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Klonopin vs Xanax

klonopin vs xanax

Xanax (Alprazolam) and Klonopin (Clonazepam) are both benzodiazepines that help calm anxiety and treat other disorders. Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety associated with depression. Klonopin may be prescribed for epilepsy as well as panic disorder, seizures, anxiety disorders, and clinical depression.

You can buy Klonopin in tablets 0.5, 1mg and 2 mg. Xanax is available in 0.25, 0,5, 1 and 2 mgs

Xanax (Alprazolam)Klonopin (Clonazepam)
Used ForTreatment of severe anxiety and panic disorder, anxiety caused by depressionPanic disorders, seizures, epilepsy, insomnia
PregnancyClass D (USA) – Not safe during pregnancyClass D (USA) – Not safe during pregnancy
AddictionHigh (addictive)High (addictive)
Side EffectsDrowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, memory, concentration and sleep problems, swollen limbs, muscle weakness, balance and coordination problems, slurred speech, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, sweating, dry mouth, etcDrowsiness, dizziness, memory problems, fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of balance, slurred speech, dry mouth, runny or stuffy nose, loss of appetite, nausea, blurred vision, headache, trouble sleeping, skin rash, weight changes, etc
Half-lifeImmediate release: 11.2 hours;
Extended version: 10.7-15.8 hours
18-50 hours
Versions0,25mg, 0,5mg, 1mg, 2mg0,5mg, 1mg, 2mg
PrecautionsShould not be used by people with narrow-angle glaucoma or people taking Nizoral.Should not be used by people with severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, or allergy to other benzodiazepines.
PrescriptionAvailable only by prescriptionAvailable only by prescription

How Does Xanax Work? 

action of klonopin and xanax

All of us have neurons in our brains called gamma receptors. They are responsible for making a person anxious or worried. And if these neurons become too active, they start to burn out. 

Thanks to Xanax, the activity is reduced, which means that there are far fewer lost neurons. A person has no feeling of anxiety and panic. He or she can pull himself together and adequately assess what is going on. 

However, since Xanax acts very quickly, these pills become addictive in case of uncontrolled intake.

Unfortunately, addiction can occur even in people who take prescription pills. That is why it is important to monitor health conditions very closely and, if necessary, cancel the drug in time.

Because Xanax has a short half-life, people may experience withdrawal symptoms even between doses. Thus, incorrect use of the drug can cause many side effects.

How Does Klonopin Work?

Klonopin works by reducing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Thanks to the amygdala complex’s influence, Clonazepam reduces anxiety, restlessness, and fear located in the limbic system.

Doctors prescribe this medication to treat seizures and panic attacks. Off-label uses (i.e., not listed on the FDA-approved package) include restless leg syndrome, sleepwalking, and social anxiety in adults.

Klonopin has been prescribed for a number of neurological conditions, such as epilepsy and anxiety, since the 1950s and 1960s. The drug was originally marketed in 1975 to treat epileptic seizures.

What Are Xanax And Klonopin Used For?

indications of xanax and klonopin

Klonopin may be prescribed for epilepsy as well as for panic disorders, seizures, anxiety disorders, parasomnia, OCD, and clinical depression.

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety associated with depression.

Klonopin And Xanax: Which One Is More Effective?

Klonopin and Xanax will have different efficacy for different people. A 1991 Massachusetts General Hospital study showed that Klonopin and Xanax were equally effective in treating panic disorder [1].

To test the claimed antimanic efficacy of Clonazepam, the authors randomized 72 subjects with panic disorder to 6 weeks of treatment with Alprazolam, Clonazepam, or placebo. Endpoint analyses demonstrated significant positive effects of both active treatments, but not placebo treatment, on panic attack frequency, overall phobia rating, and degree of disability. 

Comparison of the two drugs showed no significant differences and no consistent tendency to favor one agent over the other. 

Sedation and ataxia were the most common side effects reported, but they were mild and temporary and did not affect treatment outcome. The results of this double-blind, placebo-controlled study are consistent with previous reports of Clonazepam’s efficacy against panic.

Klonopin And Xanax Studies

The following scientific studies provide useful information about the effects of Xanax and Klonopin:

A 1997 study found that Xanax increased physiological activation (heart rate, respiratory rate) in case of acute stress and interfered with the therapeutic effects of exposure to flight phobia. In other words, Xanax did not always help people who had a fear of flying [2].

A study published in 2011 examined the effects of Clonazepam and Alprazolam. It concluded that the immune system and blood vessels might be more affected by short-term chronic administration of Xanax than by Klonopin [3].

The 1992 study showed that when Xanax is used together with Prozac, the elimination half-life of Xanax is prolonged, and its clearance is impaired. Prozac has no such effect on Klonopin [4].

A 2000 study examined old medical records from 1989 and 1990 to determine whether Xanax or Klonopin caused an increase in behavioral problems such as self-harm or assault. The study concluded that the risk of such behavior was no different from that of taking a placebo [5].

Dosage

Do not take Klonopin for more than 9 weeks without medical advice. Doses above 0.5 to 1 mg per day are associated with significant sedative effects.

For adults with an anxiety disorder, the initial doses of Xanax are 0.25 to 0.5 mg three times daily. A doctor may increase the dosage to 4 mg in multiple doses. Reduce the dose gradually.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Klonopin include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;
  • memory problems;
  • fatigue;
  • muscle weakness;
  • loss of balance;
  • slurred speech;
  • dry mouth;
  • runny or stuffy nose;
  • loss of appetite;
  • nausea;
  • blurred vision;
  • headache;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • skin rash;
  • weight changes. 

More serious side effects may include confusion, hallucinations, involuntary eye movements, palpitations, painful urination, pale skin, mild bruising, and seizures.

Common side effects of Xanax include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;
  • blurred vision;
  • headache;
  • memory, concentration, or sleep problems;
  • swelling in arms and legs;
  • muscle weakness;
  •  lack of balance and coordination;
  • slurred speech;
  • stomach upset, nausea, vomiting;
  • increased sweating;
  • dry mouth;
  • stuffy nose;
  • changes in appetite or weight;
  • loss of interest in sex. 

More serious side effects include depressed mood, confusion, chest pain, tremors, seizures, and jaundice.

Precautions

People with severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, or allergy to other benzodiazepines should not use Klonopin. Avoid mixing the drug with alcohol.

Xanax should also not be used in people who are allergic to benzodiazepines or in pregnant women. People with narrow-angle glaucoma and those taking Nizoral should also not take Xanax. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Xanax

Abuse

Like Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, and other drugs in the SSRI group, Klonopin and Xanax tend to be abused.

Abuse of Klonopin and Xanax occurs when the drug is used for an extended time. Signs of abuse include:

  • daily use of the drug;
  • always have it on hand;
  • having to take Valium to start the day;
  • being willing to do something illegal to get it;
  • taking the medication for no medical reason;
  • having to take a larger dose to get the same results as before.

Klonopin is the second most commonly used benzodiazepine that leads to emergency room visits, including substance abuse and overdose.

Conclusion

Reduce the dosage gradually, as Klonopin may be addictive. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, irritability, insomnia, tremors, seizures, and potentially exacerbating panic disorder.

Xanax also has a withdrawal hazard. That is why reducing the dosage gradually (usually 0.5 mg every three days).

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