Compare Ativan vs. Buspar

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

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Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only

Buspar (buspirone)

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 relax.

Buspar (buspirone) relieves anxiety with less drowsiness and abuse potential than other anti-anxiety medicines, but it takes time to work and effects might wear off over time.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 67 reviewsforBuspar
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.
  • Doesn't cause as much physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms as other medications used for anxiety.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Tablets can be split for easy dose changes.
  • Doesn't cause as much drowsiness as other medications for anxiety.
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 for quick relief of anxiety symptoms since Buspar (buspirone) can take as long as 4 weeks to fully work.
  • Not as effective for short-term anxiety conditions or panic disorders.
  • Some people find that Buspar (buspirone) loses effectiveness over long periods of time.
  • Must take Buspar (buspirone) twice daily for full effect.
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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

Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?

Leave a review
67 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
45%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Buspar (buspirone)?

Leave a review
Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
19possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Headache
    6%
  • Nervousness
    5%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Trouble sleeping
    3%
  • Lightheadedness
    3%
  • Dry mouth
    3%
  • Worse concentration
    2%
  • Excitement
    2%
  • Anger/hostility
    2%
  • Confusion
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Blurred vision
    2%
  • Upset stomach
    2%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Numbness
    2%
  • Weakness
    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
  • Higher blood pressure
    • Taking Buspar (buspirone) with MAOIs
    • Taking Buspar (buspirone) within 14 days after stopping a MAOIs
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that affect serotonin levels
  • Withdrawal symptoms from other anti-anxiety medicines
    • Stopping benzodiazepines suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings