Compare Effexor vs. Ativan

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

Effexor (venlafaxine)

Prescription only

Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Effexor (venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can cause more withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly compared to other antidepressants.

5.1/ 7 average rating with 577 reviewsforEffexor
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
Upsides
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) effectively treats depression, anxiety, and panic disorder.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's beneficial for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) has several uses, which may be good for people with multiple conditions.
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) is available in generic, which is cheaper.
  • 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
  • Effexor (venlafaxine) can cause side effects such as decreased libido and increased blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people aged 24 years or younger.
  • Compared to other antidepressants, it's more likely to cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it and can causes more sleepiness.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Price
Lowest price near you
$16.2
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Lowest price near you
$9.17
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Reviews
577 
62%
think this treatment is worth it
51%
think this treatment works well
23%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?

Leave a review
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
Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Nausea
    37%
  • Headache
    25%
  • Drowsiness
    23%
  • Dry mouth
    22%
  • Dizziness
    19%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    18%
  • Constipation
    15%
  • Nervousness
    13%
  • Weakness
    12%
  • Sweating
    12%
See more detailed side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    Age 24 years or younger

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Taking tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, tramadol, fentanyl, amphetamines, certain headache medications (triptans), St. John's Wort

  • Withdrawal

    Stopping Effexor (venlafaxine) suddenly

  • Increased bleeding

    Taking other blood-thinning drugs (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as Advil, warfarin)

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Bipolar disorder

    History of bipolar disorder

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed 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