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!!Help!! Switching from Xanax to Klonopin? How to do it?

I am currently taking .5 of xanax 3 times daily, 6am 12 noon and 6pm.  My doctor is switching me to klonopin, 1 mg 3x daily.  He told me to just stop the xanax and start the klonopin which I know it not right.  I also am not sure how much klonopin is the equivalent to the amount of xanax I was/am taking.  

I am making the switch because I want to taper off benzos completely.  I was getting severe panic attacks (I am irrationally afraid of getting a seizure) and I am not now, but stuck on the medication.  Is Ryan still in this forum?

Any help on how I can successfully transition over and then how to taper down once on the klonopin would be greatly appreciated!!!!
6 Responses
370181 tn?1428180348
First off, please find another doctor. Any doctor who tells you to quit Xanax cold turkey is a moron and has no business dealing with medications he obviously does not understand.
Klonopin must accumulate in your body before it will reach therapeutic levels and that usually takes about 2 weeks. If you abruptly stopped the Xanax, it would be out of your system is 4-6 hours which means after that time you would be in full blown Xanax w/d which is a living hell. This is what your doctor wants you to go through? Making the switch from Xanax to Klonopin needs to be done by stepping out the Xanax and stepping in the Klonopin. SLOWLY.
I'm not positive, but I believe the eqivalancy of these meds are 1mg of Xanax is equal to 1mg of Klonopin.
Your pharmacist can tell you for sure. I wouldn't waste my time asking your doctor.
I understand your fear of seizures, but if the crossover from Xanax to Klonopin is done correctly, you will not have to worry about that at all. You might if you do what your doctor has told you, though! You're not on that high a dose of Xanax, but it depends more, I believe, on how long you've been on it for the seizure "threat" to be a factor.

I would urge you to get in touch with a Psychiatric Medication Manager, or PMM. Most psychiatric clinics have one on staff and you do not have to be a patient to take advantage of their services. Their job is to work WITH you to accomplish your goals of either finding the right medication or helping you transition or taper. Working with you, they will set up a cross over plan to slowly get you off the Xanax and on the Klonopin and then to taper you off the Klonopin if that is your wish. PMMs know about these kinds of meds, it is what they studied. They will never rush you during your taper. If you don't feel ready to make another "cut" in your Xanax, they will be fine with that. They will tell you to stay where you are comfortable until you feel ready to make the next step.

And yes, Ryan still materializes from time to time, but we never know when that might be. And while he would be able to write out a taper/crossover plan for you, it is MUCH wiser to be under the care of a real professional while attempting this plan. You MUST be able to contact the person who is helping you will questions or concerns that you may encounter during this process. With all due respect to Ryan, if you needed help, he might not know that for weeks or months.
For your own well being, find a professional near you that will BE there for you.
I wish you success in your taper. It won't be easy but if you are determined, you will succeed!
Please check the equilancies of these meds with your pharmacist as I am not positive I've given you accurate information on that.
Avatar universal
Thanks Ryan!  You are a lifesaver!  So you think that I will be okay just switching one for the other?  I always thought that xanax and klonopin were equal in there dosing, so I was curious why he raised my dose.

I was getting rebound anxiety in between doses of xanax and I want to gett off daily benzo use as well, which is why he switched me to klonopin.  I want to taper off and use xanax as a rescue medication.  I am taking it now because I have to, not because of a lot of panic attacks.  I am just really scared of changing medications.  I have taken clonopin before, but it was a long time ago and I just want it to go as smoothly as possible.

" Should you remain overly concerned, substitute each 0.5 mg Xanax dose for 1 mg of Klonopin every three days - beginning with the afternoon dose, rotating to the morning dose, and, finally, to the night dose. "

By this do you mean for 3 days, take .5 xanax at 6am, 1mg klonopin at 12pm and .5  xanax at 6pm for 3 days, then 1mg klonopin at 6am, 1mg of klonopin at noon, and .5 of xanax at 6pm for 3 days, then 1mg klonopin at 6, 1mg at noon, and .5 klonopin at 6 with .25 of xanax for 3 days then switch?  Please let me know if I got it wrong.

I appreciate your help in making this transition!
Avatar universal
I wanted to see if you could help me with something.  Since xanax and klonopin are equal in strength and I want to taper off not increase my dose, what do you think the best way for me to change from .5 xanax 3x daily to .5 klonopin 3x daily would be?

I am so sorry I keep bugging you but my doctor is not helpful at all!
3894746 tn?1348505098
My doctor just cut me off cold turkey from 90(a month) 1 mg xanax to 90(a month) 1mg klonopin. And I can't believe he cut me off cold turkey like that. WHAT CAN I TELL ME DOCTOR TO GET HIM TO TRY TO SWITCH ME BACK. I have very severe panic and anxiety and my Doctor knows that. So when I have an attack, I cant afford to wait 4 hours  to klonopin to kick in. Xanax truly worked for me, and almost instantly so my heart doesnt pound out of my chest and go nuts. HELP ME! WHAT DO I TELL HIM!!!!!!!!! --STEPHANIE
Tell him exactly what you wrote here. Clonazepam at a higher dose might help you also.
Avatar universal
Hi I am very new to this. I've read so many stories that I can identify with but I've never actually commented. My doctor took me off the xanax and switched me right to the kolonopin. He asked me if we're treating the "withdrawals" or anxiety? I said the withdrawals! I never had panic attacks/anxiety until I started xanax then I realized holy crap this isn't anxiety I'm withdrawing. This is a nightmare. Kolonopin depresses me severely and I noticed that the Xanax actually helps me with that depression. So now I am not on ONE benzo but TWO! Help. Any advise is greatly appreciated.
I'm not a doctor but perhaps you should find another one. I think that a mild
antidepressant and low dose of clonazepam could help you. All the best!
Avatar universal
Klonapin is actually longer lasting. As far as switching from xanax, both are benzos. The klonapin works just as fast, lasts longer but does tend to make you a bit drowsier
I think Klonopin takes longer to take effect.  That's what I've been told, and I've been taking it for many many years.  The fact they are both benzos doesn't mean one can just switch between them -- you still need to very carefully taper off a benzo if you've been taking it regularly as no two drugs work exactly the same -- if they did, only one could get a patent.  It's also not true that Klonopin makes everyone more drowsy -- maybe it does you, and maybe it doesn't for someone else.  Maybe it does at one dose and not at another.  Maybe it does when you first start using it and maybe you get used to it and it stops doing that until you have to increase the dose to get the same effect.  These meds are very individual in how they affect us.
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370181 tn?1428180348
Arlington, WA
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