A 66-year-old female asked:
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i know ativan and xanax (alprazolam) are in the same drug class but what are some of the differences between the 2 drugs?

1 doctor answer
Dr. Steven Reidbord
35 years experience Psychiatry
Ativan vs Xanax (alprazolam): Both Ativan (lorazepam) and xanax (alprazolam) are benzodiazepine tranquilizers. The main differences clinically are that Ativan is longer-acting and slightly more sedating than xanax. Most agree that xanax is more potent than Ativan on a milligram-for-milligram basis, and probably more addictive. However, both are considered high-potency benzodiazepines and both can lead to drug dependence.
Answered on Sep 28, 2016
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Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali commented
31 years experience Psychiatry
Agree except that ativan is shorter acting.
May 2, 2013
Dr. Steven Reidbord
35 years experience Psychiatry
Provided original answer
"Lorazepam also has a considerably longer duration of action than alprazolam.... Taking into consideration a similar elimination half-life... the more prolonged duration of the lorazepam action underscores the potential importance of the receptor-binding affinity as a factor responsible for the clinical profile of benzodiazepines." Derendorf & Hochhaus _Handbook of Pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics Correlation_ 1995, p173
May 2, 2013

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