The Safer Benzodiazepine: Why Klonopin Beats Xanax

Headshot of Charles Maddix APRN, MSN, PMHNP-BC
Charles Maddix, ARNP, MSN, PMHNP-BC
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February 18, 2023

Klonopin, also known as clonazepam, is a medication that belongs to the class of benzodiazepines. It is commonly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, as well as seizure disorders. In comparison to Xanax, another benzodiazepine, Klonopin is considered to be less dangerous due to its longer half-life and less addictive properties.

One of the main differences between Klonopin and Xanax is their half-life, which is the amount of time it takes for the body to eliminate half of the medication. Klonopin has a longer half-life than Xanax, meaning that it remains in the body for a longer period of time. This makes it a more suitable option for those who require long-term treatment for anxiety or panic disorders, as they do not have to take the medication as frequently. The longer half-life also means that the effects of Klonopin are more gradual, providing a more sustained effect.

In contrast, Xanax has a shorter half-life, which means that it is more quickly eliminated from the body. This can lead to a quicker onset of effects, making it a more suitable option for those who require immediate relief from anxiety or panic attacks. However, the faster elimination of Xanax also makes it more prone to causing withdrawal symptoms and addiction.

Another factor that makes Klonopin less dangerous than Xanax is its lower potential for abuse and addiction. Klonopin is less likely to cause physical dependence and addiction, and therefore, it is less commonly abused. On the other hand, Xanax has a higher potential for abuse and addiction, making it more prone to being used recreationally or for non-medical purposes. This is due to the quicker onset of effects and the euphoric feeling that some individuals experience when taking Xanax.

In conclusion, while both Klonopin and Xanax are benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, Klonopin is considered to be less dangerous than Xanax due to its longer half-life and less addictive properties. Klonopin provides a more sustained effect, making it a more suitable option for long-term treatment, while Xanax is better for immediate relief. Ultimately, the choice between Klonopin and Xanax depends on individual needs and should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider. It is important to note that both medications should only be taken as prescribed and under medical supervision, as they can have significant side effects and potential risks.

Charles Maddix is the Owner & CEO of The Practice.  A private practice focused on the well-being of the individual as a whole, mind and body.

Among the unique modalities offered by The Practice are:

Ketamine Infusion therapy– Ketamine infusion therapy involves the administration of a series of infusions for the management of psychiatric disorders like major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and acute suicidality.  Working very quickly — in many, often within hours — to ease symptoms.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy - Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) uses hormones that are chemically identical to the hormones naturally produced in the human body. Derived from plant sources and formulated to match the molecular structure of hormones produced by the body. BHRT is used to treat symptoms of hormonal imbalances, in both men and women.

NeuroStar® TMS – NeuroStar® TMS delivers our advanced and unique form of TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), a non-invasive therapy that uses targeted magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that are underactive in people suffering from depression.

Opioid Replacement Therapy - Opioid replacement therapy (ORT) is an effective treatment for addiction to opioid drugs such as heroin, oxycodone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), fentanyl and Percocet. The therapy involves taking the opioid agonists buprenorphine (Suboxone). This medication works to prevent withdrawal and reduce cravings for opioid drugs.

Invega Sustena – a once-monthly injection treatment approved by the FDA for bipolar 1 disorder maintenance. This eliminates the need for daily oral medications in appropriate patients.Allergy Immunotherapy -

Allergen immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is a long-term treatment that decreases symptoms for many people with allergies often leading to lasting relief of allergy symptoms even after treatment is stopped. This makes it a cost-effective, beneficial treatment approach for many people.

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