Xanax vs Ativan

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Anxiety is a normal part of our daily lives. When we experience anxiety and happen to manage it well, we can gain several benefits from it. We may have one perception towards anxiety—and that is the negative impacts of it in our daily life but the truth is, we have several levels of anxiety—mild, moderate, severe and panic. Mild anxiety is what we experience on a daily basis and the beneficial of the four. The other three types are those levels in which drugs can be taken to limit the signs and symptoms of anxiety and prevent it from turning into the panic level.

Anxiolytic drugs or anti-anxiety drugs are the drug of choice for anxiety. Among all of them, Xanax and Ativan are the most commonly prescribed.

What We Need To Know About Xanax and Ativan?

Both Xanax and Ativan is under the drug classification Benzodiazepine—with Ativan under the generic Lorazepam and Xanax with Alprazolam. Both these drugs affect the chemical components of our brain thereby stabilizing anxiety signs and symptoms.

In terms of pregnancy categorization, both Xanax and Ativan are on the D classification. This means that both drugs can cause physical defects in an unborn child. It can also affect a feeding infant so it is best to inform your physician if you are pregnant before taking these drugs. Also, while taking Ativan and Xanax, using an effective method of birth control is advised to prevent pregnancy.

How Xanax and Ativan Should Be Taken?

Ativan and Xanax should be taken only for the prescribed period of time. Taking them for more than four months may be habit forming and addictive. When taking the extended release form of this drug, it should not be chewed, crushed or broken as it may release the drugs all at once in our system.

When stopping or halting the use of Xanax and Ativan, your physician will most likely advise you to taper or gradually decrease the dose of the drug as it may lead to withdrawal signs and symptoms.

Side Effects That We Need To Watch Out For

Serious side effects of Xanax includes fearlessness, suicidal ideations, seizures and convulsions, oliguria (less frequent urination), and jaundice (yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin). Ativan may also present with the same side effects minus the jaundice and oliguria.

Lesser forms of side effects of taking these drugs include nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness, drowsiness as well as decreased libido.

Special Precautions When Taking Xanax and Ativan

Taking the following drugs can affect how your body reacts to Ativan:

-          Barbiturates (including alcohol)

-          MAOIs and SSRIs (drugs to treat depression)

-          Narcotic pain medications

Inform your physician as well if you are taking any of the following drugs while taking Xanax:

-          Oral contraceptives

-          Drugs that block hyperacidity

-          Anti-depressant drugs

-          Anti-fungal medications

-          Anti-hypertensive drugs

Taking Xanax is contraindicated to those people diagnosed with narrow angle glaucoma and those taking antifungal medications like Nizoral. While taking Ativan, the same contraindications are true.

One must refrain from taking alcoholic beverages while on Ativan. This can magnify the side effects of alcohol. Also, stop taking other medications that have drowsing effects i.e. antihistamines and decongestants.

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