Ativan vs. Baclofen

Are Ativan and Baclofen the Same Thing?

Baclofen and Ativan (lorazepam) are muscle relaxants used for treating spasm of skeletal muscles.

A difference is baclofen is also used to treat muscle clonus, rigidity, and pain caused by multiple sclerosis. Baclofen is also injected into the spinal cord to treat severe spasticity, spinal cord injuries, and other spinal cord diseases.

Ativan is a different class of drug called a benzodiazepine, typically used for the management of anxiety disorders, insomnia, panic attacks, and alcohol withdrawal.

Brand names for baclofen include Gablofen and Lioresal.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Ativan?

Common side effects of Ativan include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Forgetfulness or amnesia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Skin rash

What Are Possible Side Effects of Baclofen?

Common side effects of Baclofen include:

  • drowsiness,
  • weakness,
  • dizziness,
  • tiredness,
  • headache,
  • seizures,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • low blood pressure,
  • constipation,
  • confusion,
  • respiratory depression,
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia), and
  • increased urinary frequency or urinary retention.

Abrupt discontinuation of baclofen may cause seizures and hallucinations, high fever, rebound spasticity, muscle rigidity, and rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown and wasting).

What Is Ativan?

Ativan (lorazepam) is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depressive symptoms.

What Is Baclofen?

Baclofen is a muscle relaxant and antispastic used for treating spasm of skeletal muscles, muscle clonus, rigidity, and pain caused by multiple sclerosis. Baclofen is also injected into the spinal cord to treat severe spasticity, spinal cord injuries, and other spinal cord diseases. Baclofen is available in generic form.

What Drugs Interact With Ativan?

Benzodiazepines like Ativan produce increased CNS (central nervous system) depressant effects when administered with other CNS depressants such as alcohol, barbiturates, antipsychotics, sedative/hypnotics, anxiolytics, antidepressants, narcotic analgesics, sedative antihistamines, anticonvulsants, and anesthetics.

What Drugs Interact With Baclofen?

Baclofen may interact with alcohol, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medications, narcotics, antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and other muscle relaxers.

How Should Ativan Be Taken?

Ativan can be taken with or without food. Ativan tablets should be swallowed with water.

How Should Baclofen Be Taken?

The lowest dose compatible with an optimal response is recommended. If benefits are not evident after a reasonable trial period, patients should be slowly withdrawn from the drug.


All drug information provided on is sourced directly from drug monographs published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Any drug information published on regarding general drug information, drug side effects, drug usage, dosage, and more are sourced from the original drug documentation found in its FDA drug monograph.

Drug information found in the drug comparisons published on is primarily sourced from the FDA drug information. The drug comparison information found in this article does not contain any data from clinical trials with human participants or animals performed by any of the drug manufacturers comparing the drugs.

The drug comparisons information provided does not cover every potential use, warning, drug interaction, side effect, or adverse or allergic reaction. assumes no responsibility for any healthcare administered to a person based on the information found on this site.

As drug information can and will change at any time, makes every effort to update its drug information. Due to the time-sensitive nature of drug information, makes no guarantees that the information provided is the most current.

Any missing drug warnings or information does not in any way guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or the lack of adverse effects of any drug. The drug information provided is intended for reference only and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice.

If you have specific questions regarding a drug’s safety, side effects, usage, warnings, etc., you should contact your doctor or pharmacist, or refer to the individual drug monograph details found on the or websites for more information.

You may also report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA by visiting the FDA MedWatch website or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.


FDA. Ativan Drug Information.
RxList. Baclofen Prescribing Information.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors