Ativan and Xanax are two incredibly similar drugs that treat anxiety and generalized panic disorders. 


Ativan (lorazepam) treats anxiety disorders, insomnia, and some seizure disorders. Like Xanax, it is a benzodiazepine. This class of drugs affects a neurotransmitter in the brain. 


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Panic disorders
  • Seizures
  • Sleep disorders

How it Works

Ativan binds with receptor sites for a neurotransmitter that promotes calmness, basically acting as that neurotransmitter. 


Alprazolam (Xanax) is a benzodiazepine used for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. 


  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder

How it Works

Like Ativan, Xanax binds with receptors for the neurotransmitter in the brain that helps promote calmness, essentially taking the place of said neurotransmitter. 

Ativan vs. Xanax – What’s the Difference?

While similar, Xanax tends to work faster than Ativan. It also lasts a shorter amount of time. 

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