Ativan or klonopin for anxiety attacks? - Anxiety and Depre...

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Ativan or klonopin for anxiety attacks?


Im currently prescribed ativan. But was wondering if anyone here has found benefit in it like i do and klonopin benefits.

40 Replies

Hi Mike7777, if you have found relief in Ativan, don't rock the boat :)

We all react differently to the same medications. I'm happy that you

are benefiting from it. :) xx

Hi Mike,

I take Ativan and it helps. My doctor wanted to prescribe klonopin because it’s half life is longer. I have never tried klonopin, but Ativan works for me for the most part so I don’t want to rock the boat, as Agora said. If Ativan works for you, I say stick with it!


How often do you take it? What mg?

.5mg as needed. For me, That usually means whenever I have a panic attack that doesn’t subside. Sometimes, if it’s bad enough I will take 1mg of Ativan. I don’t take medicine at all, so the .5mg usually works for me, but recently I’ve noticed that some times it doesn’t knock the anxiety back as well as it did in the beginning.

What about you? How much and how often do you take it?

Bright future

How long have you been on it?

My body did build a tolerance to Ativan.

Mike7777 in reply to Dolphin14

How much do you take and how often.

Dolphin14 in reply to Mike7777

I had to come off it. I was having problems with dependence. So I was put on klonopin for its longer acting effect. Goal is to wean off this as soon as I am stable on other meds.

I started off on .5 daily

Increased to three times a day after an issue I had. Was on that for Mayb a year and knew it was diminishing in potency. My body was looking for more. I was very symptomatic. It was awful.

Mike7777 in reply to Dolphin14

Symptomatic how so?

Dolphin14 in reply to Mike7777

Sweats nausea shaky restless


Inability to sleep at all. Racing heart

Dolphin14 in reply to Mike7777

I had to switch to clonopin

It's longer acting

I will be stabilized on different meds and begin a weaning process off the benzo

Hi Dolphin,

I have been on it since the end of April. I don’t take it every day, though, unless I need to. If I’m lucky and can manage the anxiety and don’t have any panic attacks I have gone as many 14 days in between doses. It seems to be I take it every 3-5 days. Unfortunately, I’ve been dealing with more panic then anxiety lately so I had to take Ativan almost every other day for about 10 days, and once I had to take it twice for really bad panic attack. I am on day 5 of no Ativan, as of today.

I am worried that I am building up a tolerance and addiction as well, although my psychiatrist says that neither are likely because I don’t take it often enough.

How soon did you build a tolerance and did you just up the dose by half or something to help?


I would have to agree you haven't been on it that long at all.

Are you on an anti depressant as well?

If I had bad panic I would always call my md before I took more than I was supposed to. So over a span of a year and having suffered a huge trauma the dose slowly had to be increased.

Sounds like you are doing ok. If you can go that many days without it and you don't get symptoms, you can't be dependent on it.

I wish you luck. I know how awful the panic is and how scary the medications can be.

I hope your attacks begin to decrease and you have good days.

I am not on an anti-depressant. My doctor prescribed Zoloft recently, but I have been incredibly nervous to start it. I am super sensitive to medicine, so that compiled with my anxiety, I’m afraid of the side effects or the fake ones my anxiety will create at first. 😩 Are you on an SSRI/SNRI? If so, which one and how has your experience been?

I have wondered if I am getting “withdrawal” symptoms after going through a spell of bad panic and needing to take it every other day or so. It seems the more I take it, the more often or closer together I need it, if that makes sense? Idk if it’s my body/mind wanting it because it gives some reprieve to this madness going on inside me, or what! Lol!

I'm sensitive to meds also. I was on Zoloft for many years and it worked great. I'm also very sensitive to meds. Start at a small dose. Work your way up. The goal is to have the Zoloft control things and the benzo be used minimally if at all.

I've been on many antidepressants. Right now I am on Effexor.

I haven't had a panic attack in two years. I've had anxiety attacks.

I've learned a lot in therapy about how to cope with these. So that's moving in the right direction.

Wow, that is wonderful. I hope that I will have a similar story, where the SSRI will stop the panic attacks.

I’ve decided that I am gonna start on 12.5mg (cutting the 25mg pill I was prescribed in half) then the following week go up to the 25mg. I am hoping by doing this, my body will acclimate better.

I go to therapy 2x a week, and that is the long term help. I am hoping that I can eventually successfully put into practice the techniques I am learning there and that will aid in stopping the panic and anxiety in its tracks!

I hope you continue to do well and the anxiety disappears like the panic has!


You are doing great!

I think it's a good idea to cut the pill in half. I have done the same thing with meds.

I also won't start a new med till the weekend so I can get through the first couple days without having plans to be out.

Best of luck to you:)

I’m relatively new to the anxiety portion of my depression. What’s the difference between a panic and an anxiety attack? I’m not being a smart ass, I really want to know. Thanks, Lynne

Panic is huge feel like you are going to die, out of control can't settle down restless.

Anxiety attack doesn't last as long and the symptoms aren't as extreme.

We are all different. I am able to differentiate and see a big difference and can say which is which. This is something I've talked about constantly in therapy so they have gone over symptoms with me.

Then I just have plain anxiety that I get symptoms in my stomach.

My md prefers me to break it down by symptoms. So I can sort of scale it for her.

I save the word panic for extreme cases. In the beginning I called everything panic. But I think over time with meds and therapy I have been able to see a difference.

I'm not sure if that helps and I'm not sure of the science behind it. But it's how I've been taught to sort it out.

Thank you. Through your explanation, I can see the difference. Also have an appointment with my therapist this week. I’ll bring it up: Especially now, since I’m weaning off the Xanax (prescribed for panic). The anxiety is easier to handle on my own.

That's awesome. I wish you well.

It's a tough way to live.

I'm so happy you have gotten better

Hi Lily,

I agree completely with Dolphin in his explanation of Anxiety versus Panic. For me, Anxiety starts in my belly giving me a tingling sensation and travels down my legs. It's like my nerves are turned on. I see it as a flip of switch and I know if I don't do something to squash it, it will eventually build so high that panic will set in. Now, sometimes my brain will go straight to panic, skipping over basic anxiety all together. When that happens, it's incredibly hard to calm down without taking a benzo.

For me, panic feels like waves of fire running through my body, that's the adrenaline. My heart rate spikes, my blood pressure elevates, my hands and feet get really cold, my neck feels hot, and my breathing becomes harder to control, it feels as if I can only take shallower breaths. Panic makes my mind believe 100% that I am dying, absolutely no other option but death. I am switched into fight or flight mode within seconds of the panic being turned on. Panic is terrifying. I've had panic attacks that have lasted 5-6 hours before I am finally able to downgrade the level of terror to just anxiety, and by then I welcome the anxiety. Your body and mind is usually thoroughly exhausted after a panic attack.

As of the last few months, I seem to always have a low-moderate level of anxiety going on in the background. I am seeing a therapist 2x a week to address my anxiety and panic. I have learned techniques that help with the anxiety, but I am fearful of trying them with the panic.

I hope all this made sense, and helps you further distinguish between panic and anxiety.


Thank you, Ash, for taking the time to reply. Great in-depth examples, clarifying the distinction even more.

Mike7777 in reply to Dolphin14

Only about a week

Audiomarc1 in reply to Dolphin14

I take klonipen. It's not bad but I think my body has developed a tolerance. I can take a 2mg tablet up to 4x per day.

Dolphin14 in reply to Audiomarc1

Run your symptoms by your md. See what they say.

Then you can figure out a plan together.

I only have been taking .25mg as needed but have take it the past 3 days because ive had feelings of almost fainting.

Oh mike we are like twins in this! I take my Ativan when I get the lightheadedness that makes me feel like I am going to pass out. I get that faint feeling and it shoots my anxiety up the next second and then the overwhelming uncontrollable panic. :( It’s horrific.

Do you find that the Ativan helps stop/control the lightheadedness?


I have had Activan as needed for the last 10 years, I only take it when I feel a panic attack coming on, or a feeling of anxiety, it’s the main benzo in the U.K. as it clears the body fast, I can take it and next day go to the gym with no feelings of tiredness, it’s a great drug if used correctly and only when really needed, both my Doctor and the priory clinic are of the same agreement that if used once or twice every two weeks it’s fine.

Yes i do find it helps. And i only take .25mg. Im on zoloft so im hoping that actually kicks in soon. Been on for 2 weeks now starting today.

alprazolam 1mg.TID prn

jjrp in reply to LLyouvegotmail

Not sure what you’re saying!

LLyouvegotmail in reply to jjrp

Im sorry. Im saying that what works best for me, for acute issuses? Xanax, at 1 mg dosage, ,three times per day, as needrd

jjrp in reply to LLyouvegotmail

Thanks, I also use Xanax. It has a reputation of being very addictive. Does that bother you much?

Klonopin it’s long acting & easier on your kidneys & liver

I have diazepam to take only when needed and find I never need it these days.

I have always been very wary of benzos because of their reputation for dependency so this thread has helped me to see they can be used safely.


Yes I took both for long time

Very very addictive

I got detoxed off it. It’s almost impossible to get a doctor to prescribe! Fortunately I learned good coping skills and therapy!

Good luck!

My doctor just switched me from xanax to klonopin. Still not sure how I feel about it. Xanax gave me quick relief but klonopin seems to take longer. I go back this week to discuss how I feel with the switch.

I agree with you on this. Xanax acts within 10-20 mins, from what I am told. Whereas Ativan and Klonopin takes around 30min-1 hour to kick in, I’ve found.

E2013 in reply to Brightfuture22

Does the ativan make you tired

Brightfuture22 in reply to E2013

Hi E2013,

When I first started taking Ativan, yes it made me tired. But, It isn’t an overwhelming tired where you cannot keep your eyes open, it’s more like a deep relaxation that makes a nap seem soooo nice! lol!

Now, it just takes the edge off of the panic and stops the anxiety from building. It doesn’t make me tired, just calmer, eventually.

Everyone’s experience is individualized, so how it effected me, may not be how it effects you.


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