Difference Between Ativan and Xanax

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


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

Two crucial drugs were developed to treat mental sickness; Ativan and Xanax. Ativan is the brand name of Lorazepam, and Xanax is the brand name of Alprazolam.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ativan (lorazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam) are benzodiazepines prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and sometimes insomnia by acting on the central nervous system and producing a calming effect.
  2. Ativan has a more prolonged onset and duration of action than Xanax, making it suitable for long-term anxiety management. At the same time, Xanax is faster-acting and used for acute anxiety episodes or panic attacks.
  3. The main difference between Ativan and Xanax lies in their onset and duration of action, with Ativan being more suited for long-term anxiety management and Xanax being preferable for short-term relief of acute anxiety symptoms.

Ativan vs Xanax

Ativan is a drug that has a longer half-life than Xanax, leaves the human body quicker, and reduces the chance of any side effects after its use. Xanax is a drug that is used for short-term relief of anxiety, takes more time to leave a system, and causes more unfavourable conditions and side effects.

Ativan vs

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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 for everyone.Xanax is more effective for Asian descent, as the scientific study says.
Effects of SedationAtivan takes a longer duration to produce the soothing effect but lasts longer.Xanax takes a relatively shorter duration to produce a soothing effect and lasts for a shorter period.


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 that 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 into the body’s muscles 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 side effects are sleepiness, dizziness, and loss of coordination or balance in the body. It may also have minor side effects like constipation and blurred vision.

Ativan effectively reduces agitation and induces sleep. The body’s absorbing speed is not faster 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. Doctors widely prescribe it to treat anxiety disorders, mainly panic disorders.

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, which means it absorbs quicker and produces results. However, it is to be noted that the impact 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 cases, prolonged use of Xanax has never shown any significant results.

Xanax, like other benzodiazepine drugs, has its side effects. A few 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.

Using Xanax can be addictive and also brings some paradoxical behaviour into place. It may even cause the patient to behave violently with aggression.

Main Differences Between Ativan and Xanax

  1. Both belong to benzodiazepine medications, Ativan and Xanax have produced tremendous results for mental sicknesses. Ativan takes a more prolonged onset of effect in the body; at the same time, the impact on the body is also longer. Xanax has a shorter onset of effect and, at the same time, has a shorter duration of effect in the body.
  2. Ativan and Xanax both must be consumed only after the 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 more extended period and functions the way it is supposed to function in the body. Xanax will not do any good in prolonged medication.
  4. The soothing effect of Ativan lasts longer in the body than the sedative effects of Xanax.
  5. The patient’s age or race is not considered while prescribing Ativan. At the same time, 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.
Difference Between X and Y 48
  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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