Is it possible to receive a prescription for both Ativan and Xanax simultaneously? Do they exhibit distinct mechanisms of action?

Is it possible to receive a prescription for both Ativan and Xanax simultaneously? Do they exhibit distinct mechanisms of action?


Can You Be Prescribed Ativan and Xanax at the Same Time?

Question: I was prescribed both but I thought they were for the same purpose – anxiety. Should I take both at different times?

Answer: It is surprising that a doctor would prescribe two CSA Schedule 4 drugs at the same time as both are benzodiazepines which are addictive and can cause increased anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and memory loss. Generally, one may be used for the treatment of panic attacks or for the short term (4-6 weeks) control of anxiety until a co-prescribed medication such as an antidepressant/anxiolytic or buspirone can take effect. It is recommended to contact your doctor to clarify the dosing instructions.

Question: I was prescribed Ativan on July 26 not working so my dr wrote a script for Xanax will the pharmacy fill it?

Question: I have been on Xanax 2mg for 14 years, three times a day. They don’t work anymore. I know Xanax is stronger than Ativan and the others. What do I do since they don’t want me to take them both together?

Question: Does Xanax and Ativan have any drug interactions?

Answer: Yes, you certainly “can” be prescribed both Ativan and Xanax, although it doesn’t make much sense. They both fall into a category of drugs called benzodiazepines, which work similarly by binding to the GABAa receptor site in the brain. This site in the brain works with inhibitory neurotransmitters such as GABA, hence causing an anxiolytic effect and which also plays a role in sleep. As mentioned above, Alprazolam (Xanax) has a much shorter half-life than Lorazepam (Ativan), which may be why your doctor prescribed both; possibly for different times of the day. Also as aforementioned, these are powerful drugs and can be easily misused, potentially leading to respiratory or even cardiac arrest. It is not recommended to take them at the same time, and under no circumstances drink alcohol while taking either of these medications. Alcohol also binds to GABAa, therefore dangerously intensifying the effects of any benzodiazepine; not just the two hereby being discussed.

Question: Since both of these medications are benzodiazepines, I am not comfortable telling you to take them together. In fact, since they are for the same thing, I think just to be safe you need to contact your doctor and above all inform him and be safe, best wishes.

Question: Both medications are benzodiazepines and should not be taken together. They are CNS depressants and could affect the respiratory system. Both are highly addictive too. It is recommended to call the doctor who prescribed them and ask for more specific directions. When taken exactly as prescribed, they can work very well on controlling anxiety. Good luck to you and please be safe.

  • Ativan
  • Xanax
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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