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Difference Between Xanax and Lorazepam

Xanax vs Lorazepam

The number of people suffering from panic attacks and anxiety disorders has alarmingly risen in the past ten years. The fast pace of life has subjected people to stress and excessive worry about their everyday lives.

Fortunately, there are a lot of medications formulated to treat symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety disorders, two of which are Xanax and Lorazepam.

Xanax is the trade name for the drug Alprazolam, a drug of the benzodiazepine class which is used in the treatment of moderate to severe anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and depression. It has anxiolytic, sedative, anticonvulsant, amnesic, and muscle relaxant properties.

It was first released by Pfizer in 1969 to treat panic disorder which was known to be rare. After its release, it became very popular. It proved very effective in treating panic disorder but, in the long run, it was found to be a short-acting drug which provided fast relief but became ineffective after a few weeks’ use. If used for a long period, it can cause dependence. Upon discontinuing its use, patients oftentimes experienced withdrawal and rebound symptoms including: anxiety, abdominal pain, vomiting, muscle cramps, sweating, tremors, and suicidal ideation.

Lorazepam, on the other hand, is distributed under the brand names Ativan and Temesta. It is also a drug of the benzodiazepine class which also has anxiolytic, amnesic, sedative, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties. It was released in 1977 for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and to sedate hospitalized and aggressive patients. Like other benzodiazepine drugs, it is also short acting but has a higher potential for addiction and abuse.
Because of its sedative, hypnotic, and amnesia properties, it is often used for criminal purposes. Lorazepam use for a long period can cause tolerance, dependence, and mild cognitive impairment.

Unlike Xanax, which can be used for up to eight weeks, Lorazepam can only be used for up to four weeks. It is suitable for premedication, though, if given before administering general anesthesia. Only a small amount of anesthetic agent is then required.

In dental procedures and endoscopies, Lorazepam helps reduce anxiety and induce amnesia for the procedures. It is also a good first line treatment for epileptic seizures and convulsions. It is also used to treat vertigo, dizziness, and in chemotherapy.

Both Xanax and Lorazepam can cause the following reactions:

Paradoxical reactions like aggression and rage, agitation and restlessness, twitches and tremors.
Suicidal tendencies. Benzodiazepine drugs can unmask the suicidal behavior of patients if not given with an antidepressant drug.
Amnesia which can be avoided if given at a dose which should not exceed 2 mg.

Summary:

1.Xanax is a benzodiazepine drug released in 1969 to treat panic disorder and anxiety attack while Lorazepam is also a benzodiazepine drug released in 1977 to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and to sedate aggressive patients.
2.Both are short-acting drugs and can cause drug dependence if taken for a long period. Xanax can be taken for up to eight weeks while Lorazepam can be taken for up to four weeks only.
3.Xanax is the name for the drug Alprazolam while Ativan and Temesta are the names for the drug Lorazepam.


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