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Klonopin vs Xanax

Klonopin vs Xanax Explained, Side Effects, Withdrawal & Benzodiazepine Dependence, Klonopin vs Xanax Addiction Treatment Options

Which drug is more effective? Klonopin vs Xanax Reviewed.

Klonopin vs Xanax – How are they different? Klonopin is the brand (trade) name for clonazepam and Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam. Although both belong to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, so work in a similar way, there are structural differences between them that can affect how they work in the body.

Klonopin is specifically used in the treatment of panic disorder and is also effective at controlling seizures. Xanax requires regular dosing to keep blood levels constant. The activity of Xanax is affected by race (people of Asian descent achieve higher concentrations and activity of Xanax lasts longer), concurrent liver or kidney disease, alcoholism, and obesity.

Klonopin and Xanax are both benzodiazepines and help relieve symptoms of anxiety. Xanax is usually more quickly absorbed than Klonopin with peak concentrations occurring within 1-2 hours following administration, compared to 1-4 hours for Klonopin, although the speed of absorption varies from person to person. Effects of Xanax last on average 4 to 6 hours although, once again, there are wide variations between individuals. Effects of Klonopin can last for up to 12 hours in adults. [1]

Because Klonopin acts for a longer time in the body, it doesn’t need to be dosed as frequently as Xanax. Xanax, however, requires regular administration to keep blood levels constant.

Few trials have directly compared Klonopin vs Xanax. One reported no significant difference between the two drugs in terms of side effects (sedation, dizziness on standing) or effectiveness when both were used for the treatment of the panic disorder.

Klonopin vs Xanax
Klonopin vs Xanax – these are two of the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of anxiety

Which drug? Klonopin vs Xanax? Is more likely to cause dependence?

Both Klonopin and Xanax drugs can cause physical and psychological dependence, particularly when taken at higher dosages for longer periods of time; however, more severe withdrawal and rebound reactions have been reported with Xanax on discontinuation.

Benzodiazepine equivalency tables state that 0.5mg of alprazolam (Xanax) is approximately equivalent to 0.5mg clonazepam (Klonopin). However, people of Asian descent metabolize Xanax differently to people of other races, and certain disease states such as alcoholism, liver and kidney disease, obesity, and even old age can affect how Xanax behaves in the body; so benzodiazepine equivalency tables should be used as a guide only as they do not reflect the individual variation. In addition, liver disease and possibly some other medical conditions may affect how quickly Klonopin is eliminated from the body.

Susceptibility to dependence varies depending on the dose taken, regularity of consumption, and genetic factors. It is not clear whether the risk of dependence is higher with some benzodiazepines compared with others.

Some people can form dependencies on benzodiazepines after as few as 14 days of regular use. Following six months of continuous use, more than 50% of people are classed as a dependent. Benzodiazepines should not be stopped suddenly; dosages need to be slowly tapered off over several weeks to months to avoid benzo withdrawal reactions. All addiction-prone individuals should be under careful surveillance if they need to be prescribed benzodiazepines. [2]

Are withdrawal symptoms more severe with Klonopin vs Xanax?

Yes, in comparing Klonopin vs Xanax reviews suggest discontinuation from Xanax is particularly difficult and is associated with more serious rebound and withdrawal symptoms. Compared to Klonopin, Xanax has a much shorter half-life (9-20 hours for Xanax compared to 19-60 hours for Klonopin). Half-life is a technical term for the time it takes for 50% of an administered drug to leave your body – it is not the same as the duration of effect. The blood levels of drugs with longer half-lives tend to remain relatively more constant in the body and tend to cause much less severe withdrawal symptoms than dramatic fluctuations seen with benzodiazepines with a shorter half-life such as Xanax. [3]

Withdrawal symptoms may include agitation, convulsions, hallucinations, tremor, abdominal and muscle cramps. More severe withdrawal symptoms are likely in people who have taken larger dosages over an extended period of time.

How is Klonopin Used?

Because Klonopin is both an anxiolytic and an anticonvulsant, it may be used to treat both panic disorder and certain types of seizures. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Klonopin to treat panic disorders and seizures in adults as well as seizures in children up to 10 years old (or 66 pounds).

Klonopin is not only one of the most widely prescribed benzodiazepines but is one of the most frequently diverted for illicit, nonmedical misuse. In 2017, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency received 11,430 reports of illicit clonazepam use from federal, state, and local forensic labs.

Side Effects of Klonopin vs Xanax

There are several potential adverse consequences associated with Klonopin use:

Klonopin vs Xanax
Struggling with an addiction to these substances? Klonopin vs Xanax? Both drugs can make sufferers feel hopeless, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
  1. Klonopin can impair coordination and motor skills, in addition to making you drowsy. Doctors may warn against operating heavy machinery or driving after taking Klonopin.
  2. Concurrent use of alcohol or other drugs can compound certain Klonopin risks, including those of over-sedation, respiratory depression, and overdose.
  3. When used as an anti-epileptic drug, Klonopin use may rarely give rise to suicidal thoughts or actions.

In addition to these, there are a variety of side effects that come with Klonopin use. Depending on factors such as the dose being used and the general health status of the person using Klonopin, side effects may range from innocuous to severe.

Some of the reported adverse side effects of Klonopin include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Decrease in coordination (potentially increasing the risk of stumbling or falls)
  • Slurred speech
  • Cardiac palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction

When an individual is using the drug under a doctor’s care, these side effects can be monitored to ensure their safety. If they are misusing Klonopin, or taking their medication in doses that exceed prescribed guidelines, they may be more at risk of experiencing these effects.

How is Klonopin Addictive?

As a Schedule IV controlled substance, Klonopin has a relatively low potential for substance abuse and dependence (for example, compared with Schedule I or II drugs), but this level of risk presumes that it is being used as prescribed. As with other benzodiazepines, significant physiological dependence may develop with Klonopin, even in those taking the drug for legitimate medical purposes.

How Is Xanax Used?

Xanax is a brand name for the drug alprazolam. Like Klonopin, it works by boosting the effects of the inhibitory neurotransmitter known as GABA. Physicians often prescribe Xanax to treat anxiety and panic disorders, but unlike Klonopin, the drug is not used to treat seizures. Because Xanax is relatively fast-acting—individuals can feel the effects within two hours—some people use the drug recreationally to feel a heightened sense of relaxation or sedation.

Side Effects of Xanax

Potential side effects of Xanax include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Light-headedness
  • Depression
  • Decline in concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle weakness
  • Blurred vision/double vision
  • Changes in libido
  • Urinary retention

Like Klonopin, Xanax has known abuse liability and the potential to lead to the development of physical dependence and compulsive patterns of misuse.

Also similarly as with Klonopin, overdose is possible with Xanax. Drug overdose symptoms of drowsiness, marked confusion, diminished reflexes, and coma have been reported with Xanax. Fatal overdoses have also been reported in instances of alprazolam use itself, but the risk may be even greater with concurrent alcohol use.

How is Xanax Addictive?

Due in part to its potential to elicit rapid-onset, reinforcing euphoric effects, Xanax has a relatively high addiction liability among the entire benzodiazepine class. Although the drug is considered a Schedule IV controlled substance (meaning it has a relatively low potential for abuse), the evidence from psychiatrists and addiction specialists says otherwise.

Klonopin vs Xanax
Klonopin vs Xanax addiction? It’s important to watch for symptoms of drug abuse for both friends and family members.

Which drug is safer long term – Klonopin vs Xanax?

Anxiety disorders are incredibly common in the United States. In fact, the National Institute on Mental Health estimates that 31.1% of adults in the U.S. experience some kind of anxiety disorder during their lifetimes. [4]

Although Klonopin is indicated for the treatment of panic disorders, and for certain types of seizures, few trials have evaluated its use long-term. Experts advise doctors to monitor the usefulness of Klonopin periodically and consider gradual discontinuation if the drug appears ineffective. Xanax should only be used short term.

Benzodiazepine Dependence

Long-term use of benzodiazepines can lead to dependence on these drugs. Dependence can begin after using the drugs for as little as 1 month. [5] As Xanax remains in the body for less time than clonazepam, it may carry a higher risk of overuse or misuse, which may lead to dependence. It is critical that a person does not stop taking either drug suddenly. Doing so can lead to adverse effects, such as life-threatening seizures, as well as benzo withdrawal symptoms.

A doctor or pharmacist should carefully monitor how a person uses benzodiazepines to manage the risk of dependence.

We Level Up TX treatment center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. We work as an integrated team providing information and addiction treatment for Klonopin vs Xanax rehab along with other aspects of inpatient therapy. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists.


[1-3] Klonopin vs Xanax – How are they different? –
[4] What Are the Differences between Klonopin and Xanax? –
[5] What is the difference between clonazepam and Xanax? –
[6] We Level Up – Treatment » Best Therapy For Drug Addiction The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Klonopin to treat panic disorders and seizures in adults