IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

29 April 2022
Medically reviewed by
Freny Menezes
Pharm. D
Clonazepam vs Xanax
Table of Contents

Do you find confusion in the efficacy of two drugs for a medical condition? Knowledge about drugs is essential before starting any treatment. Knowledge of the medications a patient has taken in the past or is currently taking will help plan future treatment.

Throughout the years, many medications for seizures or Anxiety have appeared on the market. Still, benzodiazepines Clonazepam (Klonopin) and Xanax (Alprazolam) have become popular because they seem to work. So how do you choose between them? Let's take a look.

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. Benzodiazepines are not available over the counter. You will need a prescription to Buy Clonazepam from a certified pharmacy.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a prescription medication from a drug known as benzodiazepine. Ordering Xanax needs a mandatory prescription. 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. It increases the impact of a naturally present chemical in the body (GABA).

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.

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.

Possible Side Effects:

Clonazepam Side Effects Xanax Side Effects
Depression Drowsiness
Suicidal thoughts Tiredness
Mental/mood disorders Dizziness
Seizures Sleep problems (insomnia)
Drowsiness Memory problems
Dizziness Slurred speech

Clonazepam Vs Xanax: Similarities Between Them

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

Clonazepam and Xanax are similar medications, classified as benzodiazepines, which boost the activity of GABA in the brain.
Benzodiazepine equivalency tables state that 0.5mg of Xanax is approximately equivalent to 0.5mg of Clonazepam.
Clonazepam should not be taken for prolonged periods. It is safe to use for shorter periods, i.e., less than two weeks.

Clonazepam Vs Xanax: Difference Between Them

The difference between Clonazepam and Xanax is,

  • Klonopin is a medication used to treat panic disorder and can also be used to manage seizures.
  • Klonopin's 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 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.

Clonazepam Vs Xanax: Which is More Effective?

Clonazepam and Xanax 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 for 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)
  • 1.5 mg/day for seizures, increased by 0.5-1 mg until the desired effect is achieved. The dosage should not exceed 20 mg/day.

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 of more than 4 mg per day.

According To The Study: Which Is Strong

Aim: to determine between Clonazepam and Xanax 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. These variables showed statistically significant differences between the medication and placebo groups.

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

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutionss

A person suffering from any disease, such as convulsion or Anxiety, needs medication to get relief. It is advised to take treatment after consultations with the concerned healthcare professional. The medical practitioner would recommend the best-suited drug based on the person's age, medical history, body composition, and other factors. Clonazepam and Xanax have similar efficacy and mechanisms of action on the body. However, studies have found that Xanax is absorbed faster by the body than Clonazepam.

In either approach, seek consultation with your healthcare professional to ensure the treatment is tailored to your needs. 

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