Compare chlorpromazine vs. Ativan

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

Thorazine
(chlorpromazine)

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Stabilizes your mood. Thorazine (chlorpromazine) has more side effects than other medicines like it. It is most useful during psychotic episodes because it slows you down quickly.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.
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Coupons for chlorpromazine
Best available price for 60 (25mg) tablets of chlorpromazine
Coupons for Ativan
Best available price for 60 (0.5mg) tablets of lorazepam
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
Reviews for Thorazine (chlorpromazine)
Not enough review data. Review it!
of people (All ages) say Thorazine (chlorpromazine) is worth it
Not enough review data. Review it!
say it works well
Not enough review data. Review it!
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Ativan (lorazepam)
71%
+71% better vs. Thorazine (chlorpromazine)
51%
+51% better vs. Thorazine (chlorpromazine)
15%
-15% worse vs. Thorazine (chlorpromazine)
642 reviews
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
chlorpromazineAtivan

The chlorpromazine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about chlorpromazine side effects »
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »
How it works
chlorpromazineAtivan
Thorazine (chlorpromazine) is a derivative of phenothiazine, which regulates dopamine levels in your brain to improve your mood.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.
Type of medication
chlorpromazineAtivan
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
chlorpromazineAtivan
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
chlorpromazineAtivan
Risk factors for serious side effects
chlorpromazineAtivan
  • People over 65 with dementia and psychosis
  • Taking antipsychotic medications
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Acute respiratory infections
Detailed Thorazine (chlorpromazine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Ativan (lorazepam) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

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
chlorpromazineAtivan
No interactions related info.
  • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other benzodiazepines, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
Alcohol
chlorpromazineAtivan
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
  • 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.
Sleep
chlorpromazineAtivan
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
Upsides and benefits
chlorpromazineAtivan
  • Acts fast to slow you down during a psychotic episode.
  • Can also be used for nausea or migraines.
  • Safe for use in children as young as 6 months.
  • Comes in a sugar-coated pill for easy administration.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
chlorpromazineAtivan
  • Has more side effects than other medicines like it.
  • Can affect how your other medicines work.
  • Makes you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can make you dizzy or lightheaded, especially when injected.
  • Cannot be stopped right away.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
chlorpromazineAtivan
  • Can make you very sleepy so don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause involuntary muscle movements just like other medicines for your mood.
  • Can dry you out and make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • Don't combine with alcohol or narcotics because it can cause you to stop breathing.
  • Cannot be stopped suddenly.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about chlorpromazineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Thorazine (chlorpromazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it