Posted: 09/29/2017

Xanax (Alprazolam) vs Klonopin (Clonazepam)

Anxiety-medications

Xanax vs. Klonopin: Which Drug is Right For Me?

Every day, there are new and improved treatments hitting the market for those who suffer from anxiety and panic disorder and knowing the difference between prescriptions can be crucial for curious patients. Two drugs that are frequently confused are Xanax and Klonopin. These little pills may have many chemical qualities in common, but when you are seeking the treatment that best suits your diagnosis, you will want to know the nitty-gritty. So, let’s dive in:

 

 

 

Klonopin

Xanax

What does it Treat / Who is it for?

Used for treating certain seizure disorders (including Lennox-Gastaut syndrome); for adults and children;  also used for treating panic disorder in adults.

Used for treating anxiety and panic disorders, as well as anxiety-related depression; for adults.

Common Side Effects

Fatigue, depression, ataxia and upper respiratory tract infection.

Insomnia, decreased libido, rapid weight gain or loss, changes in appetite, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, hives and ataxia.

Safety

Seek advice on using Klonopin if you suffer from liver disease, glaucoma or have a history of allergic reactions to other benzodiazepines.

Seek advice on using Xanax if you are pregnant, or if you suffer from glaucoma. You should not use Xanax if a doctor has also prescribed you itraconazole or ketoconazole. Xanax may be habit-forming, so do not misuse your prescription. You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking Xanax.

Coupons

Helprx Klonopin Coupon

Helprx Xanax Coupon

 

What They Do

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), both Klonopin and Xanax are “benzodiazepines,” which “help relieve symptoms of anxiety.” However, Klonopin (or, clonazepam) has a longer half-life, meaning it stays and acts in your system longer. That means that Klonopin need not be taken in a high, regular dosage, and is rarely prescribed for daily use–unlike Xanax. It is that same long-acting quality that makes the former drug also suitable for treating certain types of seizure disorders (such as variants of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome), in addition to anxiety and panic disorder. Klonopin is not recommended for long-term use. In fact, unless you have been explicitly instructed otherwise by your health-care professional, you should not take this medicine for more than nine consecutive weeks.

Because Xanax (or, alprazolam) is a short-acting drug (according to a recent drugs.com round-up, “the average half-life of Xanax is 11.2 hours,” as opposed to Klonopin’s “18 to 50 hours”) it is best administered to patients who require a regular, daily pill to keep their anxiety symptoms in check. While Xanax is often prescribed for longer stints, both the FDA and the Physician’s Desk Reference do not endorse the long-term use of this pill. Both drugs are psychologically and physically habit-forming, and both can cease to be as effective if abused.

How They Feel

Because both Klonopin and Xanax are addictive, it is important to discuss your dosage with your physician and take either drug only as directed. Xanax, in particular, can incite serious withdrawal symptoms if or when you choose to adjust your usage.

Other common Xanax side effects include, but are not limited to: insomnia, decreased or increased libido, rapid weight gain or loss, changes in appetite, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, hives and ataxia–or, the sudden loss of muscle coordination.

Common side effects for Klonopin include, but are not limited to: fatigue, depression, ataxia, upper respiratory tract infection and memory impairment. Note that in the case of both pills, your body may take a little while to appreciate a new treatment method, and often negative side effects will diminish or go away once your system adjusts to the drug. You should also always talk to your doctor about ways to manage or prevent unpleasant side effects. There is no need to suffer in silence.

Are They Safe?

As with many medications, Klonopin and Xanax’s effectiveness and safety can be influenced by some other lifestyle factors, including your diet, other prescription medications you take and your recreational relationship to other drugs and alcohol. For instance: if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or if you suffer from glaucoma, you should not seek out a Xanax prescription. You should also not use Xanax if 1) a doctor has also prescribed you itraconazole or ketoconazole, 2) if you suffer from an allergic history with other benzodiazepines, 3) if you suffer from kidney or liver disease or, 4) if you suffer from a seizure disorder. Some studies have also shown that asthmatics and people with breathing problems may be better served by a different benzodiazepine, so alert your doctor to any pre-existing respiratory conditions before taking Xanax, if this applies to you.

And due to the short half-life which renders the pill so addictive, it is important that you disclose any history of addiction to your healthcare professional before beginning treatment with Xanax. To this point, you should generally avoid drinking alcohol while taking Xanax, as its effects may be amplified. Xanax users who are already on the drug should also know that it is extremely unsafe and occasionally fatal to combine alprazolam with the use of hydrocodone, or any other opioid or narcotic prescription painkillers. A good rule of thumb is to avoid recreational drug use while on this medicine.

Likewise, if you 1) suffer from glaucoma, 2) severe liver or kidney disease, 3) breathing problems, 4) porphyria or 5) a history of allergic reactions to similar medications, Klonopin is not the right drug for you. This drug should also not be taken with alcohol or opioid prescription painkillers. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not seek out a Klonopin prescription for anxiety or panic disorder, and pregnant users who are taking this medicine to treat seizures may be closely monitored by their healthcare providers for adverse health effects during pregnancy. Klonopin can also affect your thinking and reactive time, so it is wise to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know exactly how the treatment will affect you. In particular, the sedative effects of Klonopin tend to last longer in older users, who should also be mindful of falls or dizziness-related injuries while taking the drug.

In the case of both pills, also remember: it is crucial to divulge your medical history and all other medications you take to your doctor before going on either Xanax or Klonopin. Long-term use of either drug can result in dependency, decreased effectiveness, lethargy, irritability, ataxia, orparadoxicallyseizures. Remember: no matter what you are treating, it is important to think about your individual body. Get to know the risks and drawbacks of these drugs so you can weigh the negative effects against the benefits!

Thinking of Switching or Stopping?

Switching your dosage or going off Klonopin or Xanax should be a decision you make carefully, and only after consulting your healthcare provider. In Xanax’s case, it is likely that you will need to taper off your usage before fully changing treatments. Going ‘cold turkey’ can be extremely physically difficult, especially if you are a long-term user of the drug. But given the pill’s short half-life it is also possible for dependents to experience withdrawal symptoms within six to twelve hours of their last dosage. (That’s when the medicine ceases to be active in your blood plasma.)

Whether you are long-term or short-term dependent, going off alprazolam you are also likely to experience symptoms like nausea, headaches, heart palpitations and loss of appetite. Depending on your dosage and your history of addiction, you may want to consult a psychiatrist or other certified physician who specializes in detox before changing your regimen, even a little bit.  

Going off of Klonopin can also be quite difficult. Withdrawal symptoms for habitual users begin peaking one to two weeks after your last dose. Anxiety and irritability are to be expected. Habitual Klonopin users who change or stop their dosage cold turkey may also experience “intense body tremors, hallucinations or seizures,” according to the The American Addiction Center.

What now?

We have said it before, and we will say it again: if you are interested in either Klonopin or Xanax, the quickest way to learn if either pill is right for you is to have a consultation with a qualified professional. Doctors can help you articulate your medical history, and prepare you for the effects of either treatment. Never take Xanax or Klonopin from someone who has not prescribed it to you.

Do your homework and protect your brain. It is the only one you get!

Feeling ready to consider treatment? Take a look at our coupons page for free discounts on either drug.

By Brittany Allen

About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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