Compare Ativan vs. Valium

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

Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only

Valium (diazepam)

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.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 642 reviewsforAtivan
Helps you relax.

Valium (diazepam) is effective for occasional or short-term use for anxiety and muscle spasm. Compared to similar drugs, Valium (diazepam) acts very quickly but can have interactions with other medicines.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 976 reviewsforValium
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.
  • Valium (diazepam) effectively relieves anxiety and muscle spasms.
  • Valium (diazepam) has less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other similar drugs.
  • Works very quickly.
  • Available in generic.
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.
  • Use of Valium (diazepam) can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Valium (diazepam) can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment.
  • Most people find that their body will get used to Valium (diazepam) levels and they may need higher doses over time to achieve the same effect.
  • People with severe liver problems should not take Valium (diazepam). Several drugs can also interfere with how Valium (diazepam) works.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
642 reviews so far
71%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?

Leave a review
976 reviews so far
70%
saidit'sworth it
53%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Valium (diazepam)?

Leave a review
Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
The Valium (diazepam) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Severe sedation with opioid use
    • Taking with opioids
  • Tolerance and dependence
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Taking Ativan (lorazepam) for longer than 4 weeks
    • History of drug abuse
  • Withdrawal
    • Long-term use
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Memory problems
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Decreased breathing from use with opioids
    • Taking Valium (diazepam) with opioids, drugs or alcohol
    • Using Valium (diazepam) for a longer duration and at high doses
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • History of substance abuse
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Taking long-term
    • Taking a higher dose
    • Stopping Valium (diazepam) suddenly
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol use with Valium (diazepam)
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Drug interactions
    • Current liver problems
    • Taking Tagamet, ketoconazole, Prozac, Prilosec
See more detailed risks and warnings