Compare Ativan vs. Belsomra

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

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Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only

Belsomra (suvorexant)

Prescription only
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
Helps you sleep.

Belsomra (suvorexant) helps you fall asleep, but is only avaliable as a brand name so can be expensive.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • May be helpful if other sleep aids don't work.
  • Works quickly, especially on an empty stomach.
  • Might be a good option for the elderly.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Not usually used for long-term treatment since it can be habit-forming.
  • Belsomra (suvorexant) is likely expensive since it's only available as a brand name, but coupon savings program could be available.
  • Not recommended if you do not plan to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Belsomra (suvorexant) may cause sleep paralysis.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
642 reviews so far
71%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
8possible side effects
  • Headache
    7%
  • Sleepiness
    7%
  • Dizziness
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Cold and flu
    2%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
  • Cough
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Changes in thoughts
    • Uncontrolled psychiatric conditions
    • Alcohol
    • Other medicines that make you sleepy or dizzy
  • Hangover effect
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Less than 7 hours of sleep after taking Belsomra (suvorexant)
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • Continuous use for 2 weeks or more
  • Depression
    • Risk increases with dose
    • Past history of depression
  • Difficulty breathing
    • Sleep apnea
    • COPD
  • Sleep paralysis
See more detailed risks and warnings