Compare Paxil vs. Ativan

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

Paxil (paroxetine)

Prescription only

Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only
Improves mood and anxiety.

Paxil (paroxetine) is effective for treating depression and anxiety, but causes more unwanted side-effects than other medicines that work like it.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 694 reviewsforPaxil
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
  • Available in a cheaper, generic form.
  • Is convenient and can take once a day.
  • 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
  • More likely to decrease your sexual appetite and delay or prevent ejaculation than other antidepressants.
  • Like most antidepressants, Paxil (paroxetine) has a high risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior when used in children and adolescents.
  • May not be appropriate for you if you are elderly or suffer from dementia.
  • 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
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
694 reviews so far
52%
saidit'sworth it
39%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Paxil (paroxetine)?

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
29possible side effects
  • Abnormal ejaculation
    28%
  • Nausea
    25%
  • Weakness
    22%
  • Drowsiness
    22%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    21%
  • Decreased sexual appetite
    12%
  • Dizziness
    11%
  • Sweating
    9%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    9%
  • Tremor
    9%
  • Female genital disorder
    9%
  • Decreased appetite
    8%
  • Nervousness
    8%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Yawning
    5%
  • Painful period
    5%
  • Impotence
    5%
  • Indigestion
    4%
  • Gas
    4%
  • Muscle pain
    4%
  • Impaired concentration
    4%
  • Throat inflammation
    4%
  • Abnormal vision
    4%
  • Trauma
    3%
  • Agitation
    3%
  • Vomiting
    2%
  • Muscle twitching
    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
  • High levels of serotonin (Serotonin Syndrome)
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin levels
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Paxil (paroxetine) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding risk
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
  • Sexual dysfunction
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