valium vs. klonopin

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Dlebbole, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Dlebbole

    Dlebbole New Member

    Hello all

    I have been taking valium every three days for a few months now. While it does relieve my anxiety somewhat, a few days after I take it I get depressed. I realize it's a CNS depressant and this is to be expected, but....is klonopin better? I mean, will it also produce depression when I take it? I have tried several antidepressants, but they make me MORE depressed. I feel a little hopeless right about now....Diane
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Vallium is a tranquilizer and Klonopin is an antiseizure med. Klonopin stops the overfiring of the neurons in the brain which causes insomnia, anxiety, tinnitus, racing brain, and sensory overload.

    Neither of these drugs is an antidepressant.

    I have not experienced depression while on the Klonopin, but I do have a kind of flatness to my emotions. This often happens with these types of medications. I am not without emotion, but I don't hit the highs and lows I used to. Frankly, for me, that is a benefit.

    Love, Mikie
  3. barbaradh

    barbaradh New Member

    Klonopin is a longer acting med than valium (it stays in your system longer, thus works longer). Neither are antidepressants, but if you happen to be a person that gets depressed because of high anxiety levels (I'm like that), then these meds would work to keep you from getting depressed. I used Klonopin for a couple of years in that way, and thus was able to avert depression. Hope this helps.

    Take care,
    Barbara
  4. dannybex

    dannybex Member

    Hi Diane,

    I had to point out an error in Barbara's message. According to Professor Heather Ashton, a leading expert and head of a benzo withdrawal clinic in the UK, valium is a much longer-acting drug than klonopin, and it is for that very reason that she recommends using valium to taper from and off of klonopin, which can be very difficult to get off for a lot of people (as can valium). But after 12 years of experience, Ms. Ashton has found that by doing a very slow taper -- over a period of months, it is possible to get off the drugs with minimal discomfort (i.e. rebound anxiety).

    A protocol or more infor is available online, and also a hard-copy booklet is also available. I have the booklet, and the "half-life" of klonopin is 18-50 hours, whereas valium can stay active in one's body for 20-200 hours. Perhaps that is the reason why you've been able to take it only once every three days.

    Anyway, I mean nothing personal against Barbara, I was told klonopin was longer acting too, when it was first prescribed. But it's not -- valium is.

    I'm slowly tapering off the valium, and am finding a product called "True Calm", made by NOW vitamins, to be helpful in this taper. It provides the building blocks for the calming neurotransmitters (like gaba) that are so depleted in our stress-filled lives...

    best regards,

    Dan
  5. barbaradh

    barbaradh New Member

    That's interesting. I was told the exact opposite by two doctors - the sleep specialist that put me on it for restless leg syndrome back in '92, and also by my primary care physician. In my own experience, I've found, for myself at least, that the effects of Klonopin last longer than the effects of Valium. Maybe my body metabolizes it differently? Anyway, thanks for the information.

    Take care,
    Barbara
  6. janana

    janana New Member

    Hi Diane,
    My doc just startd me on Klonopin. He also said its longer acting. I looked it up in a drug book and it too said its longer acting. My experience is that it is. I took it for the first time last night. Slept better and had alot less pain all day today. Im keeping my fingers crossed. Good luck!!! Janana
  7. dannybex

    dannybex Member

    Like I said, that's what I was told a few years back as well, that klonopin was longer acting. If you do a google search and type in "Ashton" and "benzo" and "withdrawal" you'll find her information that discusses in detail all the benzo's and their various half-lives, and why she (in twelve years of experience in treating those trying to withdraw from the drugs) has found that valium is the "safest" taper -- because it is the longest acting. As for restless leg, klonopin and/or valium of course can help, but RLS certainly isn't due to a deficiency of one of those drugs. Different folks find different things help: calcium and magnesium are the two cliches, but others find help with vitamin e, and studies have shown a direct connection with low iron and RLS. And sometimes you have to take zinc to help the body use the iron. Personally, I've found that vitamin e seems to help the most, but I also take some iron off and on, and a b/12/folic acid combination.

    best regards,

    dan
  8. dannybex

    dannybex Member

    Sorry, I forgot: Ativan is a much more potent and shorter acting benzo (like Xanax), so it leaves your body much quicker. Again, I would recommend the many websites that discuss the Ashton Protocol, and they will all suggest using valium (or sometimes klonopin, which is definitely longer acting that ativan) to taper off the ativan -- if that's what you want to do. It should go much smoother and easier...

    d.