Ativan and Xanax are similar medications used to treat anxiety.
Are Ativan and Xanax the Same Drug?
Ativan and Xanax are two different drugs but they are both benzodiazepines, a class of drugs often used for managing psychiatric illness. Both drugs treat mental disorders by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter, thus reducing anxiety and panic.
Ativan vs. Xanax – What You Need to Know
Both drugs come from the benzo (benzodiazepine) family of drugs and are both powerful drugs used to treat anxiety. These medications work to sedate brain activity that can lead to panic or extreme nervousness. These drugs can even be used to treat seizures.
A closer comparison of Ativan vs. Xanax shows a more ominous parallel: using them can lead to a substance use disorder. Ativan and Xanax are typically only prescribed in small doses because of their potency and the risk of addiction developing. Once consumed, they can take effect in about 30 minutes. Ativan leaves the body faster, which lessens some of the side effects of the drugs, which include:
- Memory problems
When comparing Ativan and Xanax side effects, it should be noted that Ativan has some uncommon but more dangerous side effects such as suicidal thoughts, seizures and major depression.
Knowing which medication to choose is important, so talk with your doctor.
If an addiction formed through use, both medications can cause withdrawal symptoms to occur once a person stops taking the substances. Tapering off the medications instead of making an abrupt, “cold turkey” cessation is recommended. Neither drug should be taken with alcohol. When combining legally prescribed benzos, like Ativan or Xanax, with other drugs you should consult your physician. Always consult with your primary care provider before taking medications.
Ativan and Xanax — Which is More Addictive?
Ativan is prescribed more frequently for a wider variety of disorders like anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, seizures and to stop nausea and vomiting that comes after a chemotherapy treatment. Xanax is typically only prescribed for anxiety and panic attacks.
So which is better to take, Ativan or Xanax? That is a question for a licensed physician, who should always be your main resource for these powerful medications.
If you or a loved one are addicted to Ativan or Xanax, treatment is just a phone call away. Managing a substance use disorder is a challenge that requires professional help.
When considering Ativan vs. Xanax, it is important to note that both are valid treatment options, but both can be dangerous drugs. Developing an addiction is a risk of these medications. Talk with your doctor before considering or taking these drugs.