Alprazolam (Xanax) vs. Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Alprazolam
Clonazepam

Alprazolam (Xanax) and Clonazepam (Klonopin) are both benzodiazepines that help to calm anxiety, and treat other disorders. Alprazolam (Xanax) is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety associated with depression. Clonazepam (Klonopin) may be prescribed for epilepsy, as well as for panic disorder, seizures, anxiety disorders, parasomnia, OCD and clinical depression.

Comparison chart

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Alprazolam

User Rating (74):

Clonazepam

User Rating (14):
Trade names Xanax Klonopin
Prescribed for Management of acute symptoms of anxiety disorders, panic disorders, anxiety caused by depression Panic disorders, seizures, epilepsy, sometimes insomnia
Pregnancy cat. D (US) [Unsafe during pregnancy; see article for details] C (AU) D (US) [Unsafe during pregnancy; see article for details]
Dependence liability High (addictive) High (addictive)
Side effects Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, memory problems, trouble concentrating, sleep problems, swelling in limbs, muscle weakness, lack of balance and coordination, slurred speech, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, sweatiness, dry mouth etc. Drowsiness, dizziness, memory problems, feeling tired, muscle weakness, loss of balance, slurred speech, drooling or dry mouth, runny or stuffy nose, loss of appetite, nausea, blurred vision, headache, sleep problems, skin rash or weight changes
Forms Tablets (0.25, 0.5, 1 or 2mg) Tablets (0.5mg, 1mg and 2mg) and dissolving tablets (0.5mg, 1mg and 2mg)
Half-life Immediate release: 11.2 hours; Extended release: 10.7–15.8 hours 18-50 hours
Restrictions Should not be used by people with narrow-angle glaucoma or who are taking Sporanix or Nizoral. Should not be used by people who have severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, or who are allergic to other benzodiazepines
Legal status POM (UK) Schedule IV (US) Prescription Only (S4) (AU) Schedule IV (CA) schedule Q (UK) Schedule IV (US)
Effect Increases GABA in brain Increases GABA in brain
Excretion Renal Renal
Bioavailability 80–90% 90%
Intake Oral Oral, I.M., I.V, sublingual
Metabolism Hepatic, via Cytochrome P450 3A4 Hepatic CYP3A4
CAS number 28981-97-7 1622-61-3
Addictive Yes Yes
Formula C17H13ClN4 C15H10ClN3O3

Contents: Alprazolam (Xanax) vs Clonazepam (Klonopin)

edit Forms Available

Klonopin is available in 0.5mg, 1mg and 2mg tablets, and in 0.125mg, 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1mg and 2mg disintegrating tablets.

You don't want to use them all
You don't want to use them all

Xanax is available in 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1mg and 2mg tablets. The 2mg tablets are multi-scored and can be divided.

edit Effect

Both Klonopin and Xanax increases the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain to calm the nervous system. They can cause drowsiness or sedation.

edit How Klonopin Works

This video shows how Klonopin or Clonazepam works and can help people with epilepsy:

edit How Xanax Works

How Xanax or Alprazolam works:

edit Uses

Klonopin may be prescribed for epilepsy, as well as for panic disorder, seizures, anxiety disorders, parasomnia, OCD and clinical depression.

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety associated with depression.

edit Effectiveness

Klonopin and Xanax will have different effectiveness for different individuals. A study by Massachusetts General Hospital in 1991 found that Klonopin and Xanax were equally effective at treating panic disorders [1].

To test the reported antipanic efficacy of clonazepam, the authors randomized 72 subjects with panic disorder to 6 weeks of treatment with either alprazolam, clonazepam, or placebo. Endpoint analysis demonstrated a significant beneficial effect of both active treatments, but not placebo treatment, on the frequency of panic attacks, overall phobia ratings, and the extent of disability. Comparison of the two active treatments revealed no significant differences and no consistent tendency for one agent to be favored over another, although power to detect small differences was limited. Sedation and ataxia were the most common side effects reported, but these effects were mild and transient and did not interfere with treatment outcome. The results of this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial are consistent with previous reports of clonazepam's antipanic efficacy.

edit Scientific studies

The following scientific studies provide useful information relevant to the effects of xanax and klonopin:

edit Dosage

Klonopin should not be taken for more than 9 weeks without a doctor’s advice. Doses higher than 0.5 – 1 mg per day are associated with significant sedation.

For adults with anxiety disorder, initial Xanax doses are of 0.25mg to 0.5mg, three times daily. This dose may be increased up to 4mg in divided doses. Dosage must be decreased gradually.

edit Side Effects

Common Klonopin side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, memory problems, feeling tired, muscle weakness, loss of balance, slurred speech, drooling or dry mouth, runny or stuffy nose, loss of appetite, nausea, blurred vision, headache, sleep problems, skin rash or weight changes. More serious side effects can include confusion, hallucinations, involuntary eye movements, pounding heartbeats, painful urination, pale skin, easy bruising, and seizures.

Common Xanax side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, memory problems, trouble concentrating, sleep problems, swelling in hands and feet, muscle weakness, lack of balance and coordination, slurred speech, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, increased sweating, dry mouth, stuffy nose, appetite or weight changes, and loss of interest in sex. More serious side effects include depressed mood, confusion, chest pain, tremor, seizure and jaundice.

edit Restrictions

Klonopin should not be used by people who have severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, or who are allergic to other benzodiazepines. It should not be mixed with alcohol.

Xanax also should not be used by people allergic to benzodiazepines or by women who are pregnant. Those with narrow-angle glaucoma and those who are taking Sporanix or Nizoral should also not take Xanax. It should not be mixed with alcohol.

edit Withdrawal

Klonopin can be addictive, and so dosage should be reduced gradually. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, tremors, seizures and potentially exacerbated panic disorder.

Xanax also has a danger of withdrawal, and so dosage should be reduced gradually (usually 0.5mg every three days).

edit Abuse

Like Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac and other SSRI durgs, Klonopin and Xanax tend to be prone to abuse, and much more than the Schedule 3 class of drugs.

Klonopin and Xanax abuse occurs when the drug is used over an extended period of time. Signs of abuse include using the drug every day, always having it on hand, needing to take valium to get the day started, willingness to do something illegal to acquire it, taking it without medical reason, and needing to take a larger dose to get the same results as before.

Klonopin is the second most frequently used benzodiazepine that leads to emergency department visits, including drug abuse, overdose and adverse reactions to legitimate use of the medication.

edit References

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"Alprazolam (Xanax) vs Clonazepam (Klonopin)." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 21 Sep 2014. < http://www.diffen.com/difference/Alprazolam_vs_Clonazepam >

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