Difference Between Klonopin and Xanax

Klonopin and Xanax are both potent drugs, belonging to the drug class Benzodiazepines. These drugs are used to cure diseases related to the brain and nervous system such as seizure disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety disorders. It is a well-known fact that these conditions occur mainly due to imbalances of neurotransmitter substances in the brain. Since this drug class affects on sensitive processes of the brain, it is important that people follow exact prescriptions and medical advice when using these drugs.


Klonopin, also known by its generic name clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine drug. This drug is used to treat seizure disorders and panic disorders. The mechanism of action is to affect neurotransmitter GABA and its receptor GABAa. A person who has allergies, severe liver disease, asthma, a medical history of alcohol addiction, a medical history of depression or suicidal thoughts, glaucoma etc. should inform the doctor prior to receiving medication. It is advisable to avoid Klonopin usage during pregnancy because it is found to be harmful to the unborn. While taking Klonopin, it is safe to avoid activities that require alertness (driving). Older adults should be taken care, because there is a risk of sudden and accidental falling due to the drug’s sedative effect. Sometimes patients experience heightened suicidal/depression thoughts as a serious side effect. Therefore, regular medical examinations are a must.

In an incident of overdose a person may experience fainting, drowsiness and muscle weakening. Klonopin has a low on-set i.e. it takes some time to show its effectiveness. Klonopin can be effective for longer periods. When stopping medications it should be done after decreasing the dosage gradually over time, otherwise withdrawal effects occur.


Xanax, which is also a benzodiazepine drug, is popular by the generic name alprazolam. Xanax like Klonopin works on the GABA neurotransmitter and its receptors helping to bring down the nervous tension. Therefore, Xanax is used for anxiety disorders, anxiety resulted by depression, and also panic disorders. Limitations are similar for Klonopin and Xanax prescription when it comes to the allergies, medical conditions and medical history of the patient. Xanax is also harmful to the unborn if taken during pregnancy.

Side effects of Xanax and Klonopin are very much similar. Serious side effects like suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, seizures, chest pain or minor side effects like insomnia, appetite changes, muscle swelling, blurred vision or memory issues can occur. Xanax and Klonopin are both addictive and prolonged usage may cause dangerous after effects. Xanax has a high on-set, but the effect stays for a short time.

Klonopin vs Xanax

• Klonopin is used for seizure disorders and panic disorders, whereas Xanax is used for Anxiety disorders and panic disorders.

• When comparing the strength of the drugs, Xanax is more powerful than Klonopin.

• When comparing the time taken to show first signs of effectiveness (onset) Klonopin is slower than Xanax.

• When comparing the duration of effectiveness, Klonopin shows effectiveness for a longer time period than Xanax.