Benzodiazepines are a family of drugs that relieve anxiety and induce sedation. They work by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA, which decreases the activity of the brain cells, thus causing a calming effect.
Benzodiazepines are highly effective in treating anxiety, with a low rate of adverse effects. They are also used to treat insomnia and seizures.
There are many different types of benzodiazepines, with each type having a different half-life and level of effectiveness for a given situation. Some of the most common benzodiazepines are Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam).
Today, let’s take a closer look at two common benzodiazepines—Ativan and Xanax. Knowing these types of drugs can help you understand their benefits, risks, and more.
What is the Difference Between Ativan and Xanax
The biggest difference between Ativan and Xanax is the half-life of each drug. Diazepam (Ativan) has a shorter half-life, which means it is metabolized more quickly than alprazolam (Xanax).
Ativan is metabolized quickly, so it wears off much sooner than Xanax. This makes Xanax more effective for long-term use and treating anxiety disorders, but Ativan can be used for short-term or occasional use. Xanax, on the other hand, is metabolized more slowly, so it lasts longer and can be used for short-term use. It is also more effective for treating panic disorders and panic attacks.
Another difference that may be important for someone deciding on which drug to take is the difference between the dose of each drug. The dose of Xanax is typically 0.5–1 mg, while the typical dose of Ativan is less than 1 mg.
What is Ativan?
Ativan (lorazepam) is a benzodiazepine that was approved by the FDA in 1981. It is used to treat anxiety disorders and is available in tablet form. Once it is ingested, the effects of Ativan take 30 minutes to take effect, and it can last up to 8 hours.
It is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and is also used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It is most commonly given to individuals who have had previous experience with other benzodiazepines and are then given Ativan. The most common side effects of Ativan are decreased appetite and weight, drowsiness, and problems with coordination. Less common symptoms include insomnia and a dry mouth.
What is Xanax?
Xanax (alprazolam) is the brand name for the drug alprazolam. It is a benzodiazepine that the FDA approved in 1981. It is used to treat anxiety disorders and is available in tablet form. Once it is ingested, the effects of Xanax begin within 30 minutes and can last up to 12 hours.
It is most commonly used to treat anxiety, panic, and panic attacks. It typically takes a few weeks for Xanax to take full effect, so it is commonly used with other drugs. It is also used as a short-term treatment for acute stress.
The most common side effects of Xanax are drowsiness and a decrease in appetite. Less common side effects include eye pain, nausea, mood changes, and nasal congestion.
What Types of Drugs Are They?
The two drugs are benzodiazepines, a family of drugs that affect the chemicals in the brain that regulate sleep and wakefulness.
Benzodiazepines increase the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA, which slows down brain activity. This leads to a sense of calmness and relief from anxiety and stress. Other drugs in the benzodiazepine family include Valium (diazepam), Xannax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam).
What Are They Used For?
Benzodiazepines work by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA, which decreases the activity of the brain cells, thus causing a calming effect.
Ativan and Xanax work by binding to GABA receptors in the brain and creating a calming effect. They also affect the levels of other neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin. The calming effect that Ativan and Xanax create is significantly stronger than the calming effect of alcohol, making them particularly effective for managing anxiety.
The calming effect that benzodiazepines create is similar to the feeling of being intoxicated. This is why these drugs are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and insomnia. They are also used to treat seizures and manage the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Xanax and Ativan have similar side effects. Some of the most common side effects include drowsiness, a decrease in appetite, and problems with coordination. Other side effects include a dry mouth, insomnia, mood changes, and anxiety. Less common side effects include sweating, problems urinating, and eye pain.
Because these drugs are so similar, the side effects of Ativan and Xanax are also similar. However, there are a few differences. Xanax has a very low potential for addiction and is not as sedating as Ativan. On the other hand, Ativan is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms.
Also, Ativan has a longer half-life than Xanax, which means that it stays in the body longer, and thus, it is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms and a rebound effect. Other than that, the side effects of Ativan and Xanax are very similar.
Which is Stronger
While both drugs are undeniably effective in treating anxiety, Xanax tends to be a little more effective. This is because it takes a few weeks for the full effects of Xanax to take place, whereas Ativan begins working more quickly.
Xanax also has a lower potential for addiction, which means it is a safer drug, even though it can cause withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, Ativan wears off faster and is easier to stop using than Xanax. Therefore, Ativan can be used for short-term or occasional use, which Xanax cannot.
Another important difference between Ativan and Xanax is their safety. Ativan is only FDA-approved to treat anxiety disorders, but people use it to treat panic disorders, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal.
Which is More Effective
With that being said, Xanax is a better choice for long-term use. This is because it takes a few weeks for the full effects of the drug to take place.
While some people succeed with Ativan after taking it for a short time, Xanax is more effective for long-term use. This is because it takes several weeks for anxiety to be fully treated, and if a person takes Ativan for a short period, the anxiety will not be fully treated.
Which is More Addictive
As stated above, Xanax has a lower potential for addiction than Ativan. The potential for addiction is lower because the drug is metabolized more slowly. Also, the dose of Xanax is lower than the dose of Ativan, which reduces the potential for addiction.
Xanax also has a lower potential for addiction because it has a longer half-life than Ativan. Because it has a longer half-life, it stays in the body longer and is more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms if a person stops using it.
On the other hand, Ativan has the potential to cause withdrawal symptoms. This can occur if the drug is stopped suddenly.
In conclusion, Ativan and Xanax are effective drugs for treating anxiety disorders. They are very similar in their effects and side effects, and the two drugs are commonly used for the same purposes.
The difference between the two drugs is that Xanax is more effective for long-term treatment because it takes time to take full effect, while Ativan is more effective for short-term or occasional use. While they are very similar and often used similarly, Ativan and Xanax are not the same.