Klonopin vs Xanax – Which of These Anxiety Medications Put You More At Risk?

Drugs & Alcohol

Klonopin vs Xanax – Which of These Anxiety Medications Put You More At Risk?

Klonopin vs. Xanax as treatment for anxiety are similarly ranked. They both have their pros and cons for helping people with various types of mood disorders.

Klonopin (Clonazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It relaxes the mind by effectively calming neurotransmitters. Klonopin prevents muscle spasms, reduces anxious feelings and causes sleepiness. Klonopin lasts longer than Xanax so it doesn’t need to be taken as often.

klonopin and xanax

Xanax (Alprazolam) is also a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters the same way Klonopin does. Xanax also reduces anxiety and causes sleepiness. Xanax will require more regular dosing. Some like this because they can better control how the side effects will affect them, and when.

Xanax for anxiety allows a person to take more doses throughout the day. It helps with symptoms of panic attacks also, alleviating them quickly.

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While Klonopin for anxiety is used specifically for panic disorders, it can also control seizures. It may be used for someone withdrawing from alcohol to prevent delirium tremens.

Both of the drugs are similar in that they can cause dependence which can lead to benzodiazepine addiction. They can both be abused and when taken in higher doses for a long time, the withdrawal can be intense.

Include Holistic Support For Klonopin and Xanax

Regardless of the anxiety symptoms that Klonopin and Xanax can relieve, neither should be used for long periods of time. This is why there should be some sort of holistic treatment to help with anxiety disorders.

Klonopin or Xanax are used to help treat anxiety. Treatment should also include holistic methods as it’s not recommended to remain on these drugs long-term. Staying on these benzodiazepines medications for too long can cause dependency. It is also believed that people with anxiety are more prone to addiction.

Klonopin vs. Xanax Uses

Klonopin and Xanax are benzodiazepines that affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a messenger within your brain. Both Xanax and Klonopin have uses as a depressant that affects the central nervous system.

Clonazepam is the generic drug that is sold with the brand name, Klonopin. Alprazolam is the drug that is under the brand name Xanax. Both affect the central nervous system as a depressant which causes relaxation.

Any type of benzodiazepine will cause the nerve impulses that surge through the body to slow down. This physically manifests as a noticeable calming effect.

Due to this calming effect, they are often used for various types of anxiety disorders. This includes panic attacks. Clonazepam has been FDA approved for seizures in children while Xanax has not. For the elderly, both Xanax and Klonopin may have a greater effect on them.

Klonopin Uses

Klonopin is an anxiolytic prescription medication with the active ingredient clonazepam in it. Clonazepam is FDA approved as an anti-seizure medication for both children and adults. It counteracts negative imbalances in the brain that cause anxiety disorders also.

The most common reason Klonopin is prescribed is for epileptic seizures, panic disorders, and agoraphobia.

The medication works by enhancing effects of the GABA receptors which is in charge of inhibiting neurotransmitters. Klonopin blocks arousal in the brain from stimulating pathways that can lead to anxiety.

Klonopin helps anxious people relax but should only be used occasionally. It shouldn’t be used for longer than 4 weeks at a time for treatment of anxiety or seizures.  This is because it’s extremely risky for causing addiction. There are instructions for any patient who gets this medication on how to taper off responsibly to avoid a Klonopin Addiction.

Clonazepam is also used to treat withdrawal of other benzodiazepines.

Xanax Uses

Alprazolam is the active ingredient in Xanax and works as an agonist on certain brain receptors that are responsible for sleep. Xanax binds to the GABA receptors so they work at inhibiting neurotransmitters that can ultimately cause stress.

Xanax helps to calm a person down so they’re able to sleep. The theory for these drugs within the medical world is patients just need a break from their anxiety. This allows them to put their life back together while they are in a calm state of mind.

If they have a few weeks to feel a sense of calm, they can begin to manage things better. Gaining control of their life will prevent overwhelming anxiety. This is the hope when taking anti-anxiety pills. Xanax can be used for a longer period of time to treat panic attacks.

klonopin uses xanax dosage forms

Klonopin vs. Xanax Dosage Forms

Klonopin is a longer acting benzodiazepine so regardless of dosage strength, it will last longer. Here are the dosage forms that are available with Klonopin and Xanax.

Klonopin Dosage Forms

  • Klonopin is also called Teva 834. It is a 2 mg dose and is manufactured by Teva Pharmaceutical USA.
  • Clonazepam comes in a 2 mg tablet and an oral disintegrating tablet to be dissolved in the mouth. Usually, a person can take Klonopin 1-3 times daily.
  • Clonazepam oral tablet – Klonopin dosage 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg
  • Clonazepam oral disintegrating tablet – Klonopin dosages 0.125 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg

Xanax Dosage Forms

  • Xanax is available in immediate-release and extended-release oral tables. Immediate-release tablets may need to be taken many time per day.
  • Extended release – Xanax dosage 0.5, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg
  • Immediate Release Oral Tablet – Xanax dosage 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg
  • Alprazolam oral solution – Xanax dosage 1 mg/ml.

Klonopin vs Xanax High  

Klonopin vs Xanax High

Klonopin High

Klonopin is one of the most addictive, abused sleeping aids because of the euphoric effects it offers. The Klonopin high offers the user a sense of calm. They feel drowsy but also euphoric. These feelings arise from brain receptors being depressed from the drug.

All of the drugs within the benzodiazepine group come with the risk of tolerance and addiction. What makes Klonopin even more risky is how quickly it sets in along with a lengthy half-life time. The KIonopin high passes through the brain in one hour but stays in the body for up to 72 hours.

Those effects are what will cause the body to quickly develop a tolerance to the drug. The high is enticing enough that people may become dependent on that feeling. Klonopin, along with other clonazepam products are only meant to be prescribed for up to 14 days. This is due to the high potential of abuse and addiction.

When used on the streets, a Klonopin high is intensified from being ground up and snorted. It can also be dissolved and injected intravenously. Recreational users combine Klonopin with other substances.

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Xanax High

The Xanax high has enough of a reputation that many will use it recreationally. Xanax relaxes the body and makes for a better sleep. A Xanax high offers a greater buzz than Klonopin but won’t last as long. The high with Xanax has a shelf life of 2-3 hours.

Klonopin vs. Xanax Reviews

The reviews for Klonopin and Xanax are quite close when it comes to what people liked or didn’t like about them.

Klonopin vs. Xanax Reviews

Klonopin Reviews Conclude

  • 52% of Klonopin users say that the drug works well for what it’s prescribed for.
  • 14% of Klonopin users weren’t happy with the medication and stated it was a hassle.
  • 70% worth it
  • 19% not worth it
  • 12% Not sure

Xanax Reviews Conclude

  • 55% of Xanax users were happy with what the drug did for them.
  • 13% of people taking Xanax said that taking it was a hassle.
  • 74% worth it
  • 12% not worth it
  • 14% Not sure

Klonopin vs. Xanax Side Effects

With any kind of benzodiazepine, there is the potential of side effects. Klonopin and Xanax side effects are often mild. It takes a few days for the body to get used to the drugs so side effects are more intense and then taper off.

Common effects for both drugs are drowsiness and one should use caution when driving. There’s the possibility of an allergic reaction when it comes to Klonopin and Xanax. This can include side effects such as:

  • Hives.
  • Itching.
  • Development of a skin rash.
  • Trouble breathing.

Xanax side effects

Xanax side effects

Clinical trials with patients taking Xanax experienced the following side effects:

  • 41% experienced drowsiness
  • 21% Light-headedness
  • 15% Dry mouth
  • 14% Low mood disorder
  • 13% Headaches
  • 10% Confusion
  • 10% Constipation
  • 10% Nausea or Vomiting
  • 10% weight increase
  • 9% Insomnia
  • 3% irritability

Klonopin side effects

Klonopin side effects

Clinical trials with patients taking Klonopin:

  • 37% experienced drowsiness
  • 8% received ear, throat, or nose infections
  • 8% Dizziness
  • 7% low mood
  • 7% fatigue
  • 6% abnormal coordination
  • 5% lack of muscles coordination

Klonopin vs. Xanax Risks

Klonopin vs. Xanax Risks

Long-term use of Klonopin or Xanax both have the potential to cause cognition problems. People who use either drugs for too long are at risk of memory loss, how quickly they think and how they process thoughts.

Klonopin Risks

Risks with Klonopin include the possibility of a Klonopin overdose. It can be recreationally abused and when mixed with other substances, Klonopin can become lethal.

Klonopin risks occur when:

  • The user takes more than the prescribed dose.
  • The user takes the drug for longer than 4 weeks. This can lead to Klonopin addiction.
  • The user has a history of drug abuse.
  • The user has an alcohol abuse problem.

The combination of Klonopin and alcohol are risky because the drug increases the alcoholic effects. The user will feel more intoxicated than they should.

Klonopin takes longer to metabolize than other benzo’s so it passes through the system more slowly. People that like the Klonopin high may increase dosages which can create drug accumulation in the body quickly. The addiction risk is extreme. There are many celebrities who have spoken out about their battle with Klonopin addiction.

Xanax Risks

Again, Xanax overdose is possible if a person takes a very high amount. Taking Xanax with other substances is where the risk comes in. Also recreationally using Xanax by snorting or injecting it has the potential to cause overdose.

Xanax risks occur when:

  • The user has a history of drug abuse.
  • When Xanax is abused with alcohol or other drugs.
  • Taking more than 4 mg. per day or for a longer period than 4 months.
  • Stopping Xanax too quickly.
  • If the user is severely depressed.

Klonopin vs. Xanax Interactions

Klonopin and Xanax have many of the same risks which include intensifying effects of other CNS depressants. This includes the following:

  • Sleeping pills
  • Tranquilizers
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Seizure medications
  • Prescription pain medications
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Antihistamines

Klonopin vs. Xanax Withdrawal

Klonopin vs. Xanax Withdrawal

Klonopin Withdrawal

Using Klonopin for longer than 4 weeks puts a person at risk of building a tolerance which can lead to addiction. Often, a patient won’t realize how dependent they are until they stop using it.

Klonopin withdrawal can be challenging which is why it’s only recommended that it be taken for a few weeks. Tolerance builds up quickly so the person needs more of the drug to gain the same effects. Following medical professional instructions will help a patient prevent withdrawal discomfort and addiction.

Sudden Klonopin withdrawal can cause an increase in heart rate. Anxiety may also come back quickly and more intensely. If the drug is stopped quickly, it can cause sleeplessness and the mind becomes agitated.

Stopping Klonopin suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms that can last up to 6 weeks such as:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Sweating
  • Stomach pain
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pain

Xanax Withdrawal

Xanax withdrawal is said to be more intense than other benzo’s. The withdrawal symptoms of Xanax are actually quite dangerous. Due to the very short half-life of Xanax, it comes into the body quickly and also leaves it very quickly.

If a person is dependent on Xanax and the drug leaves their system quickly, the withdrawal can be extremely potent. Xanax withdrawal is much more intense than Klonopin and does often require some assistance.

If Xanax has been abused, it may be advised that it is tapered off medically. The Xanax withdrawal will have created a psychological dependency if taken for too long.

Stopping Xanax suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms that can last up to 6 weeks such as:

  • Problems with sleep.
  • Irritability.
  • Anxiety.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Trembling.
  • Nausea and flu-like symptoms.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Headaches.

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Klonopin vs. Xanax Comparison

Klonopin and Xanax are both used for anxiety disorder. They are similar in that neither should be used for very long. They both have potential to be abused and can cause dependency.

Klonopin is a longer lasting medication than Xanax so it is taken less times per day. Xanax may be considered to be less convenient in that sense.

Xanax is also considered more addictive and is harder to withdraw from. When Xanax and Klonopin were tested beside one another, a greater amount of patients experienced more severe withdrawal effects from Xanax.

The question is, what are the less of two evils? Benzodiazepines slow down the brain significantly. This is what the medication is supposed to do in order to alleviate anxiety or seizures from a patient. The problem is that they can so easily lead to an addiction that lasts a lifetime.

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Klonopin vs Xanax which of these anxiety medications puts you more at risk

2020-01-30T16:48:30+00:00June 2nd, 2019|27 Comments


  1. Timothy Mason December 14, 2018 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Klonopin is valuable for use in patients that cannot tolerate SRI drugs, SSRI Drugs. It can also be safely used on combination with transdermal fentanyl. Patient must be mature and not prone to addiction. The fentanyl patch insert allows for its use. Keep locked up from teenagers and their friends.

    • Evergreen Staff December 19, 2018 at 8:23 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing, Timothy. Happy holidays!

  2. Kimberly Tringali December 18, 2018 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    I ran out of my Xanax which is prescribed for me due to high anxiety because of my job! I took a 1mg Colozopam last night to help me with my anxiety! What is the life span on just this one time?

    • Evergreen Staff December 19, 2018 at 8:18 am - Reply

      If you are referring to Clonazepam, Kimberly, it’s effects are known to last up to twelve hours, but likely much less than that. We hope this helps! A brief search can provide you with more information on the internet, or please contact a care provider for more information.

  3. Margaret January 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    I need help! I was on a low dose of Xanax and had to change PCP because of insurance. He told me Klonopin was not addicting and switched me. I have been taking this at least 10 years and have gone from 0.25 mg to 2.0 mg! Now the same doc who prescribed this dosage is telling me I need to cut it in half, add Lunesta, and get ready for sleepless nights! One night I tried this combination and was up most of the night! I’m 63 years old and seeking advice as to how to safely and as condo as possible get off this drug.

    • Evergreen Staff January 30, 2019 at 4:18 pm - Reply


      We cannot provide you with medical advice as only your doctor has your full medical history. If you are concerned, please talk to your doctor about your concerns and how to best taper off your medication. We wish you the best!

    • Christy May 19, 2019 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Just curious if anyone has had this experience. I have suffered with anxiety since I was a child and have taken both Xanax and klonopin in the past. It’s been 13 years since I’ve used Xanax, I was taking klonopin up until about three years ago and took it for about a year. My life situations cause my anxiety and the older I get the worse the anxiety seems to get and when it sets in it is incapacitating. So I’ve been to a new doctor who gave me Xanax instead of klonopin but it’s just not working. I know it’s not a tolerance issue because I haven’t been taking them. Has anyone else experienced a huge difference in the effectiveness of Xanax on their anxiety compared to klonopin? Not sure how to go about trying to get the doctor to switch this medication out and give me the klonopin instead. All I do know is that I need some relief so I can function through this awful anxiety which all seems to manifest itself in my gut! Any input would be appreciated.

      • Shauna Marie August 18, 2019 at 7:27 pm - Reply

        Hi Christy. This reply is a few months late. Just wanted to check in and see how things worked out for you.

        About your comment- from my experience with the two medications, They both worked- in different ways. Sometimes I wouldn’t notice the Xanax cause it wore off just too fast; I’m talking like, 2 hours… Klonopin works better for me cause it lasts so long. I wouldn’t need to take another dose for 8-12 hours. I’m sure most Doctors wouldn’t mind switching from Xanax due to it’s very high rate of addiction and abuse. My doctor was pleased when I asked to be switched to Klonopin.

        Hope all is well.

  4. Oliver February 12, 2019 at 1:05 pm - Reply


    How long does Alprazolam to take effect after intake? Also how many hours is the effectivity of this drug?
    Does Alprazolam helps produce Serotonin or any happy hormones in the brain? TIA

    • Evergreen Staff February 16, 2019 at 10:19 pm - Reply


      If you are concerned that your medication is not working effectively or helping you then please reach out to your pharmacy and/or doctor to get the answers you are looking for. Wishing you the best!

  5. N. N. Ali February 13, 2019 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I am long years benzos addict. Now a days i am on .5 Clonazepam every nigh. Can i stop without detox assistance?

    • Evergreen Staff February 16, 2019 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      If you are wanting to stop taking your medication, I would ask your doctor that prescribed that medication. It is risky to stop taking any medication without proper care.

    • Nyx June 26, 2019 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      I stopped Xanax cold turkey after 13 years of taking 3 to 5 mg every day for severe panic disorder, anxiety, and PTSD. Also stopped PREGNANT. I will not lie, it was tough, but a breeze. Don’t be afraid to stop your medication. I was, and I’m glad I stopped it. I don’t recommended cold turkey, but I can imagine weaning causes little to no discomfort. Good luck to all!

  6. Felipe Agado February 20, 2019 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Some of the views about alprazolam in general are horrendous despite the fact that the drug actually works on people who needs it. For me alprazolam Is a miracle of science for people with anxiety, as hydrocodone is a miracle of science for people in pain. We all agree that these substances shouldn’t be abused.

    • Evergreen Staff February 26, 2019 at 5:25 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your personal experiences! We wish you all the best!

  7. glitter April 9, 2019 at 7:12 am - Reply

    the generic version with low mil Xanax (not actual Xanax) works okay with PTSD trauma and victim of insane amount of abuse etc.. none of the prescriptions should be abused.. so long as there are good folks out there, I would be supportive of trying new medication yet careful guys do not take what you are unsure of and always be on the same page as your doctor! I require a therapy emotional support animal, as well.. all of these helpful offerings are guiding those requiring aided living.. please, everyone do not make it worse for those who need medical resources, it isnt fair for anyone whose really been through the worst hereditary or walking into trauma and living with it. at least this is an option for those seeking some what normalcy within their lives. xoxox

    • Evergreen Staff April 9, 2019 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your experiences! We wish you all the best!

  8. John April 25, 2019 at 3:28 am - Reply

    I have been dealing with an anxiety disorder without the panic. I’m 66 and I’m on 150mg of Effexor daily but what works for me is just one .25 mg of xanax. I’m just so afraid of addiction or needing a higher dose. Yet it’s such a small amount should I be concerned?

    • Evergreen Staff April 25, 2019 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      Since you are concerned about addiction and paying attention to any dependency signs, then you should be fine. However, you can discuss your concerns with your doctor and they will be able to address those concerns with you specifically. We wish you all the best!

  9. andrew April 30, 2019 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Your blog post is very helpful for stressed people. I liked this post and I will surely share this to my colleagues.

    • Evergreen Staff May 15, 2019 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      Glad the article resonated with you!

  10. Rowena July 2, 2019 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you for writing such a well researched input. I have taken both benzos and xanax really worked for me, however after reading your blog, i put into consideration how clonazepam might be of lesser evil when it comes to drug dependency. Been living with high functional anxiety almost 10 yrs already. And taking benzos occasionally though helped go through life. Thank you. Keep this kind of blogs coming.

    • Evergreen Staff August 1, 2019 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      Glad you found the information helpful!

  11. Yamini August 13, 2019 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Nice article, The author has given a clear explanation regarding Xanax and its addiction.

    • Evergreen Staff August 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm - Reply

      Glad the article resonated with you!

  12. Annette Ryant August 26, 2019 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    I have been on Clonazepam for 12 or 13 years. I am depressed and my doctor said that we need to get me off of it. I try and take 1 mg in morning and 1 mg at nite. She wants me to start taking less in morning. I’m scared of the side affects since I’ve been on it forever.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you!!

    • Evergreen Staff August 28, 2019 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      Your doctor knows your full medical history and can, therefore, advise you the best. You can take the amount your doctor is suggesting and if you feel worse or different, then you need to reach back out to your doctor and discuss your concerns.

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