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Clonazepam vs Ativan: Similarities and Differences

Clonazepam vs Ativan Similarities and Differences

In the modern day, Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in people. It is normal, but long-term anxiety can affect the life of an individual. In the USA 18% of adults deal with this disorder according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

So, people are using various medications to treat anxiety. Clonazepam and Ativan are two drugs used to treat this disorder. Both are FDA-approved medicines.

Today in this blog, you will get to know about Clonazepam vs Ativan differences and their similarities on the basis of the following described factors. So, let’s start!

Brief About Clonazepam:

It is a generic medicinal product. It is used in branded drugs, like Klonopin Wafer and Klonopin. These brand-name medicines are allowed (Food and Drug Administration) for treating seizure disorders (Lennox-Gastaut) and panic disorders.

Short Introduction of Ativan:

It is a branded drug in which Lorazepam acts as a substance. This medicine is helpful to treat sleeping problems and anxiety. It is also used for treating alcohol withdrawal, seizures, vomiting, and nausea.

Mechanism of Action of Both Medication:

There is a group of chemical agents that get released from nerve cells, like gamma-aminobutyric acid which is a neurotransmitter. It helps to elevate mood, and control stress and anxiety.

Both drugs are benzodiazepine class of medications that get attached to the GABA-A receptor. This receptor minimizes the excitability of the nervous system and produces sedative, hypnotic, and anxiolytic properties.

This mechanism helps to treat seizures, anxiety, and panic disorders.

Similarities of Clonazepam vs Ativan Drugs:

Both medications are same to each other to some extent and these are as follows-

1) These drugs belong to the group of medicines, known as Benzodiazepines.

2) Both are distinguished as a controlled substance of Schedule IV. This indicates that both medicines have a high risk of misuse and dependency.

3) Both drugs are effective and potent.

4) If other medications are used while taking these medicines, this may cause drug interaction.

5) Drug Interaction: Medications such as sleeping pills, anticonvulsant drugs, pain relievers, anti-anxiety, and antihistamines may cause dangerous effects. It is due to the effect of the drug interaction if the patient takes these medicines simultaneously with Clonazepam and Ativan.

6) Side Effects of Clonazepam & Ativan:

Common Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Memory weakness
  • Impaired balance
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Stomach upset
  • Feeling exhausted

Severe Side Effects

  • Muscle weakness
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Mood swings
  • Respiratory problem
  • Sweating
  • Uncontrollable movement in the legs and arms
  • Allergic reaction
  • Vomiting

Differences : Clonazepam vs Ativan

The differences between these two drugs are as follows-

1) Active Components

Clonazepam is a common medicine that is used in various branded medications. For instance, Klonopin Wafer and Klonopin.

Whereas, Lorazepam is an active salt and is used in Ativan (a branded drug).

2) Doses & Dosage Strength: Clonazepam vs Ativan

The medicinal dose and its strength are decided by a doctor after examining the patient’s age, medical condition, and severity.

a) Ativan Forms

The medicine comes in two forms; tablet and injectable solution. The dosage strengths are given below:-

Tablet Form-

IM/IV Injection Solution Form-

  • Ativan 2 mg/mL
  • Ativan 4 mg/mL
Dosage Administration
  • For Anxiety:- A dose of 2 to 3 mg can be consumed twice or thrice on a regular basis.
  • Insomnia:- A dose between 2 and 4 mg can be taken during sleeping time.

b) Clonazepam Forms

Oral Tablet:- 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg

ODT Form:- It is an oral dispersible tablet that gets easily dissolved in the tongue with saliva. Its dosage strengths are 0.125 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg.

Dosage Administration
  • For Panic Disorder:- A nominal dose starts with 0.25 mg which can be consumed two times a day. Its strength can be increased up to 4 mg.
  • For Seizures:- A minimum dose starts with 0.5 mg which can be raised to 20 mg. Patients with Seizure can take it once a day.

3) Uses: Clonazepam vs Ativan

Uses of Ativan

  • It is approved to treat insomnia.
  • There are other uses of this medicine, such as nausea, vomiting, agitation, panic disorder, etc.
  • It is unapproved for reducing anxiety disorders (short-term treatment).

Uses of Clonazepam

  • It is approved to control seizures in patients.
  • The other uses are Bipolar disorder, Restless Legs Syndrome, Epilepsy, Opioid withdrawal, etc.
  • Its off-label Uses are Restlessness (akathisia) and abnormal movement & behavior (catatonia)

4) Half-Life:-

Clonazepam shows its effects within 4 hours and takes 30 to 40 hours to get excreted from our body.

However, Ativan requires 1 to 3 minutes (via IV) and if it is consumed orally then it takes 15 minutes to half an hour. Its elimination takes 12 to 18 hours.

Precautions for Both Drugs

  • A patient should gulp the medicine without chewing or crushing it.
  • You should tell your medical history to your doctor before starting any treatment.
  • A prescription is required for the consumption of the medicine.
  • If any after-effects are not going away in a short interval of time then you should seek medical consultation as soon as possible.
  • Overdose of these medicines can cause fatal side effects.


These drugs are potent and useful in treating mental disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Your social as well as personal life may be affected due to these problems. So, the details of two efficacious medicinal products are mentioned above.

Before using these drugs, you should consult with a healthcare provider because there is a boxed warning issued which indicates there are high chances of misuse. It is advised to follow safety measures while taking these medicines.

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