Compare Prozac vs. Ativan

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

Prozac
(fluoxetine)

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.74Prozac
Reviews for Prozac
62%
of people (All ages) say Prozac is worth it
40%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
1319 reviews
Have you used Prozac (fluoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Ativan
71%
-9% worse vs. Prozac
51%
-11% worse vs. Prozac
15%
-1% worse vs. Prozac
642 reviews
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ProzacAtivan
  • Nausea 13%
  • Headache 2%
  • Sleep difficulty 18%
  • Nervousness 5%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Anxiety 6%
  • Diarrhea 4%
  • Muscle weakness 5%
  • Loss of appetite 7%
  • Dizziness 3%
More Prozac side effects »
  • Sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »
How it works
ProzacAtivan
Prozac (Fluoxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Ativan (lorazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects areas of the brain that help calm you down. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.
Type of medication
ProzacAtivan
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ProzacAtivan
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
ProzacAtivan
Risk factors for serious side effects
ProzacAtivan
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Prozac (Fluoxetine) suddenly
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
Detailed Prozac (fluoxetine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking with opioids
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking Ativan (lorazepam) for longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
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.

Interactions
ProzacAtivan
No interactions related info.
  • 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.
Alcohol
ProzacAtivan
No alcohol related info.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • 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.
Food
ProzacAtivan
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
No food related info.
Sex
ProzacAtivan
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
No sex related info.
Sleep
ProzacAtivan
No sleep related info.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
Upsides and benefits
ProzacAtivan
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression and bulimia nervosa.
  • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
  • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
  • It has been used to treat depression for a long time, so there's a lot of information available about how it works and how safe it is.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • 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 and risks
ProzacAtivan
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Can increase feelings of anxiety or cause headaches during the first few weeks of taking it. These effects should go away over time.
  • More likely than other antidepressants to interact with other medications you're taking.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ProzacAtivan
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Take only as much as your doctor prescribes. Taking more than directed or taking this for a long time can cause you to become dependent on it.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Use caution or avoid use in older adults.
Learn more
More about ProzacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Prozac (fluoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it