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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 351
   Posted 9/25/2009 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
hi everyone.  i have a question.  i'm 27 year old married mother of one.  i have panic disorder.  i've been on xanax now for about 3 years.  my doc wants to change my meds to kolonopin and taking xanax as needed.  is anyone on the kolonopin and does it work.  he wants to put me on .5 miligrams.  what do you guys think?

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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/25/2009 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello Bella,

Good to see you tonight. :-)

The main differences between Xanax and Klonopin is their time to peak plasma level, and their half-life in your body.

Xanax takes 1-2 hours to reach peak plasma concentrations, and has a half-life (i.e half of the available drug has been metabolised) of 9-20 hours.

Klonopin, conversely, has a 1-4 hour peak plasma time but a much longer half-life of 19-60 hours.

So, therapeutically speaking, Klonopin would be the main benzo for your condition, and Xanax could be used ONLY when you were having "breakthrough" panic attacks to supplement the benzo effect, but clear your system more quickly.  

Be sure to discuss the choice of drugs with your physician if you have questions.

Take care and remember I am not a professional.




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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 9/26/2009 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Xanax should only be taken as needed anyway. Klonopin is a good drug for maintenance. Kitt's given you a basic rundown on why.

He's probably talking about .5 mg twice a day, which is the standard therapeutic dose for Klonopin. Taking it this way, you will achieve a "steady state" in terms of the amount of the drug in your bloodstream (due to the long half-life). Just as with Xanax, you cannot just stop taking it one day. You become physically dependent. Unlike Xanax, though, it is not addictive. I've been on .5 mg twice a day for several years now and have not had a need to increase my dose. It's as effective today as it was the day I started taking it.

I've always heard that there's a problem with mixing Xanax and Klonopin, so I'd ask your physician and perhaps a pharmacist about that. My friend has a prescription for both and sometimes when she takes the Xanax she experiences a paradoxical reaction. Not every time, and individuals are different of course, but it's worth asking about. Ideally the Klonopin would eliminate the need to take Xanax.

If you have been taking Xanax on a regular basis, though, you may or may not experience some withdrawal for a few weeks as you switch your "main drug". The friend I talked about above was in the same position you are in. Took Xanax only, then switched to Klonopin. The first week or two was fairly rough on her. High anxiety, etc, but she got over it and has done much better on the Klonopin since then. For example, she was agoraphobic. Recently she flew to Chicago to attend a party. She goes to her kids' softball tournaments and piano recitals. To the grocery store. Anything she wants to do, for the first time in years she's able to do it. That's not ALL Klonopin of course but it's a big part of the equation.

I'm not a doctor, either.

Good luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 10/6/2009 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Klonopin saved my life on more than one occasion. I have been on and off of it and Lexapro for 5 years.
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