Klonapin vs Valium

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PITATOO, Jun 22, 2009.


    PITATOO Member

    I was just wondering if anyone has switched to valium after being on Klonapin for a long time. I've been on 2 mg 2 x a day to 10mg valium 3 times a day. Dr. says valium has more of a muscle relaxant properties than klonapin? I told him I just don't want to experience any withdrawl from klonpin, that scarier than anything. I don't need withdrawl when I've been on Klonapin so long but I am willing to try something different. My ideal was just my ultram, soma and klonapin, but my PCP said my soma was too much. Yeah maybe so but it kept me going for so long. I have been off soma for a few months now, now withdrawl just more pain and less good sleep. I also quit remeron for sleep 3 months ago and have adjust to that. Now just waiting to my weight to return to normal. Remeron put on 40 lbs in 5 years. I am just afraid to go through with drawls, so far so good but the klonpin is still in my system. Thoughts, comments etc. And what about having a few drinks on valium? I did on Klonpin and I was find as long as I kept it to 3 or so beers and that was only once a month or so. No biggie???? Thanks, Bobby
  2. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    Addiction and withdrawals are common with long-term benzodiazepam use not to say that everyone will have them. You must taper down the dosage of benzodiazepams instead of quitting "cold turkey" after extended use because the withdrawals could be so bad that you could possibly have seizures, coma, and even death. The number one cause of death with benzodiazepam use is mixing it with alcohol.

    How bad your addiction and withdrawals from benzodiazepam depends on several factors including the drug itself, your individual make-up, and the half-life of the drug. How you respond to a drug is an individual thing that cannot be predicted by others.

    I will talk about the half-life as it will pertain to everyone using benzodiazepems. The half-life of a drug is the time it takes for half the drug to have "left the body". The shorter the half-life, the more times you'll need to take a drug which increases the addiction and withdrawal symtoms. Why is crack cocaine so addictive? It is because of it's very short half-life producing a high that last only a few minutes which in turn produces instant cravings and withdrawals once the drug's effects have left.

    Looking at benzodiazepems, valium has the longest half-life something on the order of 48hours(my estimate, you need to look it up). Klonopin is second with a half-life of approximately 8-12hours(?). And Xanax has the shortest half-life something like 6hours. Because Xanax is the shortest acting benzodiazepem, it is considered the most addictive and produces the harshest withdrawals. When patients are weening themselves off xanax or klonopin, doctors will prescribe them small doses of valium to help them taper off slowly with minimal withdrawal symptoms. why valium? valium has the longest half-life for it to stay in your system when tapering off. This should help reduce cravings and withdrawals symptoms when compared to shorter acting benzo's.

    I just want to add that 10mg valium is approximately equal to 2mg klonopin or 1mg xanax in terms of their equivalent effects by dosage.
    10mg Valium~2mg Klonopin~1mg Xanax.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/23/2009]
  3. Bunchy

    Bunchy Member

    I thought 2mg Klonopin was equivalent to *40mg* Diazepam - that is what it says in the Ashton Manual.

    I have been working on reducing my Klonopin with Valium substitution but I have done it on the above basis.

    Can you clarify?

    Love Bunchy x
  4. gasolo

    gasolo New Member

    Hi Bunchy,

    The Ashton protocol does claim that 1mg of klonopin is equivalent to 20 mg of diazepam. She also claims that the half life of diazepam can be up to 200 hour when you take into account the active metabolites. Her system of switching to long active benzodiazepines and slow withdrawal seem very reasonable. Just my opinion.

  5. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    I'm here to help all i can, but i want to say first not to take any medical advice from anyone posting on the internet including me. Get your medical advice from your prescribing physician. With that said, i'll begin to tell you what i know.

    One of my hobbies as a physician and a life extensioner was participtating in neuroscience forums where we debated on many subjects including the Ashton benzodiazepine equivalentcy chart. Many including myself felt it was "flawed". Ashton says .5mg xanax=.5mg klonopin=10mgValium. That's how you got the "2mg klonopin equivalent to 40mg diazepam" right? That is just wrong IMO!!!! Anyone who has ever used valium and klonopin can tell you that no way is 2mg klonopin equal to 40mg of valium!! holy sh*t that's alot! Further, there is no way klonopin and xanax are the same potentcy mg for mg. anyone who has prescribed or used them can easily tell you that xanax is about 2X as strong as klonopin mg for mg. here is a link to the ashton chart:http://www.benzo.org.uk/bzequiv.htm

    Let's jump to another chart found in the book, Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs, 4th revised edition located at http://www.dr-bob.org/tips/bzd.html
    Looking at this benzodiazepine equivalentcy chart, scroll down to the second table and look for the "Mg equivalent to 10 mg diazepam" row on the far right. In his book, it says:
    10mg valium=2mg klonopin=1mg xanax.

    we got two different manuals with 2 different equivalencies. And there are many other manuals that say differently as well. So who do u believe? That is up to you and your doctor. We had a huge debate on Ashton's chart and we basically came to the conclusion that Ashton's chart is flawed not just with these 3 benzos but quite a few more! This is from talking to many patients, doctors and researchers in a neuroscience forum. From my own personal and professional experience, i believe 10mg valium=2mg clonipin=1mg xanax is CORRECT. And someone else may find their right values as somewhere between these two benzo charts which are at extremes.

    And you and your doctor may have your own experiences and your own books to come up with your own benzo equivalentcy chart. Bottom line for me is that NO WAY is 2mg Klonopin=40mg Valium. no way!
    Bottom line for you is that you need to talk to your doc and not just rely on the Ashton Manual.

    I know it's confusing and controversial, but i hope this helps clarify my statements and explains to you the controversy of these benzo equivalentcy charts. Good luck to you! i'm worn out now and going to bed!
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    The word, addiction, is often used instead of the term, physical dependence. In fact, many docs don't even know the difference. Addiction is a psychological need to get high or get some kind of pleasure from meds. Physical dependence means a person's body has come to depend physically on the drug and the patient may experience withdrawal symptoms if the med is withdrawn. Tolerance is another physical phenomenom in which the body gets used to the drug and it can take larger and larger doses to achieve the same effect. Tolerance is also not the same thing as psychological addiction.

    People with psychological addiction seek greater and greater satisfaction or highs. They use drug-seeking behavior in order to satisfy their craving.

    It can be very confusing because in both cases, the patient may have to continue to increase dosage and may experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit the med.

    I do not believe it helpful to use the terms interchangably because they are really not the same thing. Addiction can have a very negative connotation and most people on opiods or benzos are not psychologically addicted. It is possible to become addicted to these meds and if one is experienceing a high or state of pleasure, leading to cravings, it is a warning sign. On the other hand, just the presence of withdrawal symptoms or physical tolerance does not equate to psychological addiction.

    There is an excellent article on this online from an assoc. for specialists in pain medicine. It may seem like splitting hairs to some, but I think the more often we can be correct, the better it is for us. This is especially true when it comes to the stigma sometimes attached to using strong meds.

    Love, Mikie
  7. gasolo

    gasolo New Member

    Hi Cfsgeorge,

    I appreciate your clarification. As you know, the application of book knowledge plus clinical experience generally leads to a better understanding. I used the Ashton protocol for withdrawing from ativan. My physician felt the equivalency for ativan was 5mg diazepam to 1mg of ativan. I ultimately had to use the conversion of 10mg of valium to 1mg of ativan to be successful. It isn't clear to me that the equivalency doses for benzodiazepines are the same for each individual. I believe the Ashton protocol is a starting point which the physician and patient will alter depending on the response. I also have been treating patients for the better part of twenty years.

    Hi Mikie,

    I agree with you concerning the difference between dependency vs addiction. They carry very different connotations in my mind.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/24/2009]
  8. My doctor has me on xanax but valium helped me the most with muscle in my neck and back and all over. I think you will be fine. I recentlly wsitched depression meds that I was on for 15 years to another. Ruthie