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 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 (20mg) capsules of fluoxetine
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Prices and coupon for 60 (0.5mg) tablets of lorazepam
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.74Prozac
Reviews for Prozac (fluoxetine)
62%
of people (All ages) say Prozac (fluoxetine) 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 (lorazepam)
71%
+9% better vs. Prozac (fluoxetine)
51%
+11% better vs. Prozac (fluoxetine)
15%
+1% better vs. Prozac (fluoxetine)
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 »
  • Relaxation or 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 neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.
Type of medication
ProzacAtivan
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
ProzacAtivan
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
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
  • Drug interactions
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Prozac (fluoxetine) 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
        ProzacAtivan
        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
        ProzacAtivan
        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
        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 memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
        • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
        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 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
        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 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
        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.
        • 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 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