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Avatar universal

klonopin vs xanax

i take xanax periodically for those times when my nerves get stretched due to minor/major flares of weakness, dizziness, sometimes sleep, etc. i like it because it helps well and is really fast acting.

i don't take it everday and i don't recall taking more than 2 a day for episodes.

saw my neuro today and he mentioned klonopin due to the side effects of xanax.

i don't mind switching. i just as soon not have the xanax excpet it works when needed and is quick.

any thoughts / experience with the klonopin med?
9 Responses
739070 tn?1338607002
I use Klonopin at night for muscle spasms, to relax in general and to help with sleep. It has a long half-life unlike xanax which has a short half-life somewhere in the range of 11 hours according to a quick reference to wikipedia(take that info with a grain of salt) hours. Klonopin's half -life is supposedley 19-60 hours if used on a continual basis.

I was prescribed Klonopin due to muscle spasms not  reduced by baclofen.

Xanax and Klonipin are both benzodiazipenes. Both are habit-forming.

I do not have any problems with my dosage of 2 mg at bedtime. First two nights I was a little groggy in the morning but nothing a cup of caffeine (coofee, coke) won't fix.

My 2 cents worth,
1312898 tn?1314571733
Ren is right about both drugs being benzodiazapine's----basically they are kissing cousins ot drugs like Valium etc.  Xanax offers a quick initial effect with a shorter half-life whereas Klonipin offers a very small initial effect and long half-life.  Klonipin will usually can give up to 8 hours of mild sedation.  

Klonipin and Xanax are both anti-anxiety medications, Klonipin is often used in the treatment of seizure and movement disorders such as Tardive Dyskenisia.  

A tolerance can occur with both medications, yet Xanax is the drug that is most often abused.  Xanax is the medication that was created to replace Valium.  Klonipin is further away in the benzo family than Xanax.

I have used both, I find Klonipin better for muscle spasms

IMO,   lois

Avatar universal
appreciate it. some good info.

i might switch to klonopin then. it might do a better job than baclofen

1045086 tn?1332130022
I also use Xanax on an occasional basis when I'm having sleep difficulties.  I like it because I have never felt hung over and it helps me sleep even if it is restless limbs that have me awake.  The sleeping pills I have tried either leave me hung-over, awake in a few hours, or staggering around as I try to escape the increased RLS symptoms they produce.

I haven't tried klonipin but I have tried a few different muscle relaxants here and there.  They do ease the muscle spasms but I hesitate to use any of them at night as when the muscles relax, the RLS sensations go wild.  My muscles seem to get too floopy or weak when the spasms/stiffness are removed.

On the worst nights I take low dose Xanax and Darvocet together.  I've able to fall asleep and stay asleep with the CPAP remaining on.  Wearing the CPAP for as many hours each night as possible makes most everything from my BP, to fatigue, to pain, to weight loss go better.  Since I sleep drugless as often as possible, this combo has remained effective for me over time.

Hope you find the best and safest combo for you.
Avatar universal
i too have tried your combo and i actually had good sleep with it.

best sleep so far this year for me is the ambien. deep, restful, and lasts about 4-5.5 hours of sleep. otherwise, toss & turn difficult to get comfortable.

the doc brings up the risks with xanax and doesn't want me getting to that point i suspect.

i may try the klonopin but it sounds "heavy" med vs the "light" med of xanax.

xanax has been great for the exasperations that come out of nowhere. i don't see klonopin doing that

Avatar universal
I think your decision should depend on what you need the med for. Klonopin can be very helpful for muscle relaxation, etc., but if you get agitated, anxious or have frayed nerves, Xanax might be better. It works fast, so it's dependable that way, and has been said, exits your body much more quickly.

Xanax is good on an 'as needed' basis, to get you over humps. It can cause a roller coaster effect, though, so it's not good when long-term effects are sought, even just all day.

Benzos can be very difficult, and are certainly not to be taken lightly. Tolerance, dependence and outright addiction are common. Withdrawal can be terrible. There can be a cross-tolerance with alcohol.

The best thing to do is to discuss all the pros and cons with your doctor.

Avatar universal
thanks ess...

>The best thing to do is to discuss all the pros and cons with your doctor.
  he brought it up and i think for the reasons you mentioned

>Xanax is good on an 'as needed' basis, to get you over humps.
  this is how i take it now. i've had it for i think 2 years. i take it for those "humps". some days/weeks i don't take it. haven't taken it daily since this was prescribed

>outright addiction are common. Withdrawal can be terrible. There can be a cross-tolerance with alcohol.
  this is a major concern because i don't want this added burden at all. i don't drink


Avatar universal
Well, here's what I'd do if I were you. Continue with Xanax, but take it as seldom as possible. If taken only every few days, and only a small dose, it is unlikely to cause dependence/withdrawal.

Don't recall whether you see anyone for talk therapy, but that is a safer alternative. There are also non-benzo anti-anxiety agents, including anti-depressants such as Lexapro. Sometimes these are supplemented with other meds for sleep. One of these is Seroquel.

I don't know how knowledgeable your doctor is about psychopharmacology, but many, even neuros, are woefully ignorant. You might want to run this whole issue by another doc. I know you don't want to solve one kind of problem by causing another, and I commend you for being upfront about that. I do understand.

Avatar universal
i really don't know what my VA neuro's gig is. i showed him a report of a new spot/lesion at C4 and he dismissed it and brought up the xananx.

i think what started his conversation was my request for something for the mind numbing fatigue i get. he might be thinking when looking at my med list, "maybe its your medicine"? i can't say.

however, i don't take the xanax that often. reserved for those "exacerbation" days/nights.

for me and my MS, discomfort is more of a consistent issue.

thing is, i've had the fatigue on/off for years even when i wasn't taking meds and when they weren't calling this MS.

i respect his concerns but i was a little blind-sided that the new MRIs were dismissed.

oh well. we've (neuro & me) have made a lot of progress, all things considered, in the last two years. i'm thankful for that.

thanks for the insight. keeping it out front is strong medicine too

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