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How do the benzos rank in terms of sedation?


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Klonopin seems to be the most sedating of all. It seems like I can sleep over 10 hrs a day and still feel tired. Ativan is not too sedating but pretty weak for my level of anxiety. Does Xanax orXanax xr rank lower than Klonopin as far as sedation? What about the others I haven't mentioned like Valium? Maybe I should ask for a different strategy for anxiety driven dissociation like Depakote?

Edited by j.evang
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Klonopin is typically longer-acting as opposed to something like xanax, which only helps for a couple hours when taken. 

 

I've been taking Klonopin for a very long time on a regular basis every day (not as needed) and it does not sedate me.  However when I first started it, it was sedating.

 

Xanax i take as needed and over time it isn't as sedating but still helps.  It does depend on the dose though of what I take.

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After using Klonopin exclusively for several years, I asked to try Xanax again recently because of the daytime sleepiness issue. So now I am taking a nighttime dose of Klonopin, which hopefully carries through a bit of the day, but Xanax for daytime anxiety/panic. The Xanax definitely feels less sedating to me. I take a really tiny dose of both though (more often than not .25 mg at a time) because I am sensitive to benzos and probably overly conscious of addiction potential given my family history, so I may be an outlier. In general, though, I've always felt less sedated on Xanax. Never taken Ativan or Valium.

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Valium is not sedating for me. I take 4mg every night and another 2mg as needed during the day. It stays at a pretty constant level in my blood so it controls my anxiety around the clock without needing to take extra. I am on a low dose, but low dose Valium is more effective for me than a high dose of Xanax ever was.

 

I was on Xanax 1mg tid. Equivalency-wise, I'm now on a LOT lower dose of benzos.

Edited by larkspur
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I didn't know it was feasible to take two different benzos at once, I'll have to ask my pdoc about that

I don't know where other pdoc's would stand on that. I've been with mine for 14 years and have, over a long period of time, under-medicated myself on benzos and never really habituated myself to them. I'm not saying that's an ideal situation but it's how I have taken them over time. Maybe he would not have prescribed both to me if he had concerns. Obviously a lot of doctors are twitchy about benzos. If I had to choose right now I'd personally probably go with the Xanax because of the daytime sedation issue. You might also ask about BuSpar (not a benzo), but it's really hit and miss with different people. Could be great for you.

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Klonopin was the most euphoric to me at first.....and it would drop me like a sack of potatoes.....Xanax did too at first for both. Valium was really never that sedating. I take 1 mg klonopin a day and I get thru the day fine......The sedation for the most part has went away but there are days when say I took seroquel at night and klonopin when I first got up and I was more tired that day.....All benzos I think will have the side effect of sedation since they all pretty much work the same.

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I take ativan and I don't find it sedating.... even taking 2-3mg at a time.   I believe 1mg ativan = 10mg valium = 0.5 xanax? 

You can't do straight equivalencies for benzos, it depends on each person. I take 2mg Xanax/day, 1mg prn, and 2mg of Ativan prn. They have different jobs, and help me with different issues. The equivalency charts are more for titration off of benzos than to just substitute one for the other. For instance, while I could theoretically switch between valium and ativan with no difficulty, you can't switch from Xanax to another benzo; you'll start to withdraw from the Xanax, cold turkey.

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