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Thread: Valium vs Xanax Explained

  1. #1
    barbital is offline Banned Reason: Breaking the forum rules / sending abusive emails
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    Default Valium vs Xanax Explained

    When it comes to choosing any kind of medication or pill for a problem you are dealing with, the choices in front of you can be very confusing. When you are looking for something to treat something as potentially serious as anxiety or insomnia, it can be difficult to know which way to turn. It seems like anti anxiety medications are getting easier and easier to get a hold of, and that is because millions more Americans are needing them every day. But knowing which one is best for you may not be so easy. When you hear about anti-anxiety medications such as Valium or Xanax, your first inclination will be to ask, which one is best for me? Here you will find out the primary differences between Valium and Xanax, and be that much closer to deciding which anti-anxiety medication may be best for you.

    The first thing you need to know is that what may work for one person may not work best for you, every anti anxiety medication works differently with everyone. So even if one of your neighbors is having a wonderful experience with Xanax, they may have health needs that are entirely different than yours, and so you can not necessarily assume that Xanax will be the best first choice for your health needs.

    The two most popular anxiety medications that are most widely prescribed today are Valium and Xanax. These two medications are the most popular because they are the most effective. Both of these medications fall into the category known as Benzodizepines, a drug class that is categorized for its sedative effects. In the 1960’s, Valium became known as “mother’s little helper” and became the drug of choice for helping moms battle the stresses of parenthood.

    Because Xanax is in the same class as Valium, it is chemically similar and will produce the same effects. The primary difference between Xanax and Valium is potency, as the chemical compounds are higher in Valium, and thus effects from Valium will be more pronounced than they will be with Xanax. Xanax is more known to have a mild sedative effect, an overall calming effect if you will. Valium on the other hand will cause more sleepiness, and a much more pronounced sedative state.

    What this means to you is that you can determine which anti-anxiety medication is best for you according to what your specific needs are. Anti-anxiety medication is not simply used for anxiety, and is also used to treat a wide range of conditions, including insomnia. If your anxiety is mild and you just need something to get through the day, Xanax is a wonderful choice due to its low potency and less intense effects. If insomnia is the problem you are struggling with, you may find that Valium will be the better choice for you, due to the more intense sedate state that accompanies it. If you need serious anti-anxiety control, Valium is a wonderful first choice which is why it continues to be one of the most prescribed medications after forty years.
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    I know this person is banned but I have to set their facts straight on how Valium vs Xanax actually works in the brain, not to mention some major dosage differences! For example, valium is far less potent per mg than xanax- It's vaguely agreed that around 20mg of valium is about 1mg of xanax, but the two have entirely different halflives and onset of action- So everybody still argues about what the conversion calculations are.

    Despite everybody's personal brain chemistry, valium is innately slow-acting with a longer halflife (meaning it takes longer to feel the effect after swallowing a pill, but the effect lasts longer- Maybe taking a half hour to work, but lasting for 8 hours). Xanax generally kicks in much quicker (fast onset) with people, often 10 or 15 minutes for me, but wears off quick (short halflife)- that's my main qualm with it, but I think it's excellent for sudden, uncontrolled anxiety because of the "sudden punch" effect, it will kill a *real* "I Am Dying" panic attack in its tracks!

    However I don't really have sudden panic, just a generalized anxiety; that's why I go for the more new-school version of Roche's valium which is klonopin. It often takes 30-40 minutes to work, but often lasts 10 or perhaps even 12 hours with an "afterglow" effect felt the day after taking it (so slow onset, and again a long halflife like valium), so it can be a bit better at controlling a more "constant" feeling of dull anxiety instead of sudden random panic, just like valium would be good at that- but the conversions are argued over again still, generally the 20mg=1mg again range, but everyone's body reacts to them differently, so me for example, I say that 40mg of valium is equal to 1mg of klonopin just because it's my body chemistry, it takes a lot of valium to affect me anxiety-wise but it takes so much that it just puts me to sleep. I guess that stops your anxiety, but you see my point. (However I have never had Roche valium, only common US pharmacy generics.. perhaps if I try ordering Roche, it will be different!)

    One big difference that exists between valium and klonopin (but not so much for valium vs xanax as this dude has put up) is that a lot of people don't really get a desired "happy feeling" from klonopin, making the "old school" valium of the 60s still in such demand. I don't feel much 'happy feeling' from klonopin either really even though it's my general preference- I just like that it works when I freak out, but I will ONLY take Roche. I think this is another reason that klonopin isn't as popular; pill qualities for *particularly* clonazepam besides Roche klonopin can be really horrible, I've gone through it. People have wondered about it on the benzo forums for years- Why are so many klonopin generics like placebos, but other benzo generics are either just okay, good, or sometimes better than the brand? Answer=We dunno! Anybody who took a sandoz klonopin for example would say the drug was crap because they didn't know it was the pill that was actually off, like a sugar pill.

    Xanax, because of its short halflife, requires that people tend to need to take it more often- For some people, it's really annoying (like for me), but for others, they really like the fact that it kicks in quickly and strongly for them so will adjust to the frequent dosing several times a day. Tolerance to xanax, and abuse potential, tend to go up faster than the others because of its "quick punch" as I call it. But for many with the I Am Dying panic, they need that fast wallop and quick dieoff.. I can say for myself that the few times in my life that I have *really* had true, classic panic attacks, the entire panic attack was over by the time my klonopin worked, and it's those few horrific times that have made me interested in finding a source for xanax, just to have them around if something like that EVER happens again.

    Also, Fun Fact, xanax tastes awful- just a horrible bitter taste.. valium doesn't taste so bad if I remember correctly.. but klonopin tastes distinctly like mint. I have always wondered, why mint?

    So, just actually saying what some differences are between the benzos as this guy was really apparently Not attempting to post like he should have for a topic titled "Valium vs Xanax explained."
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  3. #3
    I agree. That was a very misinformed description. I'd also like to add that benzo naive people will get a happy feeling from clonazepam until their body adjusts. But tolerance to its anxiolytic effect develop much more slowly than other benzos. I too supplement w/alprazolam for panic and it is fast acting but studies have shown that diazepam is actually the most rapidly absorbed benzo. Surprising but true.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by overtherainbow View Post
    I know this person is banned but I have to set their facts straight on how Valium vs Xanax actually works in the brain, not to mention some major dosage differences! For example, valium is far less potent per mg than xanax- It's vaguely agreed that around 20mg of valium is about 1mg of xanax, but the two have entirely different halflives and onset of action- So everybody still argues about what the conversion calculations are.

    Despite everybody's personal brain chemistry, valium is innately slow-acting with a longer halflife (meaning it takes longer to feel the effect after swallowing a pill, but the effect lasts longer- Maybe taking a half hour to work, but lasting for 8 hours). Xanax generally kicks in much quicker (fast onset) with people, often 10 or 15 minutes for me, but wears off quick (short halflife)- that's my main qualm with it, but I think it's excellent for sudden, uncontrolled anxiety because of the "sudden punch" effect, it will kill a *real* "I Am Dying" panic attack in its tracks!

    However I don't really have sudden panic, just a generalized anxiety; that's why I go for the more new-school version of Roche's valium which is klonopin. It often takes 30-40 minutes to work, but often lasts 10 or perhaps even 12 hours with an "afterglow" effect felt the day after taking it (so slow onset, and again a long halflife like valium), so it can be a bit better at controlling a more "constant" feeling of dull anxiety instead of sudden random panic, just like valium would be good at that- but the conversions are argued over again still, generally the 20mg=1mg again range, but everyone's body reacts to them differently, so me for example, I say that 40mg of valium is equal to 1mg of klonopin just because it's my body chemistry, it takes a lot of valium to affect me anxiety-wise but it takes so much that it just puts me to sleep. I guess that stops your anxiety, but you see my point. (However I have never had Roche valium, only common US pharmacy generics.. perhaps if I try ordering Roche, it will be different!)

    One big difference that exists between valium and klonopin (but not so much for valium vs xanax as this dude has put up) is that a lot of people don't really get a desired "happy feeling" from klonopin, making the "old school" valium of the 60s still in such demand. I don't feel much 'happy feeling' from klonopin either really even though it's my general preference- I just like that it works when I freak out, but I will ONLY take Roche. I think this is another reason that klonopin isn't as popular; pill qualities for *particularly* clonazepam besides Roche klonopin can be really horrible, I've gone through it. People have wondered about it on the benzo forums for years- Why are so many klonopin generics like placebos, but other benzo generics are either just okay, good, or sometimes better than the brand? Answer=We dunno! Anybody who took a sandoz klonopin for example would say the drug was crap because they didn't know it was the pill that was actually off, like a sugar pill.

    Xanax, because of its short halflife, requires that people tend to need to take it more often- For some people, it's really annoying (like for me), but for others, they really like the fact that it kicks in quickly and strongly for them so will adjust to the frequent dosing several times a day. Tolerance to xanax, and abuse potential, tend to go up faster than the others because of its "quick punch" as I call it. But for many with the I Am Dying panic, they need that fast wallop and quick dieoff.. I can say for myself that the few times in my life that I have *really* had true, classic panic attacks, the entire panic attack was over by the time my klonopin worked, and it's those few horrific times that have made me interested in finding a source for xanax, just to have them around if something like that EVER happens again.

    Also, Fun Fact, xanax tastes awful- just a horrible bitter taste.. valium doesn't taste so bad if I remember correctly.. but klonopin tastes distinctly like mint. I have always wondered, why mint?

    So, just actually saying what some differences are between the benzos as this guy was really apparently Not attempting to post like he should have for a topic titled "Valium vs Xanax explained."
    They taste like mint because you like them lol...sorry i couldn't help that! I like k's too - but the make me unsteady on my feet; clumsy. Goes to show how we are all different - i didn't notice they taste like mint. I agree, xanax takes like crap - willing to put up with this though. anyway, just babbling, obviously
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  5. i prefer xanax becuase of he fast hitting high comparedt o valiumw hich jusy makes me mellow,,,,
    valium stays in body for long though..i remmeber i onvce took 15 vals and was feeling it for good 3 days

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    Always liked valium over xanax. It justs lasts longer and made me feel so relaxed. It is so great for muscle tension as well. When I stopped taking valium I really felt all the muscle tension come back all over.

  7. #7
    Xanax if you need it right away! Valium for the long run. Xanax more for anti-anxiety and valium more for spasms. Just my opinion.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by angelin View Post
    i prefer xanax becuase of he fast hitting high comparedt o valiumw hich jusy makes me mellow,,,,
    valium stays in body for long though..i remmeber i onvce took 15 vals and was feeling it for good 3 days
    Sunds lik its sill las ting.
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    I hate disagreeing with people, but in fact, there are few benzodiazepines that get to work and into your system faster than Diazepam. It's incredibly fast acting. Have a look at benzo dot org for more information on this. This is one of the reasons Diazepam has a high abuse potential, because any drug with a fast onset of action can potentially create a "high". I can see why people may think Diazepam is slow acting, but I can say with 110% certainty that it's fast acting. My dad is a soon to be retired doctor, and he also always said that diazepam is by far the fastest acting of the common benzos when taken orally. In fact there is only a small difference in time of onset between injection and oral administration.

    Here are the onset times for diazepam:

    Diazepam1
    (Valium®) Rapid (po, IV) 1(po) 20-50 3-100 5 mg


    and here's the results for Alprazolam:

    Alprazolam1
    (Xanax®) Int. 0.7-1.6 6-20 - 0.5mg

    Finally, here are the explanations for the abbreviations:

    Rapid onset = within 15 minutes, Intermediate = 15-30 minutes, Slow = 30-60 minutes

    p.o means taken orally
    i.v means intravenously

    Hope that's been of some help.

    TTFN Peeps

    ^_^
    Last edited by miffytherabbit; 09-06-2011 at 08:13 PM.
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  10. #10
    I have taken both since 1987..almost 25 yrs.
    Small quantities .75mg xanax per day or 15 mg Valium per day.
    Also ativan & clonazepam (Rivotril) at times.. 1mg
    Xanax great for VERY stressful situations..Speech to 10,000 ppl, panic attacks, first job interview.
    Valium more of a chill pill like at Xmas when you R forced to dine with
    the in laws you can't stand or just general anxiety..fear of flying.
    Rivotril Klonopin (clonazepam) is probably the best choice as there is
    no "high." So you could take .5mg or 1mg and feel normal, relaxed, yourself.
    Taking more doesn't increase the effect as much as with the others.
    So Klonopin/Rivotril/Clonazepam maybe safer as you won't likely have that craving to take more.
    Now I just use valium as I'm trying to slowly withdraw a la Ashton method.
    It's very tough and if I knew in my 20's (1978) how fierce the withdrawals were
    I would have toughed it out and only used a few times per month.
    HTH..& Just my opinion.
    Helpful misstrepidation Rated helpful
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    @Roshell10mg

    When you said: "Valium more of a chill pill like at Xmas when you R forced to dine with
    the in laws you can't stand...." made me laugh, because that's exactly what I had to do last year with my partners parents. The only problem was I had a glass of champagne on top of the diazepam and spent the entire afternoon fast asleep!

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  12. #12
    I've been prescribed xanax, valium, and klonopin, and I have to agree with the consensus here. However, I've never tried Ativan and I'm curious what people think about it and how it compares to the other three. Would anyone care to try to describe how Ativan fits into the spectrum? From what I've read, I would guess somewhere in between Xanax and Valium. Does that sound accurate?

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    I have used xanax, valium and klonopin and I endorse what the second poster said in this thread.

    I don't get panic attacks just situational anxiety and I prefer klonopin because it is long-lasting, comes on slowly and subtly, wears off the same way and removes that anxious feeling without any side-effects. If I take it at bedtime the night before I feel totally clear-headed and calm the next day and it ensures that I will sleep well without being kept awake by anxious thoughts.

    I find xanax acts very quickly but also seems to wear off quickly and noticeably giving me more of an up and down feeling and prompting me to take more.

    Valium induces more of a pleasant relaxed feeling than klonopin but it does make me feel sedated so I would not want to use it if I needed to work.

    Of course the effect depends on the doseage, I usually take 0.5mg of klonopin, 0.5mg of xanax and 5-10mg of valium.
    Last edited by cara; 09-06-2011 at 09:39 PM. Reason: deleted some off-topic thoughts

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    Quote Originally Posted by trevor_wood View Post
    I've been prescribed xanax, valium, and klonopin, and I have to agree with the consensus here. However, I've never tried Ativan and I'm curious what people think about it and how it compares to the other three. Would anyone care to try to describe how Ativan fits into the spectrum? From what I've read, I would guess somewhere in between Xanax and Valium. Does that sound accurate?
    Hey @trevor_wood

    I take lorazepam and diazepam for two distinct purposes (although I recently had an abortive attempt to switch from those to Clonazpam and Xanax, which was unsuccessful).

    I've had panic disorder for over ten years and have, inevitably, run the gamut of different benzodiazepines, SSRI's etc. Both Lorazepam and Diazepam are useful for me, because whilst Diazepam is good for treating low-level generalised anxiety (especially anxiety associated with feeling restless), Lorazepam is better (for me at least) for treating panic attacks. It's not an especially quick acting drug, but I tend to get panic attacks in waves, and it is good for stopping the panic cycle.

    For quite a long time, there was debate over the relative potency of Lorazepam. Many healthcare professionals equated 1mg of Lorazepam as being equipotent to 5mg of Diazepam. However, consensus has changed in the last ten years, mainly due to Professor Ashton (who's the "High Priestess" of benzodiazepines). It's now recognised that 1mg is equal to 10mg of Diazepam.

    Subjectively, Lorazepam has quite a different "feel" to Diazepam. I find Lorazepam doesn't muddy my thoughts as much as Diazepam, and it allows me to function more-or-less on a normal level. Having said this, it does seem to affect my short term memory more than Diazepam. Also it is far, far less sedating than Diazepam. When I need a Lorazepam for panic, I take one 2.5mg tablet, and I'm able to function, go out, cook, go shopping, work etc. On the other hand, if I took the equipotent equivalent of Diazepam - 25mg, I would be flat on my back and fast asleep.

    This lack of sedation that seems present in Lorazepam is a double-edged sword, because it's not uncommon for people to be prescribed up to 7.5mg of Lorazepam a day. Converted into Diazepam this makes for a hefty dose: 75mg. Consequently, people treated on a high Lorazepam dose are vulnerable to quickly becoming dependent. The strange thing I find with Lorazepam is that it works incredibly well at eliminating any worries, troubling thoughts, cares, and of course, panic - but it the effect almost feels transparent and "light" - subjectively the polar opposite of Diazepam.

    Because Alprazolam is not sanctioned for use in the U.K and the NHS, Lorazepam tends to fill that niche that Alprazolam (Xanax) would otherwise fill. I think the National Institute for Clinical Excellence has done the right thing by disallowing the use of Xanax in the U.K, because as us Peeps know, Xanax abuse and dependency issues are completely out of control in the U.S.A. But that's another story........!

    TTFN

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  15. Good lord, after years of taking both, SWIM can say with certainty that they need about 20mg of Valium to feel similar to 1mg of Xanax. The 20mg of Valium -might- be slightly better, but I just burn through it far too quickly.

    To me, the best thing about importing Xanax is you have to do it less often. As in, the actual act of importing. I guess what I'm saying is, 50 Xanax would last SWIM about as long as 200 Valium. I prefer bringing in 50 of something than 200.

    Having said that, if I needed to be sedated 90% of the time for REAL medical reasons, I can see the argument for Valium as you have to take it less often due to the longer half life.

  16. #16
    The only problem was I had a glass of champagne on top of the diazepam and spent the entire afternoon fast asleep!
    Yes I have encountered a similar occurrence.
    Details undisclosed.

  17. #17
    @miffytherabbit

    That's interesting that lorazepam seems to have be less sedative than others for most people. When I was prescribed it I was basically a zombie, I also experienced pretty pronounced hallucinations so I only took it for a few weeks. I guess my body chemistry is just weird. Has anyone else experienced hallucinations while taking lorazepam?


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