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Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax?

Table of Contents

Does Klonopin or Xanax Work Better?, Which One is More Addictive & Which One is Stronger?, Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax?, Side Effects, Overdose Risk & Treatment

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin, the brand name for Clonazepam, is used alone or in combination with other medications to control certain types of seizures. It also relieves panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks). Klonopin is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by decreasing abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Can you mix Klonopin and Xanax? To better understand why the answer is NO, we must note that both drugs have risks for substance abuse.

Unfortunately, Klonopin may be habit-forming. It would be best if you don’t take a larger dose more often or longer than your doctor tells you to. Tell your doctor if you have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, if you use or have ever used street drugs, or have overused prescription medications. Do not drink alcohol or use street drugs while in treatment. Drinking alcohol or using street drugs during your treatment with Klonopin also increases the risk that you will experience serious, life-threatening side effects. [1] Also, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had depression or another mental illness.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is one of the brand names for Alprazolam. It is used for anxiety treatment and panic disorder (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks). Xanax is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.

Xanax may cause physical dependence (a condition in which unpleasant physical symptoms occur if a medication is suddenly stopped or taken in smaller doses), especially if you take it for several days to several weeks. Do not stop taking this medication or take fewer doses without talking to your doctor. Stopping Xanax suddenly can worsen your condition and cause withdrawal symptoms that may last several weeks to more than 12 months. [2] Your doctor probably will decrease your Xanax dose gradually. If you have developed a Xanax addiction, getting professional help can help you safely undergo Xanax detox.

Klonopin vs Xanax

The effects of Klonopin last longer than Xanax, which means Klonopin does not need to be taken as frequently throughout the day. Nevertheless, both drugs can cause physical and psychological dependence, particularly when taken at higher dosages for longer periods; however, more severe withdrawal and rebound reactions have been reported with Xanax on discontinuation.

Which is more powerful Klonopin or Xanax? Of the two prescription medications, Klonopin is more addictive than Xanax. The reason for this is that Klonopin produces a greater feeling of euphoria. The more your brain experiences this feeling, the more you want to feel it repeatedly. Regarding “Klonopin vs Xanax vs Valium,” Valium, Klonopin, and Xanax are all benzodiazepines. However, Valium has a quicker onset and takes longer to eliminate from the body. Valium is also effective in treating seizure disorders and muscle spasms.

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Klonopin Fact Sheet

Klonopin

Brand Name of Clonazepam

Benzodiazepine

  • Klonopin is used to prevent and treat seizures, panic disorder, anxiety, and the movement disorder known as akathisia. 

Controlled Substance

High risk for addiction and dependence. It can cause respiratory distress and death when taken in high doses or combined with other substances, especially alcohol or other illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine.

Learn more on drugfree.org


Availability: Prescription needed

Pregnancy: Consult a doctor

Alcohol: Avoid. Very serious interactions can occur

Drug Class: Benzodiazepine

Klonopin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Depression
  • Loss of orientation
  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Problems with thinking or memory
  • Slurred speech
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore gums
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation, and
  • Blurred vision

Does Klonopin or Xanax Work Better?

Few trials have directly compared Klonopin with Xanax. One reported no significant difference between the two drugs regarding their side effects (sedation, dizziness on standing) or effectiveness when both were used for treating panic disorder. [3]

How Much Klonopin is Equivalent to Xanax?

Benzodiazepine equivalency tables state that 0.5mg of alprazolam (Xanax) is approximately equivalent to 0.5mg of clonazepam (Klonopin). However, people of Asian descent metabolize Xanax differently than other races. Certain diseases such as alcoholism, liver and kidney disease, obesity, and even old age can affect how Xanax behaves in the body. So benzodiazepine equivalency tables should be used as a guide only as they do not reflect the individual variation. Furthermore, liver disease and possibly other medical conditions may affect how quickly Klonopin is eliminated from the body.

How Long After Taking Klonopin Can I Take Xanax?

You may want to speak with your physician about how long you will be on Xanax and Klonopin and if it will be required for you to continue to take both medications. Xanax stays in your body for less time than Klonopin. If you start by taking Xanax alone, your physician may start Klonopin to help you better control your anxiety and panic attacks. If it helps, your physician may recommend that you decrease the dosage of your Xanax and wean yourself off it.

Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax
Searching for the difference between Xanax vs Klonopin? Both are benzodiazepine drugs with almost the same adverse effects. If you or a loved one develop a dependency on these drugs, contact We Level Up FL today for benzodiazepine detox resources.
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Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax?

Generally, the use of Klonopin or Xanax alone isn’t deadly. However, these drugs often become deadly when mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Although benzodiazepines are dangerous on their own, the dangers involved with mixing them are even greater. Klonopin and Xanax are both benzos, both controlled substances, and have a risk of substance abuse. Usually, one drug enhances the effects of the other. When people mix drugs, they put themselves at risk of overdose, even more so than when they’re only abusing one substance at a time.

Can You Take Klonopin and Xanax Together?

The most common prescription benzodiazepines are Klonopin and Xanax (clonazepam and alprazolam, as their generic names). Psychiatrists weigh the dangers of Klonopin and Xanax and rarely prescribe them together, but that doesn’t mean some people don’t find ways to use both simultaneously. Many psychiatric professionals recommend certain benzodiazepines for patients who are suffering from anxiety. While these benzodiazepines are effective, they also come with certain risks.

While psychiatrists will not prescribe Klonopin and Xanax together, some people choose to get them through their means. Using them recreationally or trying to hit your anxiety harder isn’t safe.

how do you feel after ketamine
 Using a prescription medicine in a way not intended by the prescriber can lead to drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse happens when you take the medication in a way that is different from what your doctor prescribed.

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Is Klonopin Addictive Like Xanax?

Both Klonopin and Xanax have the potential to cause both physical and psychological dependence. Vulnerability to dependence varies depending on the dose taken, regularity of consumption, and genetic factors. Some people can form dependencies on benzodiazepines after as few as 14 days of regular use.

After six months of continuous use, more than 50% of people may become dependent on benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines, both Klonopin and Xanax, should not be stopped suddenly; dosages must be slowly tapered off over several weeks to months to avoid withdrawal reactions. All addiction-prone individuals should be under careful surveillance if they need to be prescribed benzodiazepines.

Is Klonopin Stronger Than Xanax?

Although Klonopin is indicated for treating panic disorder and certain types of seizures, few trials have evaluated its long-term use. Experts advise doctors to monitor Klonopin’s usefulness periodically and consider gradual discontinuation if the drug appears ineffective. Xanax should only be used short-term.

Users may want to increase the dosage of both drugs when being used recreationally to keep experiencing the “high” feeling. The only difference between Xanax and Klonopin is that Xanax gives you more of a “buzz” (a sense of intense enthusiasm, interest, excitement, or exhilaration) than an outright “high.” However, the “buzz” is short-lived.

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Xanax Fact Sheet

Xanax

Brand name for Alprazolam

Benzodiazepine

Used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorder (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks).


Controlled Substance

High risk for addiction and dependence. Can cause respiratory distress and death when taken in high doses or when combined with other substances, especially alcohol or other illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine.


Availability: Prescription needed

Pregnancy: Consult a doctor

Alcohol: Avoid. Very serious interactions can occur

Drug class: Benzodiazepine

Xanax may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Memory problems
  • Poor balance or coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Irritability
  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Blurred vision
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Swelling in your hands or feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Stuffy nose
  • Loss of interest in sex

Xanax and Klonopin Interaction

Klonopin and Xanax are acceptable choices for anxiety treatments. On their own and when used correctly, both are safe medications for short-term use (or long-term use if considered necessary and supervised by a psychiatrist). However, Xanax is easier to abuse, and it’s more common for it to be sold as a street drug.  Neither is safe when mixing Klonopin and Xanax or with alcohol. The potential of abuse for benzodiazepines is high, and the outcomes are dangerous, if not deadly. 

You must also be aware that Xanax and Klonopin interact with many other medications. Advise your physician and your pharmacist about all medicines that you are using. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and even supplements such as vitamins and herbal remedies. Both medications also interact with grapefruit juice, which may increase the amount of the medication that gets into your body. Drinking grapefruit juice could increase your risk of adverse effects, so avoid that beverage completely to be safe.

Klonopin vs Xanax Effect

Both Klonopin and Xanax, like all benzodiazepines, enhance the actions of a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). This neurotransmitter can reduce the activity of nerve cells, so enhancing it has a calming effect that can improve anxiety symptoms, reduce muscle tension, stop seizures, and induce sleep.

Benzodiazepines are also known for their amnesic effect – or ability to disrupt short-term memory – making them useful before surgery. Because of structural differences, some benzodiazepines are more likely to make you sleepy, relieve anxiety, stop seizures, relax muscles, or make you forget. Xanax is FDA approved for anxiety relief and is less likely than other benzodiazepines (such as diazepam or temazepam) to induce sleep.

Klonopin is also useful for treating anxiety-related symptoms and is FDA approved for treating panic disorder. It is also less likely than some other benzodiazepines to induce sleep. Its anti-seizure effects are stronger than Xanax. It may treat certain types of seizures, such as variants of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and akinetic or myoclonic seizures.

Side Effects

Xanax and Klonopin belong to a class of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are commonly used to treat anxiety and help many people who have a panic disorder. Both of these medications can cause undesirable side effects in some people, including:

  • Abdominal distress
  • Abnormal involuntary movement
  • Agitation
  • Allergic reaction
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite decreased
  • Appetite increased
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Coordination abnormal
  • Irritability
  • Vision disorders
  • Depression
  • Dermatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dream abnormalities
  • Dry mouth
  • Edema
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Hypotonia
  • Insomnia
  • Libido decreased
  • Libido increased
  • Memory impairment
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Palpitations
  • Salivation increased
  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Tremor
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain
  • Weight loss

Furthermore, these drugs can become less effective over time, and some people increase the dose to help relieve anxiety. However, such increases in the dosage can lead to dependence and make it difficult to decrease or stop the medication. Since Xanax and Klonopin belong to the same drug class and are similar medications, they have similar adverse effects. Can you mix Klonopin and Xanax? No. Taking both of them simultaneously may make you more likely to experience an adverse effect.

Overdose Risk

Combining Xanax with another benzodiazepine tranquilizer like Klonopin raises the risk of a serious overdose because it is more toxic than other benzodiazepine tranquilizers. People with a severe overdose, particularly one brought on by taking several benzodiazepine tranquilizers, may lose consciousness or enter a coma.

When combined, the effects are similar to taking too much of one or the other. They can cause gastrointestinal issues like nausea and vomiting. They may cause blurred vision, slurred speech, memory loss, and poor focus.  Taking too much of both simultaneously leads to a depressed respiratory system, stupors, difficulty breathing, and a severe drop in blood pressure. Moreover, severe symptoms of a benzodiazepine overdose include respiratory arrest and death. 

Dangers of Mixing Xanax & Klonopin

Mixing Xanax and Klonopin can lead to stronger side effects like sedation, drowsiness, and muscle weakness.  Also, there is no medical evidence that mixing two benzodiazepines can make them more effective. They may be taken together for recreational use, which is not a directed use of this class of drugs.

There are many ways to get both Xanax and Klonopin. Getting two prescriptions from the same doctor was a common practice, along with “doctor-shopping,” to get two benzos as prescription medications from two different doctors. Xanax and Klonopin can also be found on illicit drug markets. Some of these methods are illegal, and health experts today may see mixing two benzodiazepines as a form of substance abuse.

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Dual Diagnosis Treatment

You may be diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder if you find yourself or a loved one struggling with prescription drug abuse, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. A report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse [4] suggested that there is a reason why people with mental disorders are up to two times as likely to develop substance abuse disorders:

  1. Certain drugs can cause abusers to suffer one or more symptoms of another mental illness.
  2. Mental illness may precipitate or hasten substance abuse. An individual suffering from symptoms of a mental illness may attempt to self-medicate.
  3. Drug use disorders and mental illnesses are caused by overlapping factors; genetic, deficits, and otherwise.

If you find your loved one asking, “Can you mix Klonopin and Xanax?” educate them about the risk of addiction by combining the two benzodiazepines. People with mental health disorders seek clinical medication or self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. People who get prescriptions for their condition are less likely to develop abuse disorders, but the medications they access often have high abuse potential, creating more risk. People that self-medicate for their mental illnesses usually start early, and the use of drugs or alcohol as a way to escape becomes a natural part of life.

Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax
Contact We Level Up FL today for Klonopin and Xanax detox resources and treatment options.

As the addiction treatment community realizes that addiction is a mental disorder, the relationship between substance abuse and mental disorders becomes more complicated. The greater treatment community largely lacks a proper understanding of dual-diagnosed conditions, so these conditions are still treated separately or worse–not treated or diagnosed at all. Our dual diagnosis treatment center in Florida is one of the facilities that have professionals trained to help treat co-occurring disorders concurrently. This type of tandem treatment provides some of the best success rates. 

Get treatment for individuals struggling with substance abuse and mental health disorders. Call We Level Up FL Today!

FAQs

Can you switch from Xanax to Klonopin?

Yes. Switching from Xanax to Klonopin is possible. Your physician may start Klonopin to help you control your anxiety and panic attacks. If it helps, your physician may recommend that you decrease the dosage of your Xanax and wean yourself off it. Switching Xanax to Klonopin should only be done with the supervision of your psychiatrist or physician.

Does Klonopin stay in your system longer than Xanax?

Xanax is usually more quickly absorbed than Klonopin, with peak concentrations occurring within 1-2 hours following administration, compared to 1-4 hours for Klonopin. However, the speed of absorption varies from person to person. Effects of Xanax last, on average, 4 to 6 hours, although, once again, there are wide variations between individuals. The Effects of Klonopin can last for up to 12 hours in adults.

Can you take Xanax and Klonopin together?

Can you mix Xanax and Klonopin? No. Mixing Xanax and Klonopin can lead to stronger side effects like sedation, drowsiness, and muscle weakness.  Also, there is no medical evidence that mixing two benzodiazepines can make them more effective. They may be taken together for recreational use, which is not a directed use of this class of drugs.

Search “Can You Mix Klonopin and Xanax?” & Other Resources
Sources:

[1] Clonazepam – https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682279.htmlU.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
[2] Alprazolam – https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a684001.htmlU.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
[3] Tesar GE, Rosenbaum JF, Pollack MH, et al. Double-blind, placebo-controlled comparison of clonazepam and alprazolam for panic disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 1991 Feb;52(2):69-76.
[4] Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center – https://leveluplakeworth.com/dual-diagnosis/
[5] Bounds CG, Nelson VL. Benzodiazepines. [Updated 2021 Nov 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470159/
[6] Edinoff AN, Nix CA, Hollier J, Sagrera CE, Delacroix BM, Abubakar T, Cornett EM, Kaye AM, Kaye AD. Benzodiazepines: Uses, Dangers, and Clinical Considerations. Neurol Int. 2021 Nov 10;13(4):594-607. doi: 10.3390/neurolint13040059. PMID: 34842811; PMCID: PMC8629021. – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8629021/