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225570 tn?1191290673

Thinking of Switching from xanax to klonopin any insite?

Hi Ive been taking xanax 0.5 mlg 3x a day for 7 years...yep 7 years..i just recently was reading about how xanax is made for short term use because of its addiction to it...Well needless to say ive been trying to ween off and having the worst time...I read that klonopin is made for panic attacks and can be used long turm and also is less addictive....i really want to try it so when i do decide to get pregnant and come off it might be easier..i am afraid to get pregnant because i feel that the withdrawl from xanax will cause me to miscarry....has anyone tried klonopin for anxiety and did you like it? and also has anyone been succsesful weening off klonopin or xanax...if so please tell me how you did it.....Thank you ....Gina
29 Responses
225570 tn?1191290673
Thank you so much..i just have one more question how do i switch to klonopin from xanax do i just start taking the klonopin and stop taking the xanax..And Yes i deffinetly plan on taking nothing when im pregnant but i dont plan on trying for another year so i wanted to get off of something that was alittle easier then xanax.And not to sound dumb but how much is .125 figure my doc gives me 0.5 dose pills is that half of that or a quarter of that hope i make sence thanks again...Gina
225570 tn?1191290673
Hi sorry i just read your comment again and i say how you said to taper of 1/4 of each dose got it thanks.
Avatar universal
Ryan,
Hi it's Anne again. You helped me several times before, most recently dealing with the switch from Xanax to Klonopin. I made the switch on July 12, which was 6 days ago. Early into the transition, I felt a little break-through anxiety, mostly it was under the surface and wasn't unbearable. Overall, I felt pretty good. This morning, however, I feel bad, even after taking my .5 mg dose at 7:15 a.m. Before taking the dose, I felt pretty anxious. I woke up with a nervous stomach, which hasn't happened since starting the Klonopin. After taking the a.m. dose, about an hour or so later, it seemed to help a bit. But now it's 10:30 and I've been feeling more anxious again - on top of a spacey feeling in my head, heavy and tingling arms.  Is this normal? I know you said it would be "rocky" for maybe 3 days after starting the Klonopin, but now I'm on day 6 and it seems to be worse. Help! My psych hasn't been any help at all. I am switching to a new doc, but my appt isn't until the 23rd.  Whatever insight you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Anne
225570 tn?1191290673
Is Klonopin stronger than xanax or vise versa?
Avatar universal
Ryan (RCA7591), as well as Dr. Gould (who posts on the doctor-to-patient forum), the Ashton Manual, my pharmacist, and my psychiatrist all agree that Xanax and Klonopin are pretty much 1:1 in terms of dosage. However, there are others out there (online, which is where I'd been looking for clarification) who state that Klonopin is stronger. Still others say Xanax is stronger. It's maddening to have so many different opinions. But, to my mind, the reputable sources say that they are roughly equal. So, that's where I am putting my money. :-)
Anne
Avatar universal
Ryan, I can't thank you enough for all your support while I try to figure things out. I'm so new to the anxiety thing, so it's a whole new world for me. Panic attacks, I've had for years, but not this kind of anxiety. You've been so kind and patient, not to mention knowledgeable beyond belief. You've given me answer my own psychiatrist, for whatever reason, hasn't been able (or willing) to give. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
anne
225570 tn?1191290673
Hi thanks for the info i went to the doctor today...i have a question for you i was taking .5 mg of xanax 3x a day....so i figured he would give me klonoping .5 for 3x a day but he didnt he gave me 1 mg 2x aday what should i do i didnt realize till i left and filled the script should i break them in half and take 3 .5 a day or should i take 2 1 mg a day...not sure what to do...
225570 tn?1191290673
I told him that this was my plan and he said that klonopin last longer in your system so it should be taken only twice a day..my question is instead of just going back to him cant i just break the 1 mg in half till i go get more..he only gave me a month supply..i used to take klonopin 7 years ago and i used to take it 3x aday at .5 mg...He also said it is much easier to get off of so i will not have as big of a problem..Thanks again
225570 tn?1191290673
Thanks for everything i will keep you updated on my progress and "journey" lol. of weening of...Thanks again...Gina
Avatar universal
i was reading these posts and you have a lot of helpful information. i have been taking xanax for over three years and am trying to get off of it so i too can become pregnant. i was able to wean down from 2.5 mg per day to .5 three times a day. once i tried to go lower than that i found it difficult to function in my day to day activities and was getting a lot of bad panic attacks, so i went back up to the .5 three times a day dosage and felt better and consulted a psychiatrist to help with the weaning process. (i also go to a cognitive behaviour therapist for the past year or so and he has been very helpful on that part). this new psychiatrist switched me to klonopin - .5 twice a day. i started the new meds on saturday and have been feeling very anxious since then. i have trouble sleeping and i have underlying anxiety through out the entire day. i am okay if i rest a lot and try to not move around too much, but this isn't very realistic considering i have to go back to work tomorrow. so my question is, is it normal to feel like this in the beginning of the switch? i thought that the klonopin would take care of the anxiety - not bring it back around.. also is there anything to do if for some reason i get a panic attack while on the klonopin?  i am not looking to increase my medication if i don't have to  - i have been desperately trying to get off of all meds for the past year. if i have a panic attack during the beginning of the klonopin switch, is it okay to take a small dosage of xanax in addition to the klonopin?
Avatar universal
I'm no expert, but Klonopin was the worst thing I ever had to get off of.  Great drug when I was on it.  Twice but 2 nasty times weening off of it.  I don't know Xanax, so I don't the better of 2 evils.  I went off everything when I got pregnant.  Actual before, though baby not planned.  I just know Klonopin was tough for me.  Ryan seems to know his stuff though, he's probably better to take the advice from
Avatar universal
Hi Ryan,

I’ve been reading this thread with interest.  I am taking 2 mg Klonopin TID (.5mg morning, .5mg afternoon, & 1mg at bedtime).  So, if I read you right, the fastest I can taper with minimal symptoms is over a 16 month period?  If I wanted to do it in 8 months (the shortest time you recommend from this dose?) is there anything I can do in conjunction with the taper to minimize my symptoms, such as eliminating caffeine, exercising, and eating better, etc.?
Avatar universal
I have a question. I have been on xanax .25 3x a day for three months. Tried to just come off the xanax had a difficult time. My dr switched me to klonopin (the generic) .25 3x a day. Since I have to cut a .5 tablet in half for my dosage..how can i taper once I am on a steady dose?
Thanks .
Avatar universal
Hi, Im 23 yrs old and only been takin zanax for like 5 to 6 months like 1mg a day and having a HARD TIME  coming off it like going crazy!! Ive been so healthy my whole life and before i was prescribe to it i had went to the hospital for a racing heart. Scared more or less because i never had ANY health issues, I know what caused it i had just been laid off from a really good job and was very anxious. So the doctor then prescribe me to zanax. Now that i dont want that **** in my body ive been tryin to ween myself off. I guess i dont no how because i CANT seem to lower my dosage at all. I was wondering because i have went a day recently without taking any and it was horrible but i made it thru that day. Does anyone know if i would be fine just quitin it cold turkey??? And ive heard horror storys bout people having heart attacks while not taking it would that apply to me>???? A very healthy 23 yr old that heart was perfectly fine when i went to the hospital before??? I no it would be hard for a few days but im just scared of dying (anxiety)?? Do you think it would do anything for me??? and is there anything i could take in the mean time????? Including maybe smokin a little mary j???? PLEASE help me!
Avatar universal
Listen, This is a sort of long story but may be very detrimental to anyone who tries to switch from Xanax to Klonopin, "Cold Turkey".

5 years ago i sought help for several emotional and social problems I was having. including severe insomnia. I went to three GP's anf two different mental health centers. Everyone had a different opinion. One said I had OCD, another said severe depression, "even though i had no signs of depression" and another even believed that i was biploar. I tried an entire regement of different meds. Trazadone, Halcion, Helidol, paxil, geodon, depakote, seroqel. Nothing helped.

My mind would race constantly; night and day, with no relief. Sometimes I would go three days with no sleep of any kind. My brain scaned information sort of like the desktop of a windows PC filled with houndreds of folders. i would try to play out, repair, rethink, solve, and fix every issue of that day, the day before, and the day to come, all at the same time. This not only caused the severe insomnia, but when a major issue did pop up.... tight chest, cant breath, tingling in fingers, chest pain, tunnel vision, weakness in my left arm, and exaustion. Or in other words, "PANIC ATTACK"!

Finally I found Dr. P. He specialized in my disorder ADHD. (Antention defecit hyperactivity disorder.) He also doscovered that i suffered from severe generalized social anxiety disorder. A family history revieled tha both my mother and grandmother had nervous breakdowns in their thirties, most likely due to the same issues.

Dr. P. started me out on 20mg 2x a day of Adderall for the ADHD. It was a Miracle - instantly my mind slowed down and I was able to handle day to day tasks like normal people. The big problem was still the Anxiety disorder and Insomnia, which he felt went hand in hand.

He put me on 1mg Xanax 3x a day, plus a 2mg Xanax at bedtime for sleep. Again, a Miracle.. no moe panic attacks, no more fears of being around people, and no more nights of sleeplessness.

I followed this program for three years and had lived a very happy, fun filled normal life!

Total 5mg Xanax a day

This is when thing got hairy!

After moving to another state for work, I had to find another GP. I had all my records faxed from all my doctors to the new one immediatly so that he didn't have any fears that I was a "Seeker". Everything was fine for six months, then the Doc asked me to see a Psych. I agreed even after having multiple bad experiences with them.

The day after my visit to the Psych  my GP called me into his office and anounced thay "they" were taking me off Xannax and switching me to Klonopin. No stepping, or weaning,  just cold turkey.

He explained that the two medications where of the same family, "Benzo" and that their strengths where 1:1 mg wise, but that the klonopin lasted longer with an almost a double half life, and was much less addictive. "ADDICTIVE"? Come on. 1st) after three years it's not addiction, it's a dependency! Both physical and emotional, "especialy considering the fact that I lived daily with the expectation of an almost immdiate relief from my panic attacks on hand".

But hey, he's the one with the PHD., so I figured he new what he was doing. I went to the pharmacy and picked up my new script.

Klonopin 2mg 3x a day.

Day # 1 Fine but edgy (Wife noticed I was starting to be confrontational and aggressive in stature.)

Day # 2 Woke to a strange feeling of undescriable faint electrical currents firing within my brain. "Sort of like nurological short cuircuits". Started to feel more anxious than usual and restless. (Wife noticed me beiing very confrontational and aggresive verbaly with friends and family." Layed awake in bed most of the night.

Day # 3 Woke up and went to T.V. room. Sat on couch with wife. feeling very exhausted and disorientated. Kinda felt dreamy. My cell phone rang. I answered phone. It was an old friend I hadn't seen in years. he said, ' Whats up bro?" I replied, "Not much, how you been?" Wife interupted; What the heck are you talking about? . I then Realized that I Had no phone in my hand, and was not tlking to anyone. OMG! Full blown hallucination! I freaked out. This had never happened before. I emmidietly called Psych. Office admin said she would page him.

While waiting, I started doing research on internet. Found that with Xanax there is no switching to other Benzo's after long time use. The only way to tapper off the Xannax is with lower doses of Xanax over a long period of time!

Psych called me in for emergency consult. He explained that GP hadn't informed him of the length of time I was on Xannax. By then, I was having a severe panic attack, I was trembling, and had developed double vision with no ability to keep my balance. I then found myself stumbling around office, out to car, and into pharmacy. Almost like being drunk. (Note: Wife was driving) Pharmacist almost freaked when my wife told him what had happened and felt that I was suffering from extreme withdrawls from the lack of Xanax.

The Psych by now had familiarized himself with the whole story from reviewing my entire records from the past five years, and agreed that I needed back on Xanax immediatly! My records showed that both my mother and grandmother spent their entire lives on Roach 10 Volume and Xanax.

He ordered the Pharmacist to dispense me 150 pills of 1mg Xanax with instructions to take 1mg 3 x a day and (2) 1mg Xanax at betime for sleep. (a one month supply) The next day, everything was back to normal. No hallucinations, no aggresion, no confrontation, and no "electric" (in brain). I was back to feeling completly normal, sleeping well and fully functional!

The moral of this experience is to ask questions, do your own research, and dont trust your life to one persons opinion.

This is the link that helped to save my "Sanity", and possibly life. If I had went to the hospital I would of most likely been held for a 72 hour eveluation which may have majorly complicated things and greatly increased my detoxification illness before anyone figured out what was going on.

http://ask.rrockr.com/showq.php/9170-difference-between-xanax-valium-klonopin

Thanks RRockR.com I don't know what I would of done before i read your article.
941766 tn?1257800201
Another long story but mine is the opposite of yours. About 12 years ago after I lost my brother I had a panic attack and the doctor tried me on every antidepressant out there. I had adverse effect on all and it made my anxiety sky rocket. The doctor finally prescribed ativan .5 mg during the day and .5 mg klonopin at night. After I realized I wasn't really dieing, I got my life back under control.  After 8 years I weaned myself off the ativan but stayed on the Klonopin at night. Last December 09, I had some real bad family issues, put my 13 year old dog own, feared losing my job and my husband a heavy smoker got a terrible cold and coughed all night long, this went on for months. I thought I was handling things really well. The end of January my doctor just switched my Klonopin to Xanax, same mg. without even telling me why. I remember her telling me before all the binsos are the same so I took the xanax and thought it was the best thing in the world because it put me to sleep fast and I had the best night sleep in months. Then in March when I went for my normal physical she told me she wanted to wean me off the xanax. I told her if I had something to help me sleep I thought I could. She prescribed ambian. I know how I am with meds (adverse effects) so I waited about 2 weeks and took the ambian. That night just after almost asleep I woke with the stomach flu. Sick as a dog and couldn't sleep in between the vomiting because I was wired from the ambian. From that day on I haven't been right. That was on a Weds night, I stayed home from work on Thursday, back to work on Friday and felt real nervous. Friday night I took my xanax, went to bed and almost asleep when my husband took one of his coughing fits ( I worry about him having lung cancer) and I woke feeling so nervous, shaking all over, feeling like I couldn't swallow and like my tongue was swelling. I got up scared to death and took another xanax. I did go to sleep and woke the next morning real nervous. I went to the doctor and on Monday and she told me I was having panic attacks and put me on efflexor. I took it for 3 days and thought I was going to end up in the ER. Couldn't work, eat, sleep, nothing but fear!!! I quit taking the efflexor and the doctor put me on trazdone ? on spelling. I seemed to tolerate that better but still lots of Anxiety. After several visits to the doctor and weeks off from work with fear of losing my job I finally got an appointment with a psychiatrist. She told me the change from klonopin to xanax at the most anxious time of my life was the worst possible thing the doctor could have done. Also, the efflexor made things worse too. The  changed me back to klonopin 1 mg this time and told me to take 1/2 xanax when really bad. I am sleeping a little better now but still wake up several times a night and still have a lot of nervous feelings all day. I am defiantly NOT the same person I was. I have had NO appetite since March 11. I make myself eat and drink ensure. I went from 120 lbs to 108, I feel like setting at my desk at work is TORTURE. I can't even enjoy my love of my life (my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter) because I get to nervous when she's around. I hurt in my back and neck and my family can't believe I'm not better yet. I am scheduled for stomach tests on July 7 to make sure their not missing anything and the wait is killing me because all I do is WORRY. I only take xanax about twice a week. I hope I will be back to my old self soon. I have improved, at least I can work but it's hard. Some good days and some BAD. Sorry to write so much but it feels good to get this off my chest. I am 51 now and I'm not handling this as well as I did 12 years ago. I found this site and feel like I'm not the only one out there losing my mind. Just to mention I smoke too, wish I didn’t. Me and my husband have tried everything to quit. I never have smoked as much as him but lately have smoked more than ever because of the anxiety. That seems to be the only thing that calms me. I am also a Christian, and I know if it weren’t for the Lord above I would be with him in heaven right now because HE is the only one that has helped me get though this.
Avatar universal
I've been taking .5mg of xanax since 2003, twice a day until 3 months ago when I started taking .5mg of xanax 3x a day, and taking .5mg of Klonopin twice a day (also since 2003). I had tremendous stress in 2003-2004 and was put on just xanax and then put on both, and to be honest, it really doesn't help me. You get addicted to it and if you don't have it, panic attacks can happen "out of the blue". But I don't take the prescribed dose, I take "as needed" so I have tons of pills when I need them, and I do NOT want to be addicted to it. My dr wanted to put me on an antidepressant but I wont' do it. That's the worst thing you can do. It causes weight gain, and no more panic attacks, but I got real real depressed on Prozac, and Zoloft. So I refuse to take them. I'm not saying that xanax and klonopin are better, they're not, but what can I do. I'm addicted to both of them and have to have them or I'll have severe problems. I'd like to wean myself off of them but with stresses at work, etc, there's no way I can stop right now. When I'm retired, I'm hoping that I'm not a nutcase and am able to stop taking them, which is in about 15 years.
1287049 tn?1271801584
I am on 3mg of klonopin twice daily sometimes I have to go a few days without due to insurance billing cycles. I have found that Clonidine 0.1 mg threed times daily will help with withdrawal symptoms, it works well for me so suggest Clonidine to your doc.
1287049 tn?1271801584
Klonipin is so much better than alprozam aka xanax. xanax is rough coming off, not that withdrawal from Klonopin is a picnic but I think there is less chance of major side effects. Also klonopin defenitley eases my anxiety better than xanax. Xanax is highly addictive and tough to come off. Klonopin not so much and it releases into the blood stream slower so less chance of euphoria, therebye making it easy to step your dose down without ill effects.
1443464 tn?1284327252
All this crazy anxiety???? I have been on 1mg xanax for 5 years. I am slowly tapering off of it and I do mean slowly. I have been prescribed .25mg to taper. I take 3 1/2 .25mg tablets at night. I have had a few symptoms but nothing like any of this. I've been taking this amount for two weeks now. I didn't get into this mess over night (5 years) and I know I won't get out of it over night. So far it's been ok. The first night wasn't that pleasant but ok. Now I sleep 7-8 hours a night. I'm sure when I go to 3 .25mg a night I will have a night or two that won't be fun but I want off of this junk so I don't mind. I think most of these "withdrawal symptoms" are just panic disorder symptoms. I really do.
Avatar universal
I am 66 and have been on xanax for over 20 years!! I never took it regularly ; just as needed. And 99% of the time , just at bedtime.
In Feb my husband had a cancer removed and I was out of pills. It was snowing and I thought I'd die when he ordered me to come get him in the hospital. Because I had been up 3 nights with bad , continual diarrhea because I have no xanax. Nice drug. Good job.
  So I got more and we both were fine for months. Then I was beginning to run out of them so I started weaning down at night from 1/2mg to 1/4 mg . Think it's a low dose? No such thing as a "low dose" of xanax!!
Then after couple weeks of this so-called weaning I'm out again and slept 51/2 hrs night before last and 5 hours last night. Oh; my ears began ringing after his surgery too. They ring 24/7. So here I am, 66 yrs old, loss of appetite, dizziness and horrible fatigue . Thank God I only feel anxious --when I get into bed!! When I wish to sleep I start feeling anxious so that's out of the question. I don't want to  switch ; that's dumb. I'm a skeptic; I believe the doctors KNOW the drugs are HORRIBLE and dangerous but without drugs why would we go see them?? So they keep prescribing. And I can't even be far from a toilet.
Thank God I don't work. I wish I could cry but I can't ; it takes energy . (ears buzzing away, dreading bedtime)
Avatar universal
I've been taking 2.5 milligrams of Xanax a day and now my doctor wants to take me off of it , i suggested clonazepm and I'm not too sure if he's gonna for that cause it's still considered a benzo ! I'm hoping the switch will be ok if my dr does give me clonzaepam , one dr suggested prozac or pail but I'm afraid to take them seeing how the Xanax works well , well my ? Is will clonzaepam work the same as Xanax ??? Anyone with any good feed back please get back to me ! Thanx , Paul N .
Avatar universal
I started taking xanax 1mg 4 times a day for about a year, my anxiety was getting worse after about a year so my doctor switched me to klonopin the same dose. My anxiety eased up pretty fast so i stayed on it. Im now taking 2mg two times a day then 4mg at night, so im now on 8mg a day. Im only 19 so im trying to get off of this medication but reducing my dose has been much harder than i thought, just taking a smaller dose the first time bring my anxiety so much worse, so im thinking about switching again but i dont know if that would help or not??
Avatar universal
Gina,
I was on Xanax when I was pregnant, and had to detox myself because the place were I went to get off of them (inpatient) were doing it way to quick. That was during my 2nd month pregnant. I continued weening myself, (example: if you take them every 4 hours, start taking them every 6 then 8,etc.) That's how I did it, then when I got to every 12 hours, I checked myself back in,(by this time I was almost 6 months pregnant), and they helped me ween the rest of the way which basically was 1 valium every 12 hours, (they did that twice), then 1 more valium 18 hours later. And then they cut me off. But I tell you, if they hadn't given me Vistoril I would have been back on them for sure. The Vistoril really helped my anxiety and my body stop jerking. That medicine was a godsend for me.
Avatar universal
P.S. My son had no problems after being on Xanax until I was six months pregnant.
Avatar universal
i kust switched from xanax to clonazepam.  I find it that xanax acts a lot faster but klonopin has a much longer half life. i use the same dosage .5 mg
Avatar universal
Everyone is talking about panic attacks.   The new thinking is anti-depressants for panic attacks.  Since I started taking zoloft, now on Lexapro, I haven't had any panic attacks without Xanax or any tranquilizer.   Ask your doctor about an antidepressant instead of tranquilizers.
480448 tn?1426952138
This is a very old thread, you may want to consider starting your own, as often, the older ones get overlooked.

You're absolutely right that antidepressants are the first line, and preferred Rx for panic attacks (specifically the SSRIs), however this is not "new" information.  My first experience with an antidepressant for panic disorder was back in 1990, and even back then, it was not brand new.

There are lots of times when an anxiolytic, like Xanax, or Klonopin is very useful as well.  Everyone is different.

Just FYI!

Good luck to you!
Avatar universal
So sorry to hear of all your sorrow.  I went thru the same in 2013.  Everything around me died.  Anyway, for smoking Chantix does work.  Give it a chance or double up or whatever...Good Luck
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