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Klonopin has a significantly longer half-life and it is pretty commonly used to step people down from Xanax or other shorter half-life benzos. Even though different people have different reactions to medications, Klonopin has proven to be effective specifically for anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, and its official FDA indications include those uses. I'm not sure why your doctor is deciding to prescribe the meds for you this way, but I'm sure he has his reasons. If you are using benzos *because you need them FOR an anxiety or related disorder* AND you are working on self-help methods, counseling, and getting on a longer-term medication, I wouldn't worry much about addiction. Yes, these medications have the POTENTIAL for addiction, but more importantly than that, a PERSON has to have the potential to be an addict. I am so tired of these horror stories of "No one should take benzos because my cousin's cat was in rehab." Well, most people are not drug addicts. The vast majority of people are not drug addicts, they are simply people attempting to treat a valid illness. Anecdotal stories mean nothing, but since we're sharing them: I have had panic disorder since I was a child, essentially, and quite badly since age 19. I have had to take benzos at multiple points in my life (sometimes every other year) for months at a time. I've managed to not become a benzo addict, raise two healthy children, obtain an education to the post-graduate level, hold down jobs, and maintain a happy marriage and home. I have been in support groups over the years with many, many people who have similar NOT AT ALL SCARY stories. Best wishes and unless you feel that you have a problem or truly begin abusing your medication, keep looking for an antidepressant that works, do some self-help, and you will get better and wean off the benzos just fine.
Yesterday was my first day on the klonopin... maybe it was just my nerves, but it really made me anxious. I didnt do what i was supposed too and took .50 once, .75 afternoon, and .75 again at night..... I figured without something at least close to my regular sceduale id have a panic attack or w/d from not having xanax. I did find out that I really should have done a taper, but i should be ok seeing as i wasent on the xanax for a really long time, and the klonopin would prevent seizures even if the risk is low? Idk if this is true, but I made my bed and im going to lay in it. My good friend also said to not take extra, follow what the dr gave you!! I slept well last night..... im a little hot and queasy, havent felt this since being on the xanax... but today I woke up ok and took .5 of the klonopin, and plan to take one before bed. I thought klonopin was like xanax in that it is in my system right away, but im hearing different things like it'll take a few weeks to accumulate in my system fully. I just hope this all goes over well...i miss seeing xanax on my sounds terrible I know. :O
Hi Mary,

Klonopin has a slower onset versus Xanax, but it doesn't take a long time to "build up" in your system. Some people simply get more relief from one benzo rather than another, even if the indications are that benzo A is better for symptoms Y. I think you may be a bit worried about coming off the Xanax, perhaps fearing a return of more anxiety. You will be fine and get through this. Klonopin is a good med, and it does "protect" you from any seizures a person might be at risk for when stopping Xanax (that usually happens with higher doseage long-term use, and even then only in some people, but definitely a concern for people in that category). I'd say give Klonopin a try for a few more days, and always know that you can be one of those patients who has a few Xanax pills (like 5) that they carry around in their purse for months or years, just "in case" and it gives them great relief! You could even talk to your doc about that. I carried around a few benzos in my purse for over a year without even thinking of taking one, but it was a relief knowing they were there. For people with severe anxiety, it is an extra security blanket after you've used all your self-coping skills. Something to think about. Hope you're well otherwise and have a great weekend!:)
Mary, I'm glad you're doing better! Klonopin definitely will stay in your system at a more steady state so you won't have the ups and downs some people do with Xanax. Xanax is a great rescue med, and also great for people who have occasional attacks, or when someone is getting better. I take Xanax XR (the extended release) right now, and I'm getting a little frustrated with it. It doesn't last as long as it claims, and it isn't as good as Klonopin as far as a medicine that will cover you for a long period of time, IMHO. But when you mentioned taking a nap then pigging out, OMG, I can totally relate! When my doc upped my dosage of Xanax XR recently (my Zoloft is helping but not quite where it should be as far as dosage), if I was home, I would just zonk out on the couch or my chair and I'd awake calm but STARVING, no matter what I'd eaten earlier. It was really weird, so I lowered my dose a little. Maybe it's that flood of adrenaline that exhausts us, we sleep and then, I don't know why we want to eat! And if Lexapro doesn't work out, there are lots of good SSRIs/SNRIs out there that can be substituted. Take care.

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