Compare Saphris vs. Ativan

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

Saphris
(asenapine)

Ativan
(lorazepam)

Treats bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. While Saphris (asenapine) has fewer side effects compared with other medicines that treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, it can be more expensive.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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Coupons for Saphris
Best available price for 30 (10mg) orally disintegrating tabs of saphris
Coupons for Ativan
Best available price for 60 (0.5mg) tablets of ativan
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Saphris (asenapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Ativan
71%
-21% worse vs. Saphris
51%
-13% worse vs. Saphris
15%
+2% better vs. Saphris
642 reviews
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
SaphrisAtivan
  • Trouble sleeping 2%
  • Sleepiness 6%
  • Difficulty controlling movements 3%
  • Restlessness 3%
  • Numbness in the mouth 4%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Weight gain 2%
More Saphris side effects »
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
More Ativan side effects »
How it works
SaphrisAtivan
While it's not clear how Saphris (asenapine) helps to treat bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, it changes the amount of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, two chemicals that are known to regulate 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
SaphrisAtivan
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
SaphrisAtivan
  • Dissolving pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
SaphrisAtivan
Risk factors for serious side effects
SaphrisAtivan
  • People age 65 or older with dementia and psychosis
  • Taking antipsychotic medications
  • High blood pressure
  • History of heart disease
Detailed Saphris (asenapine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
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
SaphrisAtivan
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
SaphrisAtivan
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.
Sleep
SaphrisAtivan
No sleep related info.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
Weight
SaphrisAtivan
  • People on medicines like Saphris (asenapine) have had weight gain and higher blood sugar to the point of having diabetes. Your doctor will work with you to stop that from happening.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
SaphrisAtivan
  • Saphris (asenapine) can be used to treat bipolar disorder in children age 10 or older, and schizophrenia in children age 12 or older.
  • You don't need water to take Saphris (asenapine); the pill dissolves in your mouth right away.
  • Compared to other medicines, the side effects of Saphris (asenapine) are milder.
  • 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
SaphrisAtivan
  • Saphris (asenapine) is only available as a brand name.
  • Compared to other medicines, Saphris (asenapine) can cause changes in your hormones and make you sleepy.
  • You have to take Saphris (asenapine) twice a day, which can be hard to remember.
  • 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
SaphrisAtivan
  • To take Saphris (asenapine), place the pill under your tongue and let it dissolve completely. Don't chew or swallow the pill, and don't eat or drink for 10 minutes after you take it.
  • You might feel numbness or tingling in your mouth or throat after you take Saphris (asenapine). This usually goes away after an hour.
  • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Saphris (asenapine) affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Saphris (asenapine) suddenly without talking to your doctor first because it can be very dangerous.
  • If you miss a dose of Saphris (asenapine), take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s time for your next dose; don't take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Keep Saphris (asenapine) in your pantry away from heat, moisture, and light. Don't store it in your bathroom's medicine cabinet.
  • 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 SaphrisSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Saphris (asenapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it