Compare Lexapro vs. Ativan

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

Lexapro (escitalopram)

Prescription only

Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 1063 reviewsforLexapro
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.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 642 reviewsforAtivan
Upsides
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers the likelihood that your depression will come back.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
  • 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
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) is not a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
  • The first antidepressant you try might not always work, so you may need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works 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 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
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
1063 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?

Leave a review
642 reviews so far
71%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?

Leave a review
Side effects
25possible side effects
  • Headache
    24%
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Problems ejaculating
    14%
  • Sleepiness
    13%
  • Insomnia
    12%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Fatigue
    8%
  • Decreased libido
    7%
  • Problems with orgasm
    6%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    5%
  • Increased sweating
    4%
  • Indigestion
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Neck/shoulder pain
    3%
  • Abnormal dreams
    3%
  • Decrease appetite
    3%
  • Lack of energy
    3%
  • Tingling or burning in the hands/feet
    2%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Flatulence
    2%
  • Toothache
    2%
  • Yawning
    2%
  • Menstrual disorder
    2%
See more detailed side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Sexual problems
  • Uncovering of bipolar disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Severe sedation with opioid use
    • Taking with opioids
  • Tolerance and dependence
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Taking Ativan (lorazepam) for longer than 4 weeks
    • History of drug abuse
  • Withdrawal
    • Long-term use
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Memory problems
See more detailed risks and warnings