Xanax and Ativan belong to benzodiazepine group of drugs which helps to calm the nervous system. It enables individuals to manage anxiety, depression, panic attack and others. They are commonly used as anti-anxiety drugs. While both the drugs are commonly prescribed for above stated conditions, one might wonder which is more effective. This article will compare both the drugs to establish the differences and similarities.
Both the anti-anxiety drugs are powerful in treating anxiety disorder and other mental conditions. But, there are other different conditions which can be addressed by each drug specifically. Doctors choose between the two drugs depending on the symptoms experienced by the patient. If the patient is down with insomnia, seizure, or any other mental health disorder condition, Ativan is preferred. Other clinic uses include pre-surgery sedation, alcohol withdrawal and status epilepticus. If the patient experiences tremor or combination of panic attacks and anxiety, Xanax is commonly used.
Most of the side effects associated with both the drugs are common. The common side effects are drowsiness, dizziness and tiredness. Risk of low blood pressure, losing control over mind, memory problem and dry mouth are common in Xanax. Thus, people with bipolar disorder are not usually recommended to use this drug. Headache, blurred vision, confusion and heartburn are common side effects of Ativan.
Other drugs that reduces the efficiency of Xanax and Ativan
Another common criterion for choosing between the two drugs is other prescription drugs consumed by patients’ on a daily basis.
If the patient takes medications for Parkinson’s disease, HIV, TB, alcoholism, gastrointestinal problems or fungal problems, Xanax is not usually recommended. These drugs would reduce the efficiency of this anti-anxiety drug. If the patient is using drugs for epilepsy, gout or any other psychotic problems, Ativan is not recommended.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Both the drugs are not recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. They can cause serious problems in the fetus and can trigger some medical complications in the newborn babies like inability to suck milk, sedation and others.
Both Xanax and Ativan are approved by FDA for treating anxiety and panic disorders. When compared Ativan has a higher probability of inducing drug abuse than the former. Doctors recommend the use of medication in people, if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Onset of Relief
Immediate release formulation of Xanax starts reacting in the body within one hour from the time of consumption. It will stay in the system for five hours whereas extended release pill will stay in the system for 11 hours. In case of Ativan, the time taken for the drug to start its reaction in the body is just 30-60 minutes. The effects tend to last for 8 hours. The half life effect of Xanax is higher in obese people and senior citizens than in others.
Both the drugs exhibit the same allergic reactions and overdose symptoms. The cost of both the drugs is almost the same. The generic variants of the drug are comparatively less pricy but one should choose a reliable manufacturer or brand when they are opting for a generic version. Both the drugs have withdrawal symptoms and must not be stopped immediately.
Each drug has its own set of advantage and disadvantage. As one can see, in certain cases, one drug is better than the other. Only a doctor can weigh the risks and benefits of using each drug and can help in choosing the right one. Do not pick a drug randomly from any online pharmacy. Talk to the doctor about the medical history, symptoms, list of drugs that once were taken for treating allergies or abuses. All these factors will enable the doctor to choose the right drug and dose.
In the same manner, though both the drugs are marketed for the same cause, it is not right to change the medication without doctor’s approval.