Compare Haldol vs. Ativan

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

Haldol
(haloperidol)

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Helps control your thoughts and calms agitation. Haldol (Haloperidol) is okay for treating psychosis and agitation. It's less likely to cause weight gain than other antipsychotics, but it's more likely to cause other bad side effects.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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Prices and coupon for 30 (5mg) tablets of haloperidol
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Prices and coupon for 60 (0.5mg) tablets of lorazepam
Reviews & ratings
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4.12Haldol
Reviews for Haldol (haloperidol)
38%
of people (All ages) say Haldol (haloperidol) is worth it
42%
say it works well
34%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Haldol (haloperidol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Ativan (lorazepam)
71%
+33% better vs. Haldol (haloperidol)
51%
+9% better vs. Haldol (haloperidol)
15%
+19% better vs. Haldol (haloperidol)
642 reviews
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
HaldolAtivan

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

More about Haldol side effects »
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »
How it works
HaldolAtivan
Haldol (Haloperidol) is a traditional antipsychotic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to change dopamine activity in your brain, which affects thoughts and 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
HaldolAtivan
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
HaldolAtivan
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
HaldolAtivan
Risk factors for serious side effects
HaldolAtivan
  • Elderly patients with dementia
      • History of heart problems
      • Drug interactions
        • People with diabetes
        • People with high cholesterol
        • People with diabetes
        • Alcohol
        • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
          Detailed Haldol (haloperidol) risks & warnings »
          • 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 »
              Pregnancy

              Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. 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
              HaldolAtivan
              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
              HaldolAtivan
              No alcohol related info.
              • 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.
              Food
              HaldolAtivan
              • Haldol (Haloperidol) can increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. However, Haldol (Haloperidol) is less likely to raise your blood sugar and cholesterol compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
              • Haldol (Haloperidol) can cause you to gain weight. However, Haldol (Haloperidol) is less likely to cause weight gain compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
              No food related info.
              Sleep
              HaldolAtivan
              • It can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and can lower your blood pressure.
              • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
              • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
              Weight
              HaldolAtivan
              • Less likely to cause weight gain and problems with cholesterol and blood sugar than most other antipsychotics.
              • Haldol (Haloperidol) can cause you to gain weight. However, Haldol (Haloperidol) is less likely to cause weight gain compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
              No weight related info.
              Upsides and benefits
              HaldolAtivan
              • Effective at relieving psychotic symptoms and agitation.
              • Works just as well as other antipsychotic medicines.
              • Less likely to cause weight gain and problems with cholesterol and blood sugar than most other antipsychotics.
              • 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
              HaldolAtivan
              • It's an older medicine and has a lot more side effects than newer antipsychotics.
              • Compared to other antipsychotics, it causes more hormone problems that can cause nipples to leak fluid, and sudden, dangerous abnormal heart rhythms.
              • Has a higher risk of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS): movement disorders that include stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements. One of these symptoms (called tardive dyskinesia) is permanent and more likely if you take this medicine for many years.
              • You might need routine blood tests to check how the medicine is affecting your body.
              • All antipsychotics have side effects that make them difficult to take. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works best for you.
              • 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
              HaldolAtivan
              • It'll take 4 to 6 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your thoughts.
              • It can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and can lower your blood pressure.
              • For the first week, avoid activities like driving that require you to be alert.
              • Immediately tell your doctor if you can't control your muscle movements or if you have a fever or excess sweating.
              • Don't use in elderly people who have dementia.
              • The oral liquid concentrate can be mixed with water or juice before taking it.
              • 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 HaldolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
              Have you used Haldol (haloperidol)?
              Worth itNot sureNot worth it
              More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
              Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
              Worth itNot sureNot worth it