Compare Ativan vs. oxazepam

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

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Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only

Serax (oxazepam)

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
Controls anxiety symptoms and alcohol withdrawal.

Serax (oxazepam) helps make sure the seizures that happen during alcohol withdrawal don't get worse. Serax (oxazepam) is also good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.

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.
  • Serax (oxazepam) is a first choice medicine to treat seizures that can happen in alcohol withdrawal.
  • Serax (oxazepam) only lasts for a short time, so there's little risk of hangover effects or sleepiness.
  • Serax (oxazepam) is recommended for people who have advanced liver disease because it doesn't affect the liver.
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.
  • Serax (oxazepam) is addictive, so its use for anxiety should be limited to the shortest time possible.
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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)?

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Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
The Serax (oxazepam) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Breathing problems, coma, and death
    • Taking opioids
  • Low blood pressure
    • People age 65 or older
    • High blood pressure
  • Behavior changes
See more detailed risks and warnings