anyone take klonopin with buspar just for breakthrough panic?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 1225
   Posted 9/5/2010 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
my doc just gave me klonopin for panic attacks or bad anxiety when buspar isn't cutting it. so i have only taken it a few times so far and it takes awhile longer to work than xanax i noticed - then all of a sudden i just get sleepy. i am only taking .50 -
how long does it stay in your system? arent klonopin and xanax only in your system like 4-6 hours?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 9/5/2010 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi hazelnut86- Actually, Xanax and Klonopin are on opposite sides of the spectrum as far as half-life is concerned. Klonopin has a very long half-life (as much as 60hrs.) whereas Xanax only has a maximum of like 8-12hrs. Klonopin does tend to take longer to work, but it's effects last much longer. This is a good thing if you have to stay on a benzodiazepine longterm, it means less doses and smoother blood levels. If taken regularly, Klonopin will have better/smoother levels in the blood that don't drop or spike the way Xanax can. This is why people on Xanax can "feel" when their next dose is due. It hits hard, but leaves quickly. It's for that reason it makes for a choppy med to use on the longterm.
Xanax can be used longterm (they even have an extended release version now), but most doctors think something with a longer half life is better due to the reasons I've stated.
I have been on Klonopin for a number of years now and it works great for me. Xanax didn't seem to work as well for me and made me feel groggy.
Here's a tip if you're only using Klonopin on an as needed basis; place the Klonopin tablet under your tongue and let it dissolve slowly, it will work much faster that way than just washing one down with water. I've used it that way for years and it works very well. Klonopin has a slightly sweet taste and will leave your mouth with a slightly numb/cool feeling, but it goes away quickly and is not unpleasant at all. Xanax has a horrible taste if you try to let one dissolve in your mouth. If you've never tried it, don't!!!!
I hope I've helped you out some :-) .
God bless.
                                       G20man turn

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 9/7/2010 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Aren't half life and effects different? My doctors say that Klonopin is out of the system in about 6 hours. Meaning, the effects of the Klonopin would only last up to 6 hours. They even said it was safe to socially drink about 6 hours after you take either one.

I have taken both and like Klonopin better. I love how you can just stick one under your tongue and let it dissolve. And for me, when I do that, it seems to kick in faster, like he said above.

My doctor also said that Klonopin is less addictive and easier to wean off of.
Agoraphobia, OCD, Panic Disorder, GAD, Hypoglycemia,
Migraines, Kitty Lover, Bird Lover!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 9/7/2010 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone,

My home is within the CP forums, but as I do have anxiety and sleep issues, I am on prescription for low dose klonopin to help with anxiety and to help reduce the incidents of sleep walking/night terrors as a result of anxiety (anxiety does not cause the sleep walking but consistant anxiety increases the frequency of it happening.)

Anyways, me and my doctor have had long discussions about the effectiveness of klonopin and its comparison to other anti anxiety medications. We are very open about discussing these things, so I'm blessed to have a doctor that I have very good communications, you know the type that is open to suggestions, very knowledgable, non egotistic, hehehe.

From what weve discussed, klonopin is a very safe medication and its risk for addiction is significantly lower than most anti anxiety medications. This is for 3 reasons.

1. It has a slow onset of effects.
2. It does not create a euphoric rush (even though it is consider moderately potent)
3. Its actually effects last a long time (about 8 hours) and its residule effects last for up to 36 hours.

Essentially its effects slowly enter your system, last a long time, and then very slowly leave your system so that you level down gradually instead of CRASHING. That crashing is actually a form of withdraw. With Klonopin you avoid the withdraw, or if you do withdraw its more subtle. For people on low daily doses, if they miss a day of taking klonopin, its not the end of the world. They might be a little agitated until they take their next dose. Its generally a much harasher story for xanax and to a lesser degree ativan.

The biggest drawback to klonopin is that it can cause prolonged and moderately strong sedation. Both a benefit and a drawback.
MRI revealed a bulging disc w/gel lost at L5 and showed the bulge touching nerves, causing sciatica. Diagnosed w/ Arthritis which is responsible for joint inflamation pain. Treatment: Nucynta 50-150 mgs every 6 hours (schedule II narcotic, Mu Opoid agonist and NE reuptake inhibitor), Celebrex 100 mgs, Klonopin .5, Epidurals, Radio Freq nuerotomy (sept 8th, 2010)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 9/7/2010 10:11 PM (GMT -7)   
This is really helpful info for me so I want to say thanks to the original poster for asking the question and thanks for the very informative replies!

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/11/2010 3:45 AM (GMT -7)   

I to suffer from many health issues. I have bipolar, PTSD, mood disorder, anxiety, sleep disorder, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs, fibromyalgia, arthritis, asthma, chronic anemia and B12 dificiency. (I think that covers everything)

I am taking Wellbutrin, Geodon, Cymbalta (just quit),Buspar & Trazadone, for anxiety, bipolar depression, PTSD, & mood disorder. I took Klonopin for over 12 years. I first started taking it for restless legs (Requip was not around then) and later continued taking it for anxiety. I take Salsalate for fibro & arthritis. I take Adderall for narcolepsy, Requip for restless legs. And other assorted meds for the other conditions. I have taken so many different meds for depression that I'm running out of options for RX treatment.

Lately I seem to have some side effect that causes me to have to change to another new med. First I couldn't urinate, then I couldn't quit urinating. I broke out in a rash over my entire body from Lexapro. I got weird sores in my mouth from Lamictal. I had seizures from taking so many meds. I just quit Cymbalta because it was raising my pulse to over 100 bpm and my blood pressure went way up. And so on.....

Just a little background - I used to be morbidly obese at 240lbs and 5'2". I had gastric bypass surgery in 2002 and lost 122lbs. Before I had the surgery, at an information meeting, the Doctor mentioned that approx 33% of patients will subsequently develop an addiction to alcohol. He said that it was due in part to the change in the way your body metabolizes alcohol and in part because people that have the surgery have an addictive personality, hence the addiction to food & obesity. It is common to trade one addiction for another.

Anyway, I remember listening to that and pretty much dismissed it because I very seldom ever drank alcohol. If I did, I would have some fruity drink where I couldn't taste the alcohol. I never finished a second drink and usually went home and fell asleep. It just wasn't something that I really enjoyed. After the surgery, when my kids where no longer at home, my husband and I started going to the local bar with friends. I started off being pretty much of a light weight drinker, but it very quickly became a problem. (as predicted...)

Suddenly, I could drink an amazing amount of alcohol and my tolerance changed completely. In short order, I developed a problem. I was in denial because I thought that since I never had an issue with it before, that I couldn't have developed an addiction to it so quickly. I never could understand why people couldn't just quit drinking if they had a problem with it. Now I understand.

Eventually I would drink to excess (the stronger the drink, the better) and then I would often black out. One night, as I was walking/stumbling home, I injured myself very seriously. (I never, ever drove drunk) I lived close enough to just walk home. Along the way, I cut through a yard, not realizing that there was a two foot retaining wall. I walked off of the wall expecting the ground to be flat under my feet. I launched myself out into the street. I split my chin open, broke three front teeth, fractured my wrist & elbow, detached the triceps muscle, had a closed head injury, & hurt my knee.

I have absolutely no memory of the event. I don't remember walking home. I don't remember the ambulance ride or any of the time in the emergency room. I don't remember being stitched up or having a cast put on my arm. My husband had to tell me about the accident the next morning. My injuries resulted in two surgery's to repair my wrist & elbow and also to re-attach the triceps muscle. I developed a serious and often fatal complication of an infection. It took months to get it under control and required yet another hospitalization. I had to have caps on my front teeth. It cost me a big, pile of money. Sadly, that was not the first time I injured myself while I was drunk and blacked out. It also cost me my marriage. My husband was so angry with me that he decided that after 20 years together, he wanted a divorce.

I finally came to the realization that I needed help and I went for inpatient treatment. It has now been over 18 months since I last drank. While I was in treatment, I was taken off the Klonopin. The doctors said that it is a very addicting drug and can trigger relapse for alcoholics. The process of withdrawal from Klonopin takes over 3 weeks. You have to be weaned off the drug very slowly. I was very closely monitored and was put on physical restrictions from exercising or any participating in any activities that were even mildly strenuous because the fact that there is a high possibility of having seizures during withdrawal.

It was an extremely unpleasant, horrible withdrawal and I would never want to experience that again!

I was told by my doctor that while taking Klonopin, I should not drink at all. Of course, I ignored that advice and suffered the consequences of that decision. I was also told that it is very addicting and stays in your system for a very long time - weeks. That is why it takes so long to withdraw from. It is a controlled substance and is often abused or missused.

Since I have alcoholism, my doctor wont give me any medication that is addicting or any med that people tend to like to abuse. (even though I never abused drugs) If you have teens or anyone around that has an addiction to drugs, Klonopin is a drug that users like to take. You should be careful not to leave it where others can get it. Almost all of the young people in treatment (20's to 30's) were addicted to drugs rather than alcohol. Most said they started by raiding the medicine cabinets in their own home. Klonopin was a drug that they especially like because it it helps them when they are coming down off of other drugs like coke or meth.

Since I quit taking it, I have yet to find any medication that gives me even a smidgen of relief for anxiety. I am really struggling. My anxiety is so high I can hardly stand it sometimes. I don't think that Buspar is helping me at all. I attend AA meetings and decided to try out a new place. I was so panicked and anxious that I was shaking so much I could hardly drink a cup of coffee. I had to tell them that I was having an anxiety attack because I didn't want them to think that I was high or drunk.

I must admit that I wish I could still take the Klonopin because it at least gave me some relief. Does anyone have any suggestions for meds to treat anxiety that are non-addictive that I could take?? (actually helping would be a plus)

Thanks for reading this long-winded post. I hope I'm not breaking a posting etiquette rule. I am new to this site. I'm happy I stumbled upon it. Sometimes things just happen for a reason....

Thanks also for your suggestions. yeah
Reposted under topic " Lotussong New member  1st Post "  by Moderator.

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 9/11/2010 7:05:23 AM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/11/2010 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  Thank you for your input re your experiences and especially your information on Klonopin.  I am glad you found us and I am going to repost your thread and title the topic with your name so all the members will have a chance to meet and greet you. 
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 9/11/2010 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Some of the older tricyclic antidepressants can be very helpful for anxiety and panic disorder. Before the newer SSRIs came out I was on imipramine for panic disorder and it worked well. You do have to put up with some annoying side effects like dry mouth, light headedness when standing, some blurry vision, and weight gain if you're not careful to control what you eat. Most of the side effects lessen as you continue the medication. For years, before the SSRIs came out, these drugs were the mainstay for anxiety and depression and are still useful. There are different ones in this class like desipramine and nortriptyline that may cause less side effects and still give good effect. And you usually don't need the full dose that depression requires in order to get a good antianxiety effect, so that cuts down on side effects also.            

You might want to ask your doctor about them.

God bless.




Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/11/2010 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   

The speed of elimination of a benzodiazepine is obviously important in determinisizeng the duration of its effects. However, the duration of apparent action is usually considerably less than the half-life. With most benzodiazepines, noticeable effects usually wear off within a few hours. Nevertheless the drugs, as long as they are present, continue to exert subtle effects within the body. These effects may become apparent during continued use or may appear as withdrawal symptoms when dosage is reduced or the drug is stopped.

Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 9/18/2010 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   
ive taken klonopin for 2 years, as much as 5 mg a day. it is addicting and hard to come off of. personally ive used every benzo and klonopin is subtle, but i wish they never gave it to me. i switched to valium last week and its subtle too with a long half life, longer than klonopin. if you are on .5 mg as needed thats a small dose, and while i dont drink anymore due to bad gerd having a drink with a small dose of klonopin was never an issue, if you take it for sleep though alcohol and benzos actually worsen the quality of sleep. for absolute quick relief xanax works better, but it can be very dangerous. personally i will never touch xanax again, but if you take .5 mg a couple times a week i think if it helps do it and at that rate you will not develop addiction or tolerance. i take seroquel for sleep and while it has its own set of problems it works ok, also buspar does not work well or many, maybe an ssri like paxil would be worth a shot
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