Difference Between Ativan and Xanax

Anxiety disorders have become an outrageous psychological problem for humans of any age group. The effect of life’s movement is also taking a toll on the mental ability of the people.

Many medications and treatments have been developed in the healthcare industry to treat such disorders. Though there are many ancient mind activity techniques available, people incline to these quick-fix measures to restore normalcy.

The use of psychoactive drugs gives relief to many because it induces sleep to treat the disorder. Benzodiazepines are one class of psychoactive drug which is extensively prescribed in the world.

Two important drugs were developed to treat a few mental sicknesses; Ativan and Xanax. Ativan is the brand name of Lorazepam and Xanax is the brand name of Alprazolam.

Ativan vs Xanax

The difference between Ativan and Xanax is that Ativan is a drug which leaves the human body quicker and reduces the chance of any side effects after its use. Xanax is a drug which takes more time to leave a system and causes more number of unfavourable conditions and side effects.

Ativan vs


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonAtivanXanax
Onset of effectAtivan takes a longer duration to react in the body.Xanax is quicker to act on the body to bring relief.
Impact Duration of the DrugAtivan Lasts longer in relief. say up to 8 hours or even more for certain people.Xanax stays for a shorter duration when compared with Ativan. Say for 6 hours.
Mode of IntakeAtivan can be consumed as a tablet or it can be injected into the veins too.Xanax is consumed as a tablet.
Effects of Race and ageAtivan is never affected by race or age. It functions the same on everyone.Xanax is more effective on Asian descents as the scientific study says.
Effects of SedationAtivan takes a longer duration to produce the sedative effect but lasts longer.Xanax takes a relatively shorter duration to produce the sedative effect and lasts for a shorter duration as well.


What is Ativan?

Ativan is a Lorazepam belonging to benzodiazepine medication. This medication is widely provided to treat anxiety disorders.

Ativan is a drug that acts on the central nervous system and the brain to produce a calming effect. This is extensively used in the medical industry to treat trouble sleeping, seizures which are caused due to alcohol withdrawal and status epilepticus.

This is also ingested for a chronic acute syndrome which is caused due to usage of cocaine. Ativan is consumed either by mouth or in certain situations, it can be injected to the body muscle or the vein.

The doctors prescribe Ativan to patients after judging that the benefit of the drug is more than the side effects it may cause. Yes, the intake of Ativan has side effects involved in it.

Some of the side effects are sleepiness, dizziness, loss of coordination or balance in the body. It may also have few minor side effects like constipation, blurred vision.

Ativan effectively reduces agitation and induces sleep. The absorbing speed by the body is not fast than the other benzodiazepines, but the duration of the effects is longer.

There are a few adverse effects cited after using Ativan. Continuous usage of Ativan may lead to low blood pressure, it may also cause the unwanted formation of new memories.


What is Xanax?

Xanax is the brand name of the drug Alprazolam belonging to the benzodiazepine medication. It is widely prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety disorders, mainly panic disorder.

Xanax is consumed as a tablet. This drug is to be consumed with care, as it is influenced by age and race.

The onset of effect is fast with Xanax, that means to say, it absorbs faster and produces results. However, it is to be noted that the effect is for a shorter duration only.

Xanax is a drug that needs to have a thorough consultation with the doctor as the dosage has to be gradually increased. In most of the cases, prolonged use of Xanax has never shown any significant results.

Xanax like other benzodiazepine drugs has its side effects. A few of the common side effects are depression, headaches and at times some acute memory problems.

Xanax is an excellent drug for panic disorder. It can treat anxiety disorders to any level, even to the level of panic attacks.

Xanax is not a first-line treatment. It is a quick reliever for further medication to be prescribed.

Usage of Xanax can be addictive and also brings some paradoxical behavior in place. It may even cause the patient to behave violently with aggression.

Main Differences Between Ativan and Xanax

  1. Both belonging to benzodiazepine medication, Ativan and Xanax have produced massive results for mental sicknesses. However, the main difference between Ativan and Xanax is, Ativan takes a longer onset of effect in the body, at the same time, the effect on the body is also longer. Whereas, Xanax has a shorter onset of effect at the same time has a shorter duration of effect in the body.
  2. Ativan and Xanax both must be consumed only after doctor’s advice. Ativan is consumed in both ways depending on the situation, like a tablet or an injection in the muscle or the vein. Xanax is consumed only through the mouth.
  3. Ativan can be used for a longer period and it functions as the way it is supposed to function in the body. Xanax will not do any good in prolonged medication.
  4. The sedative effect of Ativan lasts longer in the body than the sedative effects of Xanax.
  5. The patients’ age or race is not considered while prescribing Ativan while Xanax is prone to non-functionality or over functionality in the body because of the age and race of the patients. It is scientifically proven that the Asian race has more effects while consuming Xanax than the other races.


  1. https://treatnow.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Why-Our-Returning-Soldiers-Are-Falling-Apart-New-York-Magazine.pdf
  2. https://www.cmaj.ca/content/186/14/E508.short
  3. http://www.jse.ac.cn/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1002.2008.08038
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