Compare Ativan vs. Sonata

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

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Ativan (lorazepam)

Prescription only

Sonata (zaleplon)

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 fall sleep.

Sonata (zaleplon) aids in falling asleep, but it's not as good with helping you stay asleep or with waking up in the middle of the night.

2.9/ 5 average rating with 175 reviewsforSonata
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.
  • Effectively helps people fall asleep faster.
  • Doesn't last as long in the body like some other sleep medicines, so it may cause less side effects the next morning.
  • Generic is available, so it's affordable.
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 typically used for long-term treatment because it can be habit-forming and hasn't been shown to be effective for chronic insomnia.
  • Doesn't last as long in the body as other sleep medicines, so it's not as good at helping you stay asleep.
  • Not recommended if you can't sleep at least 7-8 hours a night.
  • Might not be safe if you have problems with your liver, kidneys, lungs, or if you have a history of depression.
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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
175 reviews so far
42%
saidit'sworth it
23%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Sonata (zaleplon)?

Leave a review
Side effects
4possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Weakness
    4%
  • Unsteadiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
18possible side effects
  • Headache
    42%
  • Dizziness
    9%
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Lack of energy
    7%
  • Abdominal pain
    6%
  • Sleepiness
    6%
  • Memory problems
    4%
  • Menstrual cramps
    4%
  • Burning/prickling sensation
    3%
  • Eye pain
    3%
  • Malaise
    2%
  • Loss of appetite
    2%
  • Feelings of detachment
    2%
  • Decreased touch sensations
    2%
  • Tremor
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Increased sensitivity to sound
    2%
  • Smell disorder
    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
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • Continuous use of Sonata (zaleplon) for 2 weeks or more
  • Hangover feeling the next day
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medications that make you less alert
    • Less than 7 hours of sleep
  • CNS depressants and abnormal thoughts
    • Undiagnosed psychiatric conditions
  • Performing activities while asleep
    • Taking Sonata (zaleplon) with alcohol or drugs that cause drowsiness
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Breastfeeding
See more detailed risks and warnings