Monday, November 18, 2013

Which is better? Diazepam(valium) or Lorazepam(Ativan)?

  • ☼Maria☼ asked 4 years ago  last updated 2 days ago
I have really bad anxiety. And i'm on ativan right now and have an appointment tomorrow with my doc. should i ask him to change it to valium?

Best AnswerAsker's Choice

They are both benzodiazepines and work in a similar way in the body. The difference is that Valium has a half life of 20 to 80 hours, depending on the individual. That means it takes 20 to 80 hours for half of it to leave your body. That's a long time.

Ativan is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It has a very short half life of 10 to 20 hours. People often have to take it 2 to 3 times a day because it leaves your system so quickly. Ativan can be good for people who have occasional anxiety and just need to pop a pill to get over it. Then, hopefully, they won't need the Ativan for a few more days, a week or even longer.

Doctors usually don't like to give patients Valium the way they used to because it stays in the body such a long time. You might try saying, "I'm not doing well on the Ativan. Can we increase the dosage a bit, or try a different pill?"

It is really hard to say exactly which drug would work best for someone. Unfortunately, it's partly trial and error. Some people will do better on Xanax, while others will do better on Ativan or Klonopin. I do ok (not great) on Klonopin. A few months ago, I tried switching to Restoril, another benzo that is supposed to help a lot with sleep. However, it was a terrible drug for me.

You might ask your doctor about trying Klonopin because the half life is about halfway between Valium and Ativan. As you probably know, be careful with benzos because they can be addictive and have harsh withdrawal symptoms.

In general, exercise is sometimes really good for anxiety (even if you have to push yourself to do it). Try to join a gym so you get motivated by watching others exercise. Also, deep breathing into your belly (instead of your chest) can help. If you get close to a panic attack, breathing in and out of a paper bag can be helpful. This is not just an old wive's tale. There is a medical reason why this helps with anxiety. I hope this answer helps a little.

Asker's rating & comment

5 out of 5
Awesome! You helped alot, thanx

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