Xanax vs Ativan: Comparison Between Two Benzodiazepine Drugs

Xanax vs Ativan is a debate that is going on for years. Xanax and Ativan both are Benzodiazepine class drugs. Also, both are used to treat some psychotic disorders or symptoms of some mental disorders. Hence, there are many similarities between them. But also, there are some differences. So here, we will discuss both the similarities and the differences. This will help us to get a clear overview of these two medicines.

Before moving to the contrast part, Let us know a bit about the two drugs.

Xanax is a brand name that sells Alprazolam generic dug. It is used to treat anxiety disorders or anxiety caused by depression. It also treats panic attacks and phobias. Similarly, the brand Ativan sells the Lorazepam generic drugs. It is used to treat anxiety disorders.

Comparison Between Xanax And Ativan

We will compare these two drugs on some bases that are related to them. Like;

Base 1: Usage

Both Xanax and Ativan are taken orally. These are taken according to the direction of the doctors or healthcare providers. But Xanax can be taken 2 to 3 times a day. Whereas, Ativan is taken two times only. Xanax can only be used by the adult population. But Ativan can be consumed by children older than 12 years and adults.

Base 2: Dosage

Ativan has two doses namely Ativan 1 mg and Ativan 2 mg. But Xanax has two forms of doses. One is the Xanax Immediate-Release form (IR) like Xanax 1 mg and the other is Xanax Extended-Release (XR) form like Xanax XR 3 mg. Also, Xanax has doses by color like Red Xanax Bar, White Xanax Bar, Green Xanax Bar, etc.

Base 3: Forms Of Availability

Both of them are available in oral tablet forms. But Ativan is also available in injectable solutions and oral solutions.

Base 4: Longevity Of The Drugs

Xanax works within 30 minutes to 1 hour of consumption and its effectiveness stay for up to 4 to 6 hours. Ativan works within 1 to 2 hours of consumption but its effectiveness stays up to 8 hours.

Base 5: Adverse Effects

Like every other medicine, these two also have some side effects. Some of them are mild and some others are serious side effects. Side effects like drowsiness, hallucinations, restless feeling, jaundice, and vision changes are common in both medicine consumption. But consuming Ativan can have side effects like suicidal thoughts, sleeping issues, and weakness. Whereas Xanax consumption has different side effects like feeling lightheadedness, seizures, and shallow breathing.

Base 6: Withdrawal Symptoms

Ativan and Xanax both are addictive, hence they are used for a short period of time. But sometimes, these are used for the long -term with the approval of the doctor. After using them for a long time, if stopped suddenly then withdrawal symptoms can occur. Withdrawal symptoms of Ativan are seizures, hallucinations, and psychotic reactions. Xanax withdrawal symptoms are insomnia, restlessness, troubling dreams, awakenings while sleeping, and tense mornings.

Base 7: How They Work

They both work in the Brain and in the Central Nervous System. They work by enhancing the secretion of GABA hormone which helps to calm the mind. This helps in controlling anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias.

Base 8: Half-Life Of The Drug

The half-life of Ativan is 12 hours whereas the half-life of Xanax is 11.5 hours. The half-life of a drug indicates within what time period the half part of the drug leaves the system.

Base 9: Drug Interactions

Taking any other drugs with these medicines can be very dangerous. As these are from the same drug class, their drug interaction is also the same. Both of them interact with phenothiazines, opioids, barbiturates, monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, antidepressants, and alcohol.

Base 10: Treating Diseases

FDA has approved Ativan for the treatment of anxiety disorders and anxiety associated with depression. Xanax is approved by FDA for the generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder treatment. Xanax can be prescribed to treat depression, but Ativan can not.

We have discussed all the alikeness and contrasts of them. This is all about Xanax vs Ativan. Now, we can conclude that both of them are useful. But in the case of effectiveness and longevity Ativan is more effective than Xanax. But also Xanax starts its work faster than Ativan. So the doctor decides which medicine will be prescribed to whom. They decide by considering the effects, needs, and other physical conditions of the patient.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)

Can I switch from Ativan to Xanax?

There is no significant issue in switching from Ativan to Xanax. Ativan and Xanax both are used for the same purpose. 1 mg Ativan is equal to 0.5 mg Xanax. So switching to Xanax may need more concern. But you can switch under the supervision of your healthcare provider.

What’s better for anxiety Ativan or Xanax?

Both Xanax and Ativan are the most useful medicine for anxiety. They both work in the brain and in the Central Nervous system to calm anxious thoughts. The difference between these two drugs is Xanax works faster whereas Ativan works for a longer period. Xanax or Ativan, which is better for you can only be decided by your doctor after seeing your symptoms and other health conditions.

Ativan vs Xanax which leaves the body faster?

Both of them show serious withdrawal issues when stopped suddenly. Xanax has a half-life of 11.2 hours and Ativan has a half-life of 12 to 18 hours. Ativan leaves the body more slowly than Xanax. But it is said that Ativan has less chance of toxicity.

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