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Ativan vs. Lexapro

Are Lexapro and Ativan the Same Thing?

Ativan (lorazepam) and Lexapro (escitalopram) are used to treat anxiety.

Ativan is also used to treat insomnia, panic attacks, and alcohol withdrawal.

Lexapro is also used to treat major depressive disorder in adults and adolescents who are at least 12 years old.

Ativan and Lexapro belong to different drug classes. Ativan is a benzodiazepine and Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) type antidepressant.

QUESTION

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What Are Possible Side Effects of Ativan?

Most adverse reactions to benzodiazepines, including CNS effects and respiratory depression, are dose dependent, with more severe effects occurring with high doses.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Lexapro?

Side effects of Lexapro include

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. Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro is a prescription medicine used to treat depression. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. You should discuss all treatment choices with your healthcare provider. Lexapro is also used to treat:

Talk to your healthcare provider if you do not think that your condition is getting better with Lexapro treatment.

What Drugs Interact With Ativan?

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

The use of clozapine and lorazepam may produce marked sedation, excessive salivation, hypotension, ataxia, delirium, and respiratory arrest.

What Drugs Interact With Lexapro?

Do not take Lexapro if you:

Do not take an MAOI within 2 weeks of stopping Lexapro unless directed to do so by your physician.

Do not start Lexapro if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks unless directed to do so by your physician.

People who take Lexapro close in time to an MAOI may have serious or even life-threatening side effects. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:

Before starting Lexapro, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Are taking certain drugs such as:

It is not known if Lexapro will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of treating depression during pregnancy are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. Some Lexapro may pass into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby while taking Lexapro. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Lexapro and some medicines may interact with each other, may not work as well, or may cause serious side effects.

Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can tell you if it is safe to take Lexapro with your other medicines. Do not start or stop any medicine while taking Lexapro without talking to your healthcare provider first.

If you take Lexapro, you should not take any other medicines that contain escitalopram oxalate or citalopram hydrobromide including: Celexa.

Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:

Ask your healthcare provider for a list of these medicines if you are not sure.

Do not take Lexapro with any other medicine that contain duloxetine.

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How Should Ativan Be Taken?

Ativan (lorazepam) is administered orally. For optimal results, dose, frequency of administration, and duration of therapy should be individualized according to patient response. To facilitate this, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg tablets are available.

The usual range is 2 to 6 mg/day given in divided doses, the largest dose being taken before bedtime, but the daily dosage may vary from 1 to 10 mg/day.

For anxiety, most patients require an initial dose of 2 to 3 mg/day given two or three times a day.

For insomnia due to anxiety or transient situational stress, a single daily dose of 2 to 4 mg may be given, usually at bedtime.

For elderly or debilitated patients, an initial dosage of 1 to 2 mg/day in divided doses is recommended, to be adjusted as needed and tolerated.

The dosage of Ativan (lorazepam) should be increased gradually when needed to help avoid adverse effects. When higher dosage is indicated, the evening dose should be increased before the daytime doses.

How Should Lexapro Be Taken?

Take Lexapro exactly as prescribed. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of Lexapro until it is the right dose for you.

Lexapro may be taken with or without food.

If you miss a dose of Lexapro, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Lexapro at the same time.

If you take too much Lexapro, call your healthcare provider or poison control center right away, or get emergency treatment.

Disclaimer

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

Any drug information published on RxList.com 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 RxList.com 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. RxList.com 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, RxList.com makes every effort to update its drug information. Due to the time-sensitive nature of drug information, RxList.com 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 FDA.gov or RxList.com 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.

References

FDA. Ativan Medication Guide.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/017794s044lbl.pdf
Allergan. Lexapro Side Effects Drug Center.
https://www.allergan.com/assets/pdf/lexapro_pi

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