Klonopin (clonazepam) vs Xanax (alprazolam) are similar medications indicated to treat anxiety and panic disorders. Both medications are classified as benzodiazepines, which work by boosting the activity of GABA in the brain. GABA, or Gaba-aminobutyric acid, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that plays a major role in slowing down activity in the central nervous system (CNS).
Both Klonopin vs Xanax help treat symptoms of anxiety by producing a relaxing and calming effect. However, they have notable differences in how long they work and other conditions they may be used for.
What are the main differences between Klonopin vs Xanax?
Klonopin vs Xanax: Klonopin
Klonopin is the brand name for clonazepam. It is considered a long-acting benzodiazepine with a half-life of about 30 to 40 hours. Klonopin reaches maximum concentrations in the blood within one to four hours after taking it. Klonopin is available as a generic tablet in strengths of 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg. Orally disintegrating (ODT) tablets are also available in strengths of 0.125 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg.
Klonopin vs Xanax: Xanax
Xanax is commonly known by its generic name alprazolam. Unlike Klonopin, Xanax is a short-acting benzodiazepine with a half-life of around 11 hours. Peak blood concentrations are reached within one to two hours after administration. Xanax comes in brand and generic tablets with strengths of 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg. Extended-release tablets are also available in strengths of 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, and 3 mg. For those who may have trouble swallowing tablets, alprazolam can be prescribed as an ODT tablet or liquid solution (Intensol).
Health Conditions Treated by Klonopin vs Xanax
As anxiolytic medications, Klonopin and Xanax can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. Klonopin and Xanax are both FDA-approved to treat panic disorder in adults with or without agoraphobia. Klonopin is also approved to treat seizure disorders in adults and children. It is often used alone or in combination with other treatments for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, atonic seizures, and myoclonic seizures. Klonopin may also be used in those who experience absence seizures.
Xanax is approved for short-term relief in those with anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia. According to its FDA label, Xanax can also treat anxiety that is accompanied by depression. Off-label uses of Klonopin and Xanax include insomnia, essential tremor, premenstrual syndrome, and restless leg syndrome.
Klonopin vs Xanax: Is Klonopin or Xanax more effective?
Currently, there are no strong head-to-head studies that have compared Klonopin and Xanax. Both benzodiazepines are effective depending on how they’re used and what conditions they are treating. Xanax is more effective in treating seizure disorders. It also has a longer duration of action, which may be preferable for some people. Xanax may need to be taken more times per day in order to keep blood levels consistent. This could also increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms.
Since anxiety and depression often occur together, benzodiazepines can usually be prescribed in combination with an antidepressant. In one meta-analysis, those with a general anxiety disorder (GAD) experienced increased benefits when starting on a benzodiazepine and antidepressant together, at least initially.
It’s important to understand that treatment with benzodiazepines is highly individualized. Consult your healthcare provider for medical advice on the best option for your mental health.
Coverage and cost comparison of Klonopin vs Xanax
Klonopin is a prescription drug that can be purchased in its generic or brand-name form. Generic Klonopin tablets are usually covered by Medicare and insurance plans. The average retail cost of generic Klonopin is typically around $45. Using a prescription discount card can lower the cash price to around $14 or less.
Xanax is also available in generic and brand-name tablets. For immediate-release generic Xanax tablets, the average retail price can be as high as $63. However, with SingleCare or other similar pharmacy discount cards, the out-of-pocket costs can be reduced to less than $15 at certain pharmacies. The overall cost of your medication will vary based on your preferred pharmacy and how many tablets you are getting.
Klonopin vs Xanax Drug interactions
Klonopin and Xanax are primarily metabolized, or processed, in the liver by the CYP3A4 enzyme. CYP3A4 inhibitors can increase blood levels of these benzodiazepines, which can result in increased adverse effects. CYP3A4 inhibitors include antifungals like ketoconazole as well as antibiotics like erythromycin.
CYP3A4 inducers can speed up the metabolism of Klonopin or Xanax and, ultimately, decrease their effectiveness. CYP3A4 inducers include anticonvulsant drugs like phenytoin and carbamazepine, among others.
Because Klonopin and Xanax have CNS depressant effects, they can interact with other drugs that have similar effects. Taking benzodiazepines with drugs such as opioids and tricyclic antidepressants can increase the risk of severe drowsiness, respiratory depression, and even death, especially in large doses.
Klonopin vs Xanax: Klonopin Abuse and Addiction
Klonopin (Clonazepam) It is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic type of drug. It is used to prevent and control seizures and panic attacks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, warns that taking Clonazepam can be addictive. Also, users may become physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. Therefore, a person should not attempt to quit cold turkey on their own due to the dangerous side effects or withdrawal.
Clonazepam detox can be potentially fatal and requires medical treatment and supervision. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), during the 7 years from 2005 to 2011, almost a million (an estimated 943,032) emergency department (ED) visits involved benzodiazepines alone or in combination with opioid pain relievers or alcohol and no other substances.
Klonopin vs Xanax: Xanax Abuse and Addiction
If someone takes Xanax regularly, it can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms; especially if taken for a long time or in high doses. Xanax can cause physical and psychological dependence or addiction even in people who take it as prescribed. Therefore, a course of Xanax should be as short as possible with treatment response closely monitored by the doctor.
For those who have used Xanax for longer than approximately 3-4 weeks, their doctor may create a taper schedule. During a taper, a person gradually reduces their daily dose. Tapers are an effective way to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
Because of Xanax’s abuse potential, it is often sold and used illegally. According to the 2015–2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 12.5% of adults in the U.S have used benzodiazepines, whether legally or not. About 2.1% of adults abused benzodiazepines during that same period.
Reclaim Your Life From Klonopin or Xanax Addiction
Either Klonopin or Xanax addiction are chronic diseases that can cause major health, social, and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up California can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from these conditions with a professional and safe detox process. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about the issues involving Klonopin vs Xanax by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.