Compare Ativan vs. Xanax

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

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Xanax
(alprazolam)

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.Helps you relax. Xanax (Alprazolam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and longer-term for panic attacks. More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
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Prices and coupon for 60 (0.5mg) tablets of alprazolam
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.14Ativan
Reviews for Ativan (lorazepam)
71%
of people (All ages) say Ativan (lorazepam) 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
Reviews for Xanax (alprazolam)
74%
+3% better vs. Ativan (lorazepam)
55%
+4% better vs. Ativan (lorazepam)
13%
+2% better vs. Ativan (lorazepam)
1287 reviews
Have you used Xanax (alprazolam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AtivanXanax
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »
  • Drowsiness 34%
  • Fatigue and tiredness 6%
  • Impaired coordination 23%
  • Irritability 3%
  • Memory impairment 11%
  • Increased appetite 10%
More Xanax side effects »
How it works
AtivanXanax
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.Xanax (Alprazolam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.
Type of medication
AtivanXanax
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
AtivanXanax
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
AtivanXanax
Risk factors for serious side effects
AtivanXanax
  • 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 »
      • History of drug abuse
      • Taking with alcohol or drugs
      • Taking more than 4 mg/day or longer than 12 weeks
      • Stopping Xanax (Alprazolam) suddenly
      • Severely depressed
      • Taking with alcohol or drugs
      • First trimester of pregnancy
      • Current liver problems
      Detailed Xanax (alprazolam) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy

      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.

      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.

      Interactions
      AtivanXanax
      • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other benzodiazepines, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
      No interactions related info.
      Alcohol
      AtivanXanax
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Kidneys and liver
      AtivanXanax
      No kidneys and liver related info.
      • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
      Sleep
      AtivanXanax
      • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
      • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
      Upsides and benefits
      AtivanXanax
      • 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 short-term anxiety.
      • Effective longer-term for panic attacks.
      • 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).
      Downsides and risks
      AtivanXanax
      • 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.
      • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
      • 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.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      AtivanXanax
      • 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.
      • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
      • Starts working in 45 minutes when swallowed.
      • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
      • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
      • Not safe to use with alcohol.
      Learn more
      More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about XanaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Xanax (alprazolam)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it