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What’s The Difference – Ativan Vs. Xanax

Ativan and Xanax are two commonly prescribed medications that belong to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. These medications treat anxiety and panic disorders by calming the central nervous system. Ativan is also sometimes used to treat insomnia and seizure disorders and as a premedication for surgical procedures. Xanax is also used to treat generalized anxiety and panic disorders, with or without agoraphobia. Both medications enhance the effects of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which helps regulate brain nerve activity and produces a calming effect. However, it is essential to note that Ativan and Xanax can be habit-forming and should be taken only as prescribed by a healthcare provider.

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Which drug is more addictive?

Unfortunately, there is a chance for abuse and addiction with Ativan and Xanax. Benzodiazepines have the potential to become habit-forming, and those who use them regularly may build up a tolerance to the drug, requiring greater doses to produce the same results. This could make overdosing and other harmful side effects more likely. It is crucial only to use these medications as directed by a doctor and to be aware of the risk of abuse and addiction. Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional if you have concerns about using Ativan or Xanax.

Due to the possibility of addiction and dependency, both Ativan and Xanax should only be used temporarily. Benzodiazepines having a shorter half life (like Ativan and Xanax) are typically more difficult to discontinue using than those with a longer half life (such as diazepam). Both Ativan and Xanax easily penetrate brain tissue, which encourages drug use and is typically linked to withdrawal symptoms that are more severe. Thus, there is a considerable potential for misuse of both Ativan and Xanax. Although there isn’t any research directly comparing Ativan with Xanax, several specialists have recommended that Xanax be taken with caution because it has been linked to particularly bad withdrawal symptoms.

Ativan Vs. Xanax Differences In Chemical Composition

Xanax and Ativan have similar molecular structures and actions; however, some differences in their chemical makeup might affect how they operate inside the body. Ativan stays in the body longer than other medicines since it has a longer half-life. As a result, Ativan might be an excellent option for people who need longer-lasting sleep or anxiety relief. But it also has a higher chance of sedating you and giving you the willies. As opposed to other drugs, Xanax is more quickly absorbed by the body and has a shorter half-life, making you less likely to become tired and inactive. Due to this, individuals may need to take Xanax more frequently to retain its effects.

The way Ativan and Xanax metabolize differently is another difference between them. While Xanax is processed in the liver and intestines, Ativan is only metabolized in the liver. This impacts the rate at which the drugs are absorbed and removed from the body and might also affect the likelihood of drug interactions. Overall, the chemical variations between Ativan and Xanax can impact how the drugs are metabolized, how long they last in the body, and any potential side effects.

Ativan Vs. Xanax Differences In Uses

Ativan is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines and is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, and seizure disorders. In the case of anxiety disorders, Ativan can help reduce feelings of worry, tension, and restlessness and improve sleep. Ativan can help induce sleep and enhance sleep quality for people with insomnia. In the case of seizure disorders, Ativan can help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures. In addition to these uses, Ativan has several off-label uses, such as treating alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms and as a premedication for surgical procedures to help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. It is important to note that the use of Ativan for off-label purposes should be guided by a healthcare provider and based on the individual’s specific needs and medical history.

 Xanax is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines and is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. In these cases, Xanax can help reduce worry, tension, and restlessness and improve sleep. Xanax is also sometimes used to treat insomnia, as it can help induce sleep and enhance sleep quality. However, Xanax is not commonly used to treat seizure disorders. Like Ativan, Xanax has several off-label uses, such as treating alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms and as a premedication for surgical procedures to help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. It may also treat anxiety and insomnia in people who do not respond to other medications. It is important to note that using Xanax for off-label purposes should be guided by a healthcare provider based on the individual’s specific needs and medical history.

Ativan Vs. Xanax Differences in Dosage and Administration

Ativan is available in tablet, oral solution, and injectable dose forms. The 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg tablet dosages are often prescribed two to three times daily. The oral solution is also available at 2 mg/mL and is commonly prescribed at two to three times per day. In a hospital or therapeutic environment, the dosage of the injectable version of Ativan is prescribed based on the patient’s requirements and state of health.

Xanax comes in various dosage forms, including tablets and oral solutions, but also offers extended-release tablets. The dosage of pills can range from 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg which are typically taken two to four times each day. The oral solution is also prescribed at two to four times daily and has a 1 mg/mL concentration. The 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, and 3 mg doses of the extended-release capsules are commonly prescribed once a day.

The patient’s age, health, and response to treatment will all affect the Xanax dosage. For adults with anxiety, 0.25 to 0.5 mg twice or three times per day is usually the recommended starting dose. Patients with panic disorder are typically started on doses of 0.5 to 1 mg, prescribed twice or three times daily. It’s important to keep in mind that, similar to Ativan, the dosage of Xanax should be increased gradually in order to prevent possible side effects and that the medication should be taken exactly as prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Ativan Vs. Xanax Differences In Side Effects

Ativan and Xanax are benzodiazepines and potentially have negative side effects. Drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, and unsteadiness are common side effects of both medications that might raise the risk of accidents and falls. A few typical adverse effects are constipation, impaired vision, and dry mouth. Other uncommon but serious adverse effects of Ativan and Xanax include allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and hallucinations. When using Ativan or Xanax, you must seek medical assistance immediately and let your doctor know if you encounter any of these side effects.

Ativan and Xanax are two examples of the benzodiazepine class of prescription drugs that are regularly administered. Along with anxiety and panic disorders, both medications can be used to treat insomnia and seizure disorders. The two medications differ slightly in terms of their chemical makeup, half-life, and probable adverse effects. Ativan has a longer half-life and is digested in the liver, whereas Xanax has a shorter half-life and is processed in the liver and intestines. These changes might affect how quickly the body absorbs and eliminates the drugs and how likely they are to interact with other medications.

It is essential to follow a healthcare provider’s instructions when taking Ativan or Xanax, as both medications can be habit-forming and cause serious side effects. It is also important to be aware of the potential for abuse and addiction and to use these medications only as prescribed. If you have any questions or concerns about using Ativan or Xanax, discuss them with your healthcare provider or the prescribing physician.

Seeking Assistance for Benzodiazepine Dependence

Do not wait to get assistance if you suspect that you or a loved one has a Xanax or Ativan addiction. From inpatient rehab to supervised outpatient addiction therapy, Magnified Health provides a range of addiction treatment choices. To learn more about our services and to talk with a rehabilitation professional, contact us right now.

https://www.goodrx.com/compare/ativan-vs-xanax

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325771

https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/ativan-vs-xanax-3029943/

Medical Advice Disclaimer

Magnified Health Systems aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

This content is verified and moderated by Dr. Brendan Bickley

Dr. Bickley graduated from U.C. Irvine with honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, Cum Laude. He has been featured on national radio and print media. He is also a frequent lecturer at National Conferences. He holds an A.S. degree in Drug & Alcohol Studies, and two B.A. degrees in Criminology & Psychology, and masters and doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. He is a licensed California Drug & Alcohol Counselor Level II, a licensed Clinical Supervisor and is certified in treating Eating Disorders.

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