Difference Between Klonopin and Ativan

It is important to know the difference between Klonopin and Ativan before using them as both are prescribed for treatment of anxiety and panic disorders, but have their own side effects. Klonopin and Ativan are medications that fall under the classification of Benzodiazepines that is used to treat seizures and panic or anxiety disorders. Both drugs should never be used without the prescription of a physician and are only given if one suffers from the disorders mentioned above. It is also crucial to note that both medications are addictive and which is why it is best for physicians to closely monitor their patients.

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin also referred to as Clonazepam, is prescribed for patients who suffer from seizures and panic disorders. This drug contains anticonvulsant properties which is why even as a psychiatric drug, it is also used as a treatment for seizure as well as epilepsy. Klonopin targets the central nervous system which affects mood, perception and behavior. However, Klonopin is not recommended if the patient suffers from liver diseases or if the patient has allergic reactions to any of its ingredients. It is also known to possess the ability to harm an unborn child as well as cause feeding and breathing problems for a newborn. The effects are also the reason Klonopin can become an abused substance.

What is Ativan?

Another type of Benzodiazepine is called Ativan or Lorazepam. Ativan is a well-known drug known for its high potency as well as its intermediate duration. Ativan needs close monitoring once taken because it causes the most severe withdrawal effect if used for a long time. Ativan works by targeting a specific neurotransmitter in the brain which results in the decrease of mental excitement, which is why it is used for treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. It causes six benzodiazepine effects such as anxiolytic, sedation/hypnosis, anterograde amnesia, anti-seizure, antiemesis and muscle relaxation.

What is the difference between Klonopin and Ativan?

Klonopin works by affecting mood and behavior through the central nervous system. Ativan works by decreasing mental excitation through the Gamma-aminobutyric acid. Klonopin does not promote severe withdrawal symptoms. Ativan can cause withdrawal symptoms even after using it for only a month. Klonopin is mostly prescribed for seizure disorders while Ativan is given to patients with severe anxiety problems. Klonopin needs to be taken 2-3 times a day before its effects can be realized. Ativan needs 3-4 doses daily for its function to occur.

Medication such as Klonopin and Ativan should only be taken with the prescription of the medication. If symptoms do not resolve, the physician must be contacted right away so that the patient can be checked for any untoward reactions. 


Klonopin vs Ativan

• Klonopin are used to treat seizure disorders while Ativan is used as an anti-anxiety medication.

• Klonopin should be taken 2-3 times a day while Ativan is scheduled to be taken 3-4 times daily.

• Klonopin targets the central nervous system while Ativan works on the brain’s neurotransmitter.


Photo By: Nsaum75 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Klonopin and Xanax