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Switching from Xanax to Klonopin

I have really bad anxiety and panic attacks I’ve been taking .5 Xanax twice daily for the past couple months then I got a new psychiatrist and she switched me to .5 Klonopin I know they’re the same class of drug but my dumb brain read a bunch of side effects and now I’m getting bad anxiety thinking about taking them. I know it sounds stupid but is it just the same as Xanax? I don’t need to be freaking myself out thinking my throat is gonna close and I won’t be able to breathe right?
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Well, they are in the same class of drugs, but that doesn't make them the same drug.  They do operate differently or they both couldn't have gotten patents or FDA approval.  Xanax is a shorter acting drug, which for most people means it works more quickly than clonazepam but wears off more quickly too.  But that might not be true for you.  Our bodies don't react the same way as others and don't react the same way to different drugs sometimes.  I'm also concerned you have a psychiatrist who had you basically quit the Xanax cold turkey.  Benzos are addictive drugs and even when not taken every day and aren't addictive they are still very hard to stop taking.  There can be withdrawal effects.  Taking a different benzo might now work and might not do anything about that.  So there are two issues here.  One is, if the Xanax was working well for you, there really isn't any reason to switch.  Both drugs are addictive if taken daily and both are very hard to stop taking and both work pretty much the same way, but affecting how our bodies process GABA.  If it wasn't working well, then maybe there's a reason.  My own preference is to see if an antidepressant works if you need medication, because although they are also very hard to stop taking they are not addictive and they work all the time, whereas all benzos do wear off.  The second issue, though, is if you already did this and didn't suffer any withdrawal and it went well you're creating the problem, but I might add, if the benzo was working you probably wouldn't be doing that to such an extent.  Which isn't to say our brains can't overwhelm our meds, they can and they sometimes do because no med cures mental illness, they only tamp down the symptoms.  The only way we know of to cure it is changes we make in our thinking usually through therapy.  So you never need to freak yourself out whether you have a drug concern or not, that's your anxiety problem that hasn't been cured, but your concerns about changing meds is legitimate.  You don't have to let this happen if you don't want to, and if this psychiatrist seems not to have your best interests out front or doesn't seem to have a good understanding of these meds and how to use them safely, find another.  Peace.
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3 Comments
Said now when I meant to say not.
Should also add, the safest way to stop taking any drug that affects brain neurotransmitters is to stop taking it as slowly as you need to so you avoid withdrawal problems.  You start the new drug when this process is over, because then you know whether any problems are from withdrawal from the old drug or side effects of the new one.  Not all docs agree, obviously.
Thanks I really appreciate you getting back to me. I was concerned about stopping Xanax cold turkey too I know I wasn’t on a high dose usually .5 to 1mg daily but it has still been daily for almost 4 months. And the antidepressants I’ve had some problems with now it’s lexapro we’re trying so hopefully it will help. I just feel more comfortable with Xanax because I know how they work on me and how quick they work. I’m going to ask to get back on them Tuesday I hope she does it for me. Thank you again for answering me. It helped ease my mind a bit
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