Compare Ativan vs. Xanax

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

Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only

Xanax (alprazolam)

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
Helps you relax.

Xanax (alprazolam) effectively treats occasional or short-term anxiety and panic attacks. Compared to similar drugs, it is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and can have more interactions with some medicines.

5.3/ 7 average rating with 1287 reviewsforXanax
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.
  • Xanax (alprazolam) can be used to manage anxiety associated with depression.
  • Works very quickly - in hours.
  • 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 Xanax (alprazolam) can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Xanax (alprazolam) can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment.
  • Compared to other similar drugs, Xanax (alprazolam) is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
  • If you have liver problems, Xanax (alprazolam) may not be the best choice since it is processed by the liver. Several drugs can also interfere with how Xanax (alprazolam) works. Talk to your doctor to see if Xanax (alprazolam) is right for you.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Price
Lowest price near you
$9.17
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Lowest price near you
$7.24
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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)?

Leave a review
1287 
74%
think this treatment is worth it
55%
think this treatment works well
13%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Xanax (alprazolam)?

Leave a review
Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
10possible side effects
  • Drowsiness
    41%
  • Lightheadedness
    21%
  • Dry mouth
    15%
  • Depression
    14%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Confusion
    10%
  • Constipation
    10%
  • Diarrhea
    10%
  • Nausea/vomiting
    10%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    9%
See more detailed side effects
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
  • Decreased breathing from use with opioids

    Taking Xanax (alprazolam) with opioids, drugs or alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Dependence and withdrawal

    History of substance abuse

    ...and 3 more risk factors

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    Severe depression

  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol or drugs

  • Drug interactions

    Current liver problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings