Clonazepam vs Xanax: Is There a Difference?

Anxiety disorders can cause emotional and physical symptoms that can disrupt your daily life. Emotional symptoms of anxiety disorders include fear, apprehension, and irritability. Among the physical symptoms:

  • pounding heartbeat
  • dyspnea
    stomach and digestive problems
  • a headache
  • tremor and twitch
  • numbness or tingling of hands and feet
  • sleep problems & fatigue

Anxiety disorders can be treated. Treatment usually requires a combination of methods, including treatment.

Your doctor may recommend clonazepam or Xanax to treat your anxiety.

How do they work?

Clonazepam is a common drug. It is also sold as the brand name drug Klonopin. Xanax, on the other hand, is a proprietary version of alprazolam. Clonazepam and Xanax are the Central nervous system (CNS) depressants and are classified as benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepines affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a key chemical messenger in your brain. These drugs cause nerve impulses throughout the body, slowing them down, which leads to a calming effect.

What do they treat?

Both drugs are related to anxiety disorders, including panic attacks in adults. Clonazepam also treats seizures in adults and children. On the other hand, the efficacy and safety of Xanax are not established in children.

The effects of both clonazepam and Xanax may be stronger or longer in the elderly.

Forms and dosage

Clonazepam comes in an oral tablet that you swallow. It also comes in an oral administration decomposition tablet that dissolves in the mouth. You can take clonazepam once or three times a day as directed by your doctor.

Xanax comes in tablets for immediate release and prolonged action. The General version, alprazolam, also comes in the form of an oral solution. Your doctor may direct you to take an immediate release pill several times a day. The oral solution is also an immediate release. You will take it several times a day. An extended release tablet should only be used once a day.

For any medication, your doctor will probably start you off with the lowest possible dosage. If necessary, the doctor may increase the dosage in small increments.

Both drugs can start working within hours or days of the first dose. The dose of Xanax will affect you within a few hours.


How much you will pay for a prescription drug can vary depending on where you live, in your pharmacy, and in your health insurance plan. Generally speaking, generic versions are much cheaper than versions of brand names. This means that clonazepam is likely to be cheaper than Xanax.

Side effect

There are many potential side effects of benzodiazepines, but it’s unlikely you’ll have more than a few. For most people, the side effects are mild and portable. They usually appear early and disappear when your body gets used to the drug.

The most common side effects are lightheadedness and drowsiness. This can affect your ability to drive. If you feel dizzy or sleepy while taking any of these drugs, do not drive or use dangerous equipment.

It is possible to have an allergic reaction to both clonazepam and Xanax. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, itching, or a skin rash. If you develop swelling of the face, tongue, throat or breathing problems, seek medical advice immediately.


Taking other CNS depressants with clonazepam or Xanax may enhance their intended effects. Mixing these substances is dangerous and can lead to loss of consciousness. In some cases, this can be fatal.

Other CNS depressants include:

  • sedatives and sleeping pills
  • tranquilizers and mood stabilizers
  • muscle relaxants
  • preparations for withdrawal
  • prescription drugs
  • alcohol
  • marijuana
  • antihistamines

You can find detailed lists of interacting substances for both drugs in interactions for Xanax and clonazepam.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, and ask about potentially dangerous interactions.

Talk to your doctor

Xanax is not an effective remedy for seizure. So, if you have seizures, clonazepam may be the treatment option for you.

If you are being treated for an anxiety disorder, ask your doctor to discuss the pros and cons of each medication. It is difficult to determine in advance which medicine will be most effective for you. Your doctor will recommend one based on your symptoms and medical history. If the first choice doesn’t work, you can move on to the next one.

Are clonazepam or Xanax addictive?

Clonazepam and alprazolam can be addictive. If you take them daily for a few weeks or longer, you can also be tolerant of them. Tolerance means you need more medication to get the same effect. You can also experience care if you suddenly stop taking drugs. Withdrawal can increase your heart rate and your anxiety. It can also cause insomnia and agitation. It is imperative that you follow your doctor’s instructions on how to take and stop these drugs to avoid both addiction and withdrawal.