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Re: Klonopin vs Xanax Joe Schmoe

Posted by MB on July 29, 2001, at 13:10:08

In reply to Re: Klonopin vs Xanax, posted by Joe Schmoe on July 29, 2001, at 11:31:03

> > > I couldn't disagree more. 1 mg of Klonopin affects me much less than .5 mg of Xanax. I would say Klonopin is less than half as strong as Xanax, maybe a quarter as strong.
> >
> >
> > Do you think it's the difference in half-life that gives the Klonopin a feeling of being weaker than the Xanax, or do you think the chart is just wrong?
>
> I don't know why a difference in half-life would makea drug weaker.


It wouldn't make it weaker, i.e., the relative area under the plasma concentration curve (the curve derived by plotting the plasma concentration of a drug or its active metabolite versus time) would be the same at equivalent doses. The measurement of such area is how, I imagine, they determined the equivalent doses for the chart in the first place; it's often how they measure the "therapeutic" effect of a drug's dose (sometimes useful in comparing the variation in therapeutic effect of different administration routes--oral vs. parenteral, etc.--of a particular medicine). So, with the relative area under the curve the same (relative, that is, to the absolute "strenth" in milligrams of the drug or it's active metabolite), a drug with a longer half-life is going to give a less drastic peak plasma concentration. So, the Klonopin might "feel" weaker, even though it takes *less* of it to reach an "equivalent" therapeutic effect. Also, the peak concentration might take longer, from the time of administration, to achieve.

> Is Prozac weaker than Zoloft because it has a longer half-life?


With the SSRIs, we're talking about a drug class whose efficacy isn't noted (in most cases) until steady state plasma concentrations have been reached for some time. So, the only ways in which I can see the disparity in half-life being "felt" with these drugs is by way of a) dosing schedule convenience, or b) withdrawal severity. With the Benzodiazepines, we're talking about a drug whose efficacy is rather immediately proportional to plasma concentrations. So, again, even though it takes less Klonopin (dose per dose) to achieve the same, relative AUC as it does with Xanax (making Xanax seem the weaker drug, according to the chart), the Xanax *might* feel stronger, in that it hits you harder and faster (but doesn't last as long). I have no personal experience with Klonopin, which is why I asked you your opinion regarding the mechanism underlying Klonopin's *feeling* weaker, not Klonopin's *being* weaker (which, mg per mg, it's not). In other words, could it be possible that it's just a matter of the Klonipin taking longer to hit--as well as hitting less hard--than the Xanax?

> I think the chart is just wrong, or else Klonopin just feels different from Xanax. .5 mg of Xanax would make me feel like I wouldn't care if the house I was in was burning down, nothing bothers me, but 1 mg of Klonopin doesn't have anything near to that level of relaxing effect. Maybe Klonopin is just less "intoxicating" and more specific in fighting social phobia, I don't know. Xanax can make me feel kind of drunk.


I had a friend who was put on Klonopin instead of Xanax because the doctor thought there was less chance of her getting "high" from it.


> > Yeah, I don't know how you could simulate the pressure of an interview, but you would at least know if you could function adequately on the combo (e.g. that it wasn't going to make you too drowsey, etc.).
>
> True. The problem with these strict 30-day supplies of controlled substances is they don't leave you much room to experiment though.


Yeah, with no refills, usually. It's annoying, I agree.


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