What is the difference of clonazepam and Xanax?
The most common use of Xanax is as an antianxiety medication. Pharmaceutical company Upjohn created this drug in 1969, and doctors now write more than 50 million prescriptions for Xanax each year.
Clonazepam can help treat seizure disorders, among other things. It is an anticonvulsant and antiepileptic medication. Doctors may also prescribe clonazepam for panic disorder.
Xanax and clonazepam both affect the CNS and have the potential for misuse, with some people becoming dependent on them.
Dosages usually differ depending on the individual and the condition that a doctor is trying to treat.
For panic and anxiety, the dosage for adults is 0.25 milligrams (mg) twice per day.
A doctor can increase the dosage in increments of 0.125 mg to 0.25 mg every 3 days until the panic is under control. However, the maximum dosage does not usually exceed 4 mg per day.
For seizures, the dosage for adults is 0.5 mg three times per day. A doctor can increase the dosage in increments of 0.5 mg to 1 mg until the seizures are under control. The maximum dosage should not exceed 20 mg per day.
For anxiety disorders, the dosage for adults typically starts at 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg three times per day. A doctor may incrementally increase the dosage to maximize the effect. However, the maximum dosage does not usually exceed 4 mg per day.
For panic disorders, the required dose of Xanax may exceed 4 mg per day.
How they work
Clonazepam is a generic drug. It’s also sold as the brand-name drug Klonopin. Xanax, on the other hand, is a brand-name version of the drug alprazolam. Both clonazepam and Xanax are central nervous system (CNS) depressants and are classified as benzodiazepines.
Benzodiazepines affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a key chemical messenger in your brain. These drugs cause nerve impulses throughout your body to slow down, leading to a calming effect.
These drugs can have a number of adverse effects. The sections below will look at these in more detail.
Some of the more common side effects of clonazepam include:
- shaky movements and unsteady gait
- memory problems
- constipation or diarrhea
Some of the more common side effects of Xanax include:
- drowsiness and fatigue
- dry mouth
- becoming talkative
- forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating
- difficulty passing urine
- joint pain
- changes in appetite
- changes in weight
- sexual dysfunction
As both Xanax and clonazepam may cause drowsiness and poor coordination, people taking these drugs should be cautious about driving and operating machinery.
With either drug, a severe allergic reaction is unlikely. However, if a person develops any symptoms of a reaction — such as a rash, difficulty breathing, itching, or swelling — they need emergency help.
Which is the best one to use?
Although clonazepam and Xanax are similar types of drug, there are times when one might be better to use than the other.
Xanax is not a seizure medication. Therefore, a person trying to control and treat seizures may find clonazepam more useful.
People with anxiety disorders should make an appointment with their doctor to discuss the various treatment options and the pros and cons of each.
The doctor will ask about the person’s symptoms and medical history. They will consider any current medication the individual is taking before advising which prescription is most suitable.
Some people’s bodies react badly to particular medications, or the drug may be ineffective. If this is the case, a person should talk to their doctor, who can make an alternative recommendation.