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Ativan vs. Librium

Are Librium and Ativan the Same Thing?

Ativan (lorazepam) and Librium (chlordiazepoxide) are benzodiazepines used for the management of anxiety disorders and alcohol withdrawal.

Ativan is also used to manage insomnia and panic attacks.

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.

  • 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 Librium?

Common side effects of Librium include:

  • drowsiness,
  • tiredness,
  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation,
  • blurred vision,
  • swelling,
  • skin rash,
  • irregular menstrual periods, or
  • headache.

Tell your doctor if you have side effects of Librium including:

  • confusion,
  • depression,
  • hyperactivity,
  • hallucinations,
  • slurred speech,
  • trouble walking,
  • facial or muscle twitching,
  • sleep disturbances,
  • trouble urinating,
  • changes in sex drive, or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

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 Librium?

Librium (chlordiazepoxide) is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety disorders or alcohol withdrawal.

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 Librium?

Librium may interact with barbiturates, blood thinners, MAO inhibitors, medicine to treat psychiatric disorders, narcotics, or antidepressants. Tell your doctor all medications you use.

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 Librium Be Taken?

The dose of Librium varies depending on the condition being treated. For mild to moderate anxiety, 5 mg or 10 mg, 3 or 4 times daily. For severe anxiety, 20 mg or 25 mg, 3 or 4 times daily. Consult your doctor for pediatric or geriatric dosing.

Reviewed on 10/10/2018

References:
FDA. Ativan Product Information.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/017794s034s035lbl.pdf
FDA. Librium Product Information.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/012249s049lbl.pdf

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