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Ativan (Lorazepam) vs. Xanax (Alprazolam): Understanding the Difference

xanaxAtivan and Xanax are drugs that fall into the benzodiazepine category. Both drugs are considered psychoactive and are characterized by their use as sedatives, muscle relaxers or tranquilizers. Commonly referred to as benzos, these drugs can be used to treat anxiety, tension, nervousness or other issues, even as a form of treatment for seizures. While the two have good medical uses, they are also often abused and can lead to major drug addiction.

Both drugs are similar in potency and are considered a rapid onset medication. The drugs will provide the desired effect in a 30-minute time frame. The drugs are so potent, they are often given in doses of 1 mg or less. If you are taking either prescription drug for a medical condition, it is important to follow dosage instructions. Learn the most you can about both drugs so that you can recognize if an addiction is present. So, what is the difference between Ativan (Lorazepam) and Xanax?

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Differences Between Ativan and Xanax

Because Ativan and Xanax are similar, you may be prescribed either for the same condition. It is important to learn as much as you can about each drug so that you can figure out, with the help of your physician, which will work best for your needs. Most people want to know: Is Lorazepam and Xanax the same thing? What’s the difference between Xanax and Ativan? What is Ativan used for? and; Can you take Ativan and Xanax together? Let’s take a deeper look into some of these questions. Ativan will be prescribed to treat anxiety or as a preoperative sedative. Xanax will be used to treat a panic disorder or to also treat anxiety. Both are short-acting, but the reaction time you have to either medication can vary.

In general, Ativan will have a peak time of 1 to 6 hours and will have an average half-life of 14 to 15 hours. This is why this medication will be prescribed pre-surgery. It allows a patient to relax for the right amount of time and be able to complete surgery with ease. Xanax will peak in 1 to 2 hours time and will have an average half-life of 11 to 12 hours.

The addictive qualities of each medication are also different. When a benzodiazepine is used on a regular basis, it can lead to a physical dependency as well as the onset of withdrawals if you stop taking the medication. With Ativan and Xanax, it is recommended that patients withdraw from the medication in a tapering off manner over a certain period of days. In general, Xanax has a higher rate of addiction.

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Are You Addicted?

pondering addictionIf you or a loved one are addicted to Ativan or Xanax, treatment is necessary to beat the addition. Withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to deal with and require assistance from a medical professional. Individuals who stop taking either medication without tapering off or help can experience agitation, insomnia and self-worth issues. Seizures can occur as well as muscle cramping, tremors, vomiting, and sweating.

It can be dangerous to stop taking Xanax or Ativan without the proper treatment setting. If you are addicted and ready to stop taking the medication, it is important to work with a treatment facility that specializes in overcoming such drug addictions. Medical personnel will be on staff to assist with the physical as well as mental issues associated with stopping either medication.

If you are prescribed either medication for a medical condition, be sure to take the medicine as prescribed. Speak to your physician about taking something else if you feel that you could become addicted to the drug over time. Former drug abusers should stay away from such prescription medications, like Xanax, as they can be addicting and those who have struggled with addiction before can be predisposed to becoming addicted once again.

Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-371-4198 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.