By Irfana
B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)
29 April 2022 -
Medically reviewed by
Freny
D. Pharm
Clonazepam vs Xanax
Table of Contents

What is Clonazepam?

Clonazepam, brand name Klonopin, is an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug used to treat and control seizures. Clonazepam works by calming the brain and nerves.

It comes under the drug class called benzodiazepines. Buy Clonazepam online from a certified online pharmacy. (Basit H, Kahwaji CI)

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a prescription medication from a drug known as benzodiazepine. The drug is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The drug works on the brain and the central nervous system to produce a calming effect. Order Xanax online from a certified online pharmacy, you should always consult your healthcare provider before taking these medications.

It works by increasing the effects of a naturally present chemical in the body (GABA). (George TT, Tripp J)

Mechanism Of Action:

Clonazepam:

Clonazepam works in the brain by boosting the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a neurotransmitter (a substance used by nerve cells to communicate) that reduces brain activity. Excessive brain activity is thought to contribute to anxiety and other mental problems. Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine used to treat panic attacks and prevent seizures. (Basit H, Kahwaji CI)

Xanax:

 Xanax’s specific method of action is unknown. Benzodiazepines bind to GABA receptors in the brain and increase GABA-mediated synaptic inhibition; these effects may be responsible for Xanax’s efficacy in anxiety disorders and panic attacks. (George TT, Tripp J)

Side Effects:

Clonazepam:

 The common side effects of clonazepam are,

Anticonvulsants may cause depression, suicidal thoughts/attempts, or other mental/mood disorders in a small percentage of people who take them for whatever reason (seizures, bipolar illness, pain, etc.).

Drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, lack of coordination, and increased saliva production are possible side effects. Inform your doctor right away if any of these side effects persist or worsen. (Basit H, Kahwaji CI)

Xanax:

Xanax side effects include,

  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Memory problems
  • Poor balance or coordination
  • Slurred speech (George TT, Tripp J)

Similarities:

Few studies have compared Klonopin with Xanax. One study found no significant difference between the two drugs in terms of side effects (sedation, dizziness on standing) or effectiveness when both were used to treat the panic disorder.

Difference:

The difference between clonazepam and Xanax are,

  • Klonopin is a medication that is used to treat panic disorder and can also be used to manage seizures.
  • Klonopin effects last longer than Xanax's, so it doesn't need to be taken as frequently during the day. To maintain blood levels stable, Xanax must be taken regularly.
  • Both medicines can induce physical and psychological dependence, especially when taken in higher doses for more extended periods; however, Xanax has been linked to more severe withdrawal and rebound effects when stopped.
  • Race (people of Asian origin attain higher concentrations, and Xanax activity lasts longer), chronic liver or renal disease, drunkenness, and obesity all affect Xanax activity.

Which is More Effective?

Clonazepam and Xanax both have similar effects and mechanisms of action on the body. However, studies have found that Xanax is absorbed faster by the body than clonazepam, with peak concentration occurring within 1-2 hours following the administration, whereas clonazepam takes 1-4 hours.

The effects of Xanax persist on average 4 to 6 hours, though this varies significantly from person to person. Klonopin effects might last up to 12 hours in adults.

Klonopin does not need to be dosed as frequently as Xanax because it lasts longer in the body. Xanax, on the other hand, requires consistent dosing to maintain blood levels.

In conclusion, both drugs are similar in efficacy, although Xanax is much faster in working than clonazepam.

Dosage and Forms:

Clonazepam:

Clonazepam is available in the following strengths: oral tablet (0.5 mg; 1 mg; 2 mg); oral tablet, disintegrating (0.125 mg; 0.25 mg; 0.5 mg; 1 mg; 2 mg)

  • for panic attacks 0.25 mg/12hr initially; may increase to 1 mg/day after 3 days (up to 4 mg/day in some patients)
  • for seizures 1.5 mg/day, increased by 0.5-1 mg until desired effect achieved. The dosage should not exceed 20 mg/day (Basit H, Kahwaji CI)

Xanax:

Xanax is found in the following strengths: oral concentrate (1 mg/mL); oral tablet (0.25 mg; 0.5 mg; 1 mg; 2 mg); oral tablet, disintegrating (0.25 mg; 0.5 mg; 1 mg; 2 mg); oral tablet, extended release (0.5 mg; 1 mg; 2 mg; 3 mg)

  • Anxiety patients should begin treatment with a dose of 0.25 to 0.5 mg of Xanax three times per day. Many panic disorders in patients have required the use of Xanax at doses more than 4 mg per day. (George TT, Tripp J)

Study: 

Aim: to determine between clonazepam and Xanax, which is more effective

Method: The authors provide the initial report of a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment to see if clonazepam is equally beneficial as Xanax in reducing panic attacks and if both medicines are better than placebo.

Findings: On the following clinically meaningful outcome measures, there were no statistically significant differences between the clonazepam and alprazolam groups based on 44 of 60 randomized subjects: total number of panic attacks and percent of time subjects experienced anticipatory anxiety, the extent of phobic avoidance, and fear. There were statistically significant differences between both the medication and placebo groups on these variables.

Conclusion: the authors concluded that the interim analysis of the data supports the inclusion of clonazepam in the treatment of panic disorders.

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