking this medication. When you can’t avoid it, be sure to use sunscreen. It’s also important to put on a long-sleeved shirt, pants, hat, and sunglasses.
    Learn more
    More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about SilenorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Silenor (doxepin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it