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Xanax vs. Ativan


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Thinking of asking my pdoc to switch me to Ativan instead of Xanax.  I am taking it on a as needed basis for anxiety and anxiety attacks, both of which are becoming more and more frequent and intense.  I have a friend that has the same problem and she is taking Ativan. I don't like Klonopin and have never tried Valium.  I need something that works fast.

Pros and Cons for each?

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I've taken both and I like them both.

I took Ativan everyday for a couple of months, so I have no experience on using it on a as needed basis. It helped a lot with my nighttime anxiety and I also slept very well. Didn't make me a zombie like Xanax tends to do sometimes...

Xanax on the other hand I still use for emergencies. Very reliable relief from panic attacks and heavy anxiety. The con is that I get so, so tired and unable to do anything. So if you still want to, i don't know, FUNCTION, then maybe Ativan would be a better option.

What doses of Xanax and Ativan are we talking here?

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I've taken both and I like them both.

I took Ativan everyday for a couple of months, so I have no experience on using it on a as needed basis. It helped a lot with my nighttime anxiety and I also slept very well. Didn't make me a zombie like Xanax tends to do sometimes...

That's so funny, how it affects folks differently, and a good point of YMMV. I was using xanax for a while - 4 (1) mg's a day, and yes, I did feel sleepy. So I asked doc for something different and he gives me ativan.... and that makes me even sleepier!!!  AND it seems like it didn't take the edge off like xanax, just made it fuzzier.

I'm switching back to xanax.

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Thinking of asking my pdock to switch me to Ativan instead of Xanax.  I am taking it on a as needed basis for anxiety and anxiety attacks, both of which are becoming more and more frequent and intense.  I have a friend that has the same problem and she is taking Ativan. I don't like Klonopin and have never tried Valium.  I need something that works fast.

Pros and Cons for each?

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i take 0.5mg up to 3x/day PRN of ativan.  it is very good, and has about 12 hour half life.. which is about 2-4 times shorter than klonopin/valium.

xanax is a lot more zombifying if you are suceptable to it, but even then if you take a low enough dose of it it will be ok.  it also has a shorter half-life than ativan.

i find that 1mg of ativan really does the job in emergencies (i.e. i think the ativan should be saved for emergencies and i usually only take 1mg total a day), and i think my pdoc agrees that its less of a worry prescribing it rather than xanax or klonopin as far as dependency, but of course it is still a benzo.

both will help you sleep, especially if you're not taking them all day.  tolerance will build to both as you take more and take it more frequently during the day..

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Thanks for the replies.  I spoke with the pnurse today while trying to get a walkin with the pdoc (no such luck today).  He is going to call in one of the other, I'll see when I get to the pharmacy.  Can't hurt to try Ativan, at least then I will know if I like it or not.  If does nothing for me, I'll go back to Xanax.

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  • 2 weeks later...

both will help you sleep, especially if you're not taking them all day

I find that the xanax wears off during the night (short life) and I have to take another at 2am-ish. Ativan , on the other hand, doesn't. So I take xanax during the day, and ativan at night. Did I just repeat my earlier post? OOps, sorry!

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