Compare Risperdal vs. Ativan

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

Risperdal (risperidone)

Prescription only

Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only
Helps control your thoughts and mood.

Risperdal (risperidone) is an effective medication in treating schizophrenia, mania, and irritability associated with autism; however, amongst other newer medications in its class, it's more likely to cause side effects, such weight gain and hormone problems.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 45 reviewsforRisperdal
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
  • Risperdal (risperidone) is effective at relieving psychotic symptoms, manic episodes, irritability, and aggressive behavior. It also lowers relapse rates in people with schizophrenia and people with irritability associated with autism.
  • Less likely to cause heart problems compared to other antipsychotics.
  • Compared to other antipsychotics, Risperdal (risperidone) causes less sedation and weight gain.
  • A generic version available for pill, dissolving tablet, and liquid formulations.
  • 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
  • Mild to moderate risk of Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS) - movement disorders that cause stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements.
  • People taking Risperdal (risperidone) might have weight gain and problems with cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Compared to other antipsychotics, this medication has a higher risk of hormone problems that can cause nipples to leak and male breasts to grow abnormally large.
  • You might need routine blood tests to check how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Risperdal (risperidone) takes 4 to 6 weeks for its full effects on thoughts and mood.
  • 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
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
45 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
47%
saiditworked well
49%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Risperdal (risperidone)?

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
23possible side effects
  • Sedation
    63%
  • Increased appetite
    44%
  • Fatigue
    31%
  • Vomiting
    20%
  • Common cold
    19%
  • Constipation
    17%
  • Cough
    17%
  • Fever
    16%
  • Involuntary urination
    16%
  • Drooling
    12%
  • Headache
    12%
  • Hay fever
    12%
  • Dry mouth
    10%
  • Nasal congestion
    10%
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    8%
  • Weight gain
    8%
  • Tremor
    8%
  • Dizziness
    8%
  • Movement disorder
    8%
  • Rash
    8%
  • Increased saliva
    7%
  • Thirst
    7%
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
  • Increased risk of death
    • Elderly patients with dementia
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Drug interactions
  • Shaking and restlessness
    • High doses of Risperdal (risperidone)
  • Higher blood sugar and cholesterol and weight gain
    • People with diabetes
    • People with high cholesterol
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
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