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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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is zanax better for panic attack then klodopin

Customer Question

is zanax better for panic attack then klodopin?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

Xanax acts a bit more quickly and has a shorter duration of action; so it can be taken if the person feels a panic attack is beginning, and then wears off more rapidly than klonopin. Klonopin is usually taken regularly each day to prevent future panic attacks and it has much longer half-life, meaning that it stays in your system longer. Both are quite addicting, with klonopin, I think, being somewhat more so than xanax. But people vary greatly in their reactions to these medications and the addictive potential varies from person to person, and also, as a function of daily dosage, how long (months, years) the person takes the medications, etc. For this reason, neither are really good drugs to be taken long term (more than 2 months or so) because a person regularly taking either will face dealing with tapering the drugs and problematic withdrawal symptoms. Again, I have found the withdrawal symptoms from klonopin to be really troublesome for many patients. Just about everyone who has been on klonopin for many years takes months to taper off of the drug comfortably, and around 12-18 months post detox to feel fully 'well' again.

I would make sure I complement the medication for your panic disorder with regular visits to a clinical psychologist who REGULARLY works with patients with anxiety disorders and who uses cognitive behavioral therapy for panic disorder specifically. Patients can learn to mange situations they perceive might put them at risk for a panic attack, find ways of using relaxation and other cognitive techniques to reduce the frequency and duration of panic attacks, and prevent a serious complication of panic disorder, which is Agoraphobia. You can read about this therapy, and treating agoraphobia by Googling these topics. So please give serious consideration to the notion that, due to its addictive properties, the benzodiazepines such as xanax and klonopine should be used short term to get a 'handle' on panic attacks, and then used only 'as needed', and that the long-term solution would probably lie with cognitive behavioral therapy. I think the combination of these is best.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Please let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please hit the green Accept button at the bottom of your screen. Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i have been on klopopin for 5 yrs 2 mg 3 x a day and it is not working like it used to shold i change meds

 

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
You could probably change meds quite easily---to another benzodiazepine such as Xanax. Your physician has your medical history and use and effect information across 5 years. I would assume he/she might be able to recommend a switch (e.g., if not xanax, perhaps another medication). Some patients find that they can do well with SSRI medications, which aren't quite as addicting. Shiting to one of these from klonopin would take some time i.e., you'd have to withdraw from the klonopin and adjust to the SSRI, e.g., Lexapro.

here is a Mayo Clinic website on SSRIs and panic disorder, if you are interested.

http://anxiety.emedtv.com/panic-attacks/panic-attack-medication.html

Use of this family of medications and psychotherapy as a combination treatment is also recommended, as it is for benzodiazepines.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Be sure to hit the green Accept button before logging off. Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

tonight i ttryd to open the bottle and it went down the drain. do you thing i could get somethng else or am i sol

 

 

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
Geez, what rotten luck is that!!!!

I'd call your pharmacy if they are open (e.g., Walmart) and see if they can give you a pill or two until Monday. Or if there is something like an InstaCare walk-in clinic, you could take your empty bottle in to them to see if they will help with say, a free sample they have on hand. Not many great options
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
My customer roster shows that this question has been 'timed out'. If you would like to provide a response to my last post, please feel free to do so. Alternatively, please hit the green Accept button at the bottom of this screen so I may receive credit for answering this question. Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 3 years ago.
My customer roster shows that this question has been 'timed out'. If you would like to provide a response to my last post, please feel free to do so. Alternatively, please hit the green Accept button at the bottom of this screen so I may receive credit for answering this question. Thanks.

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