Compare Butisol vs. Ativan

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

Butisol
(butabarbital)

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Helps you fall asleep. Butisol (butabarbital) is not very good for sleeping problems because it can be addictive.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.
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Coupons for Butisol
Best available price for 30 (30mg) tablets of butisol
Coupons for Ativan
Best available price for 60 (0.5mg) tablets of ativan
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Butisol (butabarbital)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Ativan
71%
-71% worse vs. Butisol
51%
-51% worse vs. Butisol
15%
-85% worse vs. Butisol
642 reviews
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ButisolAtivan
  • Sleepiness 3%
More Butisol side effects »
  • Sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »
How it works
ButisolAtivan
Butisol (butabarbital) is a barbiturate. It works by calming and relaxing you so you're able to sleep.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.
Type of medication
ButisolAtivan
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ButisolAtivan
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
ButisolAtivan
Risk factors for serious side effects
ButisolAtivan
  • Having acute or chronic pain
  • age 65 or older
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Taking narcotics, tranquilizers or antihistamines
Detailed Butisol (butabarbital) risks & warnings »
  • 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 »
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.

Interactions
ButisolAtivan
  • Butisol (butabarbital) can interact with a lot of medicines, vitamins and supplements.
  • 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.
Alcohol
ButisolAtivan
  • Don't drink alcohol or take narcotics, tranquilizers or antihistamines if you're taking Butisol (butabarbital). This can slow down your breathing. Talk to your doctor about other options to help you sleep.
  • Don't drink alcohol or take narcotics with Butisol (butabarbital) since this can slow your breathing.
  • 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.
Pain
ButisolAtivan
  • If you're having acute or chronic pain, or if you're older, Butisol (butabarbital) can cause you to feel more awake instead of sleepy, or you may not notice changes in your pain until it wears off. Talk to your doctor about other options to help you sleep if this happens.
No pain related info.
Sleep
ButisolAtivan
No sleep related info.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
Upsides and benefits
ButisolAtivan
  • Butisol (butabarbital) works very quickly to help you fall asleep, within 45-60 minutes, and it lasts 6-8 hours.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
ButisolAtivan
  • Your body can get used to needing Butisol (butabarbital) for sleeping.
  • Butisol (butabarbital) can interact with a lot of medicines, vitamins and supplements.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ButisolAtivan
  • Don't use Butisol (butabarbital) for more than 2 weeks, since it doesn't work as well after that.
  • Don't stop Butisol (butabarbital) suddenly, especially if you've been taking it for a while. Talk to your doctor about how to get off it safely.
  • Don't drink alcohol or take narcotics with Butisol (butabarbital) since this can slow your breathing.
  • Butisol (butabarbital) can make your birth control less effective. You should use condoms or diaphragms while taking it.
  • Talk to your doctor if Butisol (butabarbital) doesn't help you sleep better after taking it for 7 days.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about ButisolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Butisol (butabarbital)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it