- Tips to Fast Stress Relief
- Take the Panic Attacks Quiz!
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Slideshow
- Ativan vs. Valium comparison
- What are Ativan and Valium?
- What are the uses for Ativan and Valium?
- What are the side effects of Ativan and Valium?
- Can I become addicted to Ativan and Valium?
- What are the withdrawal symptoms of Ativan and Valium?
- How should Ativan and Valium be taken (dosage)?
- Which drugs interact with Ativan and Valium?
- Are Ativan and Valium safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Ativan vs. Valium comparison
- Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam) are both members of the benzodiazepine family of drugs used mainly to treat anxiety and other psychiatric disorders.
- Researchers believe both Ativan and Valium – like other members of the benzodiazepine group – work by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter that helps inhibit excess brain activity. Excessive activity of nerves in the brain may affect mental health to cause anxiety and other psychological disorders, according to the current understanding of neuroscience.
- The central difference between lorazepam and diazepam is lorazepam leaves a person's system more quickly, reducing the chance of toxicity or side effects, a few of which are:
- Ativan also has fewer unfavorable interactions with other medications when compared to Valium. Both drugs, however, can cause dangerously increased sedation when consumed with alcohol.
- Both drugs also have the potential for addiction. Stopping either Ativan or Valium abruptly can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, depending on how long a person has been using the drug.
What are Ativan and Valium?
Lorazepam and diazepam are both benzodiazepines. They affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that nerves in the brain use to send messages to one another that reduce the activity of nerves in the brain. It is thought that lorazepam, diazepam, and other benzodiazepines like Xanax (alprazolam) or Klonopin (Clonazepam) may act by enhancing the effects of GABA in the brain to reduce activity, and thus reduce anxiety.
What are the uses for Ativan and Valium?
Ativan and Valium are both benzodiazepines, a class of medications used for treating anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders cause a variety of symptoms, including unrealistic dread and worry, trembling, shortness of breath, and symptoms that mimic cardiovascular problems.
What are the side effects of Ativan and Valium?
Both Ativan and Valium, like other benzodiazepines, can cause drowsiness, loss of balance, sedation, and sleep disturbance. Rarer but more serious side effects of both medications include respiratory depression and psychological depression -- People prescribed Ativan have even reported suicidal thoughts.
Lorazepam can cause extrapyramidal symptoms, which include a variety of drug-induced involuntary muscle movements.
Diazepam can cause neutropenia, which is a dangerous reduction in the body's white blood cell count. Neutropenia compromises the body's ability to fight off infection and maintain health.
Diazepam, unlike lorazepam, can also cause muscle spasms and double vision.
This is not a full list of possible side effects. Please consult a doctor for further information if you are taking this drug.
Can I become addicted to Ativan and Valium?
Both drugs can cause physical dependence and addiction. When stopping therapy, your doctor should taper off the dosage. Stopping abruptly can lead to feeling a loss of self-worth, agitation, sweating, muscle cramping, and insomnia.
What are the withdrawal symptoms of Ativan and Valium?
If you take lorazepam or diazepam continuously for longer than a few months, stopping therapy suddenly may produce serious withdrawal symptoms like:
Latest Mental Health News
Daily Health News
How should Ativan and Valium be taken (dosage)?
- The usual dose for treating anxiety is 2 mg to 6 mg orally in pill form every day, divided into doses every 8 to 12 hours as needed. Usual individual doses range from 0.5 mg to 2 mg per dose.
- Insomnia is treated with 2 mg to 4 mg given at bedtime.
- Diazepam for treatment of anxiety may be taken with or without food.
- Diazepam is disposed of by the liver and excreted mainly by the kidney, therefore; dosage may need to be lowered in patients with kidney problems.
- The usual oral pill diazepam dose for anxiety or seizures is 2 mg to 10 mg given 2-4 times each day.
- The usual dose for the suppository version is 0.2mg/kg to 0.5 mg/kg, depending on the recipient's age.
Which drugs interact with Ativan and Valium?
Don't take either lorazepam or diazepam - like all benzodiazepines - in conjunction with depressants, tranquilizers, or other drugs that slow brain processes. Drugs such as alcohol, barbiturates, narcotics, and tranquilizers can magnify dangerously the sedating effect of both lorazepam and diazepam.
In addition to avoiding alcohol and other depressants, people taking Valium should take precautions when using certain antibiotics, antacids, and SSRI antidepressants. People may need a reduced dose of diazepam if taking them in conjunction with these medications. These specific medications prolong effects of diazepam by blocking the liver enzymes that break it down. The drugs include:
- cimetidine (Tagamet)
- ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- itraconazole (Sporanox)
- omeprazole (Prilosec, Rapinex)
- clarithromycin (Biaxin)
- darunavir (Prezista)
- fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
Conversely, the following drugs promote the production of the liver enzymes that break down Valium, and so reduce its effectiveness:
Are Ativan and Valium safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Both Ativan and Valium are used to treat
- anxiety disorders,
- sedation prior to surgery, and
- prevention and treatment of symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Ativan also is used to treat
Valium also is used to treat
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Anxiety Disorder Pictures: Symptoms, Panic Attacks, and More with Pictures
Learn about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). See if your worries are normal or something more by learning about symptoms,...
Sleep Disorders: Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and More
Learn about the different types of sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Explore the symptoms, causes, tests and...
20 Tips to Beat Insomnia and Sleep Better
Good sleep hygiene leads to better sleep. Avoid insomnia and sleep better by minimizing stress, exercising, and taking proper...
Alcohol Abuse: 12 Health Risks of Chronic Heavy Drinking
Read about the health risks of chronic heavy or binge drinking. Anemia, cancer, gout, cardiovascular disease and many more...
Epilepsy & Seizures Quiz: What Causes Seizures?
Do you know the difference between seizures and epilepsy? What are the types of seizures? Take the Epilepsy & Seizures Quiz to...
Insomnia Quiz: What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia affects all age groups, and is the most common sleep disorder in the world. There also seems to be a link between...
Panic Attacks (Panic Disorder) Quiz: Test Your Mental Health IQ
Could you suffer a panic attack? Take this Panic Attacks Quiz to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments for panic disorder. Use...
Alcohol Quiz: Alcoholism & Health Effects
Take the Alcohol (Alcoholism) Quiz to learn how your alcohol is processed by your body and your brain.
Sleep Better, Conquer Insomnia
What is insomnia? Are you an insomniac? Learn 10 tips on how to get a good night's sleep and avoid sleep disorders such as...
Related Disease Conditions
Inner Ear Infection (Symptoms, Signs, Treatments, Home Remedies)
An inner ear infection or otitis interna is caused by viruses or bacteria and can occur in both adults and children. An inner ear infection can cause symptoms and signs, for example, a severe ear, dizziness, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, and vertigo. An inner ear infection also may cause inflammation of the inner ear or labyrinthitis. Inner ear infections are not contagious; however, the bacteria and viruses that cause the infection can be transmitted to other people. Good hygiene practices will help decrease the chances of the infection spreading to others. Inner ear infection symptoms and signs like ear pain and nausea may be relieved with home remedies or over the counter (OTC) medication. Some inner ear infections will need to be treated and cured with antibiotics or prescription pain or antinausea medication.
Inner Ear Infection (Labyrinthitis)
Labyrinthitis is inflammation of the labyrinth (the part of the ear responsible for balance and hearing). Doctors do not know the exact cause of labyrinthitis; however, they often are associated viral infections of the inner ear. Symptoms of labyrinthitis are ear pain or earache, ear discharge, problems with balance and walking, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Viral infections associated with labyrinthitis are contagious. Home remedies may help labyrinthitis symptoms and signs. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication may treat inner ear infections, labyrinthitis symptoms like vertigo and nausea, and help ear pain.
Seizures Symptoms and Types
Seizures are divided into two categories: generalized and partial. Generalized seizures are produced by electrical impulses from throughout the brain, while partial seizures are produced by electrical impulses in a small part of the brain. Seizure symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, and muscle rigidity.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are many causes of epilepsy. Treatment of epilepsy (seizures) depends upon the cause and type of seizures experienced.
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. A person experiencing a panic attack may believe that he or she is having a heart attack or that death is imminent. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them. Most people with panic attacks experience several of the following symptoms: racing heartbeat, faintness, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers, chills, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and a feeling of loss or control. There are several treatments for panic attacks.
Insomnia (Symptoms, Causes, Remedies, and Cures)
Insomnia is the perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Secondary insomnia is the most common type of insomnia. Treatment for insomnia include lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication.
Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)
Insomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.
Holiday Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
Though the holidays are a fun time for most, for others, they're a sad, lonely and anxiety-filled time. Get tips on how to avoid depression and stress during the holiday season.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- Benzodiazepines (Benzodiazepine Drug Class)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Anxiolytics (for Anxiety) Drug Class Side Effects
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- diazepam (Valium, Diastat, Acudial, Diastat Pediatric, Diazepam Intensol)
- Benzodiazepines vs. Barbiturates
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- Benzodiazepines vs. Cyclobenzaprine
- Benzodiazepines vs. Narcotics (Opioids)
- Benzodiazepines vs. Ambien
- Alprazolam vs. Diazepam (Differences between Side Effects and Uses)
- Valium (diazepam) vs. midazolam
- Ativan (lorazepam) vs. Versed (midazolam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam) vs. Xanax (alprazolam)
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information.