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 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
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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
  • Dry mouth 1%
  • Drooling 2%
  • Stomach discomfort 1%
  • Irritability 1%
  • Increased appetite 1%
  • Weight gain 2%
  • Numbness in the mouth 4%
More Saphris side effects »
  • Unsteadiness 3%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Sleepiness 16%
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 areas of the brain that help calm you down. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.
Type of medication
SaphrisAtivan
Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
SaphrisAtivan
  • Dissolving pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
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 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
SaphrisAtivan
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
SaphrisAtivan
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.
Sleep
SaphrisAtivan
No sleep related info.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
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.
  • 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
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 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
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.
  • 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 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