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Are Valium or Xanax the best for anxiety disorders?

This question has also been asked and answered here: Valium vs Xanax: Which is better?

22 Answers

doxipups 25 Jun 2009

I think it depends on your level of anxiety. I take two medications, one is quick acting - klonopin (there is a generic) and one is for long term effects and addresses GAD as well as Social Anxiety Disorder and the underlying Depression that accompanies anxieties, Effexor. We all react differently to medications so whatever you try, you'll start out with a smaller dosage - and if you have a responsible health care provider - you should expect to see them every 2 weeks for a med check which should include you filling out a 8-10 question sheet. Be honest with yourself and your provider. I thought I only needed to be on the meds for 6-12 months, but I may be on them for alot longer. I can tell you that these meds help me feel like myself!!


After a particularly bad day at work I shared a Klonopin with my hubby who was walking around in a stupor within a half hour. He was like, " I can't believe you take 3 of these every day"', it was a real eye opener for me. He outweighs me by about 40 pounds and I realized that my brain is really putting out alot of different chemicals because the 3 mgs I take over the course of the day DO make me feel normal, not wasted.

So Todd, I don't know if your regular doc is prescribing or a specialist, but both of the drugs you mention have only short term effects. Feel free to email me if you want to discuss further because some of the longer term antianxiliticals have sexual side effects (low libido) that effect both men and women.

Votes: +4
hardfi 10 Aug 2010

I agree with doxipups. I used to be able to take 7mg of xanax and 4mg of clonazepam, and I gave my roomate 2mg of Clonazepam and he fell asleep and then asked me how I can take that everyday and be awake and full of life. I guess tolerance exists for a reason

nikicole1986 16 Dec 2010

I have panic disorder and i was on xanax for almost 4yrs i decided i wanted off i started gettin weak,passing out, dizzy,numbness , all from xanax yrs of being physically addicted n sick n not knowing y i did 2wk detox been off for 6 months now and iam alot better but still have pain, burning and digest trouble jerking and shakin at nite .Numbness legs feet hands arms head everywhere , balance is off everything moves up n down ,theres so much that can happeb wit that pill if stopped even after few wks its unreal i rather die than ever ever take benzo again anxiety i will take over that pill that messed me up anyone on it should consider tapering off n gettin on something safer not as physically addictin , its just like drinkin beer when takin that pill , good luck

caringsonbj 14 Feb 2011

people are different, medications are different, what works for one person can cause lots of problems for another, that being said I don't think a doctor should just write a prescription for a drug like Xanax and send you on your way till next time, those drugs are effective and useful when they are used I mean really used in the right way, you can't just start on a drug like Xanax (any drug for that matter) and expect it to solve the problems, if you can't control yourself enough to allow the medicine just enough to help you then it can be a very serious situation, I don't think its a bad drug I think it can be misused and cause people who already have problems and allow things to get a lot worse, I have been on the medication and I would not allow myself as bad as things were to take it the full dose I could have had, I had panic so bad that I was afraid I could not tolerate any more than I already had to deal with,


some doctors won't prescribe these medications, I also think some doctors don't take time enough to get to know their patients that causes further problems, I need the doctor to guide me through and help me to be the best I can not allow me to become a bigger problem than I started out with and before I finsih I am not against the use of these medications but I believe that the doctor (mine included) should not just randomly trust me with this, if I go into the office and the doctor see's exactly what I am doing with what is prescribed then thats one thing but to have a doctor who won't take the time to know you and what the problems are then thats not the doctor you need for these type of problems

Inactive 30 Jun 2012

Hello doxipups. I disagree. Klonopin is a slow acting benzodiazepine. It is not fast acting. Regards, pledge

Robert_325 27 Jun 2009

Xanax has a very short half life and valium has the longest half life of all benzos. We feel the effects of xanax more quickly where the valium lasts longer. So Xanax is recommended more for actual panic attacks where quick relief is needed. Valium is recommended more for general anxiety disorder. Valium is usally prescribed in small doses spread out over the course of the day for general anxiety. Hope that helps.

Votes: +7
jamie1940 11 Dec 2011

As someone who has taken many different anxiety-relieving drugs, I would suggest that anyone being prescribed XANAX by their doctor should ask for Valium. Xanax is so highly addictive, and so very difficult to get off off, that I would not prescribe it to a tree stump. It's been my experience that the cast majority of general practitioner doctors do not know diddley squat about the dangers and/or effects of these classes of anti-anxiety, psycho-trophic drugs.

alisha_256 5 Feb 2012

I have been on xanax for a long time now, and it is really hard to concentrate and really be aware of whats going on around you unless your medicaided who would want to be this way i have came down on my dosage and working on coming down more. I was just wondering does valiums actually work switching over so sudden?

Biochem510 10 Jun 2012

All benzo family drugs will provide you with relief of symptoms with variation in half life and effective dosage etc. However these drug tend to become less effective in patients over time and can lead to a greatly increase anxiety level with breakthrough anxiety even at high benzo dosage. Valium is the least likely of them to cause this but unless your anxiety causes you a lot of trouble in your life I'd recomend avoiding them all together. They are Incredibly habit forming and prescribed in a ridiculously liberal way.

Patiently Waiting 15 Jun 2012

I'm going to add this because people reading these posts need to know both sides of a pill. I used Xanax for severe Panic attacks for months.. 10 years ago. I did not refill them. My symptoms were calmer and seem to be okay. I went months with no signs of withdraw or sickness and began again like 7 months later. I have a sensitive system. We are all different and I don't to start with put this stigma of omg I'm gonna withdraw in there every time I take something. I take care of myself and I and my doctor have a really good relationship. It wasn't til a few years ago my panic was a everyday deal, I take it daily. Mind you on vacations and outings where I feel safe I don't. Never had a problem of omg I need to get my pills deal. Never. So like I said everyones system handles medications differently and just because one had a problem doesn't mean you will. Take your meds as prescribed and keep your doctor informed as to your wellness and live to be happy and productive.

casey m 462 1 Nov 2009

xanax,valium, or ativan seems to work the best

Votes: +1
Biochem510 10 Jun 2012

... but also can cause terrible side effects including increased overall anxiety and loss of effectiveness. These drugs are greatly over prescribed and are intensely habit forming.

disassembly 20 Nov 2009

Valium. I have an addictive personality and had absolutely no problems with taking Valium (in other words, I didn't feel the need to abuse it by taking more than prescribed). Xanax has such a short half-life that taking it made me feel high. Sure, it got rid of the panic... but so did the Valium.

This is something that's really different for every person, but xanax was a brutal nightmare for me and it's nearly impossible to come off of. While Valium may sound scary... I think it's best. This is all based off of my experience with anti-anxiety medication.

I also suggest exercise. Even just walking around a park or your neighborhood can help release all of that nasty adrenaline that's giving you (chemically) such a hard time.
Xanax is bad news though. Unless you want to get high, go with something that has a longer half-life.

Votes: +6
hardfi 12 Aug 2010

i agree. xanax is almost impossible to get off. when you find an answer, let me know and I will do the same.

Biochem510 10 Jun 2012

Exercise and meditation are much better than becoming dependent on benzo class drugs. Actually most anything is. I highly recommend avoiding Xanax and Ativan for long term use.

Psychmajor 25 Nov 2009

valium/klonipine (klon is a 30 to 40 hour half life and valium is even longer) are the best in my opinion... longer the half life and rate of onset the less addictive and longer lasting it is... xanax is a little too fast in my opinion-iv lived with panic attacks and i hate them because like it says, it feels like a heart attack but you can live through them so a longer onset isnt that hard to deal with unless you really cant delay gratification/relief to prevent more anxiety later in the day (dont know about xanax XR though, iv heard good things)

Votes: +2
midwestma 21 Jan 2010

I have taken Xanax, however, after the third day, I made a doctor appointment, I lost almost an entire day like I had a bad case of amnesia!I was prescribed .5 mg two tablets three times a day, but after what happened to me I'll never take xanax again, that really scared the heck out of me. I quit the xanax and I've been on Valium 10mg as needed three times a day. I've had very few occasions where I found the need to use it three times a day, I take one at bedtime for anxiety, and my muscle spasms. When I've had the need to use valium during the day, I found that I had total relief from my anxiety, and then I only took a half of it, 5mg. it lasted all through the day, where the xanax made me dizzy within a 1/2 hour and then it just stopped working, until the third day, where I don't remember what even happened. Albeit, we all have our own metabolisms that process this drug too. I have found complete relief with the Valium. Good Luck, I hope you find what helps you best.

Votes: +2
hardfi 10 Aug 2010

yes, xanax definately creates partial amnesia

fall queen 28 Aug 2010

Hi midwestma, There was a post the other day from jk13, he was asking what he should choose for an anti anxiety med. He had it down to valium or klononipn. I answered that I was happy to see that he was leaning away from the xanax, because despite what someone said, it does cause a "high" and it does take away your memory for a certain amount of time. I couldn't get my point across, and it may very well be that the person who said she never got a "high" from xanax, but for all the people I know who have been on the "benzo merry-go-round, xanax came up as 1) being the shortest acting med. 2) making people feel a "high" and doing things they would not normally do. Of course your fear (all too real) is 3) forgetting whole periods of time. One would think a person would make some poor choices while taking xanax.


In fact, I knew a guy that told me he would go into a store and spend $20-$30 and then feel compelled to steal some small thing from the store. He couldn't understand why, but he did say he thought it was the xanax. That in itself, would be more than enough to make me try some other anti anxiety medication! That you so much midwest, your answer clarified my point to somebody else, doesn't matter who. Thanks for the neat answer! Fall Queen

nikicole1986 2 Jun 2010

valium been on xanax 3yrs off now bad withdrawls i mean bad valium lasts longer than xanax just be prepared for ur doc to one day take u off because these arent longterm med

Votes: +0
lexus985 28 Jun 2010

Xanax is by far the best prescribing medication for aniexty. It is the withdrawl symptoms that are horrific. And, can take your body months to years to get back to normal depending on how long you are on Xanax.

Votes: +2
Biochem510 10 Jun 2012

How does horrible side effects make it the best? This makes no sense.

hardfi 11 Jul 2010

yes, when I was on xanax and cLONAZEPAM (another name for valium), they were the best years of my life. Unfortunately, I had to turn the last card down, because I was on for seven years where they are not meant to be taken that long. In my case, I had to be because they were the only thing keeping me off of the suicide path but my BF was stealing them and giving them away which left me hostpitalized of course where the shrink thought I was abusing them and took me off of them so now I am screwed up. But, that doesn't mean I can't live to tell the tale. Don't let this happen to you. these meds can change the world. Don't let Micheal Jackson write the fade out or some shrink who looks at you for five minutes and decides he can write the fade out!

Votes: +0
fall queen 11 Aug 2010

hardfi, not to nitpick but clonazepam is generic for Klonipin. Fall Queen

hardfi 12 Aug 2010

You're right, I'm sorry. i guess i was in a hurry, wrting this. Valium is diazepam, and Klonopin is Clonazepam. Trust me, my doctor thought it was funny that I called klonopin by the generic clonazepam, and alprazolam, I would call xanax. sometimes I get a dyslecsic and F up the names. i know my benzo's and somewhere on this thing, i posted a list of the generic and real names.

arcanoidcyst16 10 Aug 2010

Xanax has a quicker acting half-life as for medicines like Valium,and Klonopin tend to take longer to get rid of the anxiety and also will make you extremely tired.I would recommend Xanax or something like Restoril at night or even during the day.IDK ask your doctor and let him know how you are feeling about it.Best of luck!!!

Votes: +2
oxyaaron 27 Aug 2010

eerybody is defferent but i think xanax works best ( for me atleast)

Votes: +1
Herkimer 8 Feb 2012

I have been on Xanax for 25 years. AT 5 years switched to generic. Started at 16-20 a day just to function at home. At end of 3 months down to 8-10 and felt well enough to leave home. At 6 months was at 5-6 a day and as independent as possible! It was a life saver! this is at .5 mg. In 1998 down to 3 or 4 average. Some days can get by with just 1/2 to 1. Other days need 3 or 4. I guard them with my life and count them daily since last few years I have been made to fel like an addict or that I sell them on side! At time of diagnois tried several other medications and they absolutely did not work! For me, Xanax has no side effects that I know. They allow me to appear "normal" 99% of time and to work etc.! What more can one ask for?

erinlovesmullets 29 Mar 2012

i have been taking xanax off and on for years. ive been taking them regularly for about 5 months now (5mg once or twice a day). this is the best thing ive ever taken. i feel like a normal, functioning member of society. ive been without for the past 4 days, and feel like im gonna die. die from the anxiety, not the withdrawl. im gonna take a valium, and i hope it works until i can go back to the dr. i have to say, that xanax is THE BEST medication ive ever taken for my anxiety.

Inactive 24 Oct 2010

After reading everybody elses answers, i have to agree they all work differently for each individual. I am on xanax and mirtazapine for anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Without xanax I cant leave the house or live normally and function each day. Despite the numerous negatives about xanax it works for me, i dont abuse it, have a great GP who prescribes it and monitors how much i take, it has helped me enormously. In saying that yes it can be hard to come off, but so can most medication so get to a good GP and see what they suggest.

Votes: +9
bluesuedeshoes 19 Nov 2010

Xanax and valium have both been found to be ineffectual for long term anxiety. Fine if its to get over a family death, a job loss or a messy divorce or breakup. But long term, both these types of benzos are a real non starter.

You build up a tolerance and addiction so quickly, they become innefectual totally, and if you dont take're screwed. You end up either increasing the dose to ridiculous amounts to get the same effect, or you just stay on the same dose and you just need to take them to function normally


The cold turkey off benzos is seriously just as bad as heroin or crack in certain ways. I know a couple of housewives who are long term valium users and their doctor has been trying to reduce their dose to ween them off. But they are soooo panicked about losing even 1mg a day, they almost have a nervous breakdown. Also their eyes are sunken in, with the black "junkie" look. I can see these benzos are slowly eating away at their very life buzz. Its hard to think of anything else except getting their next prescription

I once got hooked for a while on 60mg a day of valium which I got half of my doc, and the other half off black market. I ended up totally pissed as i hardly felt anything with them, but if I didnt have them, I couldnt leave the house and became agorophobic. I owned up to my doc, told him the situ, and he agrred to ween me off over 8 weeks to get me down to 4x2mg a day. Then for another 4 weeks, bring this dose right down until i finally stopped. Physically it was easier than i expected, but mentally it created huge panic issues, GAD, dysphoria and finally mania when i stopped altogether

The drug companies love stuff you get hooked on. Even SSRI antidepressants have "discontinuation" effects. In other words, another turkey of sorts if you stop without weening off. I stopped taking Cipralex 20mg ..bang, no more. I felt nauseus, dizzy, slight hallucinations, perception difficulties as well as feeling extremely weird, moody, aggressive, sleep deprived and lethargic for almost 6 weeks!

Effexor is another dodgy one. These new style anti depessants MRSIs mess with your brain's chemicals so bad, you can get suicidal tendencies. Trust me. My girlfriend dug a pair of sharp scissors about 2 inches into her wrist and thrust all the way to her elbow

Dont take benzos for more than 4 weeks unless as i said before for short term emotional stress. Funeral, seperation chronic panic disorder in sporadic episodes. New school SSRI or Msri meds are being found only effective for a honeymoon period of 6-10weeks into treatment. After that, you're worse without them than you were in the first place. Thanks for listening. I'd ratther have medical marijuana or even an extract that doesnt get you stoned, but gives the analgesic and anti depressive elements which are more and more being rediscovered in studies all over the world.

Au Natural is the way forward. Especially for this phony pharma anxiety and depression scam that wants the masses stuck on these wonder drugs for life

Votes: +1
bo1234 18 May 2011

When I first went to the Dr for anxiety disorder (complements of graves disease), I wanted xanax. She would not prescribe it and gave me klonopin instead. She said it is HELL to get off of xanax. I have taken both and although the klonopin hits you faster and makes you sleepier, once you get used to it, it is BETTER than xanax. NO ANXIETY!!! It is wonderful to feel normal, at least in that respect :-). I am GLAD she told me that, or I would have a really bad time getting off xanax. And it kind of helps with my PAIN as well. Don't know why, but maybe it just relaxes my bones.

Votes: +1
higher4life 2 Mar 2012

OMG! I'm trying to come off of Klonopin & have been in the hospital 3 times because of the withdrawal symptom's I'm having. I would assure you that if you try coming off of it you will have some of the same symptoms I'm having: tremors, fast heart rate(causing chest pains), shaking, hard to concentrate, confusion and those are just some. Whatever you do please get off these medications! It has screwed up my life in general, married with 3 kids' and my husband probably think's I'm a big baby for the way I've been acting but seriously, this medication has made me feel like I was having a heart attack. When I was on it I felt comatose, almost like I was there but wasn't. It has broken me down to the point where I feel either I get off this medication or die! Being sedated all day every day has very serious consequences! I really felt like not doing anything, and it seemed as if I felt sickly a lot! Please look into the seriousness of these side effects. God Bless

sheila329 6 Jun 2011

i prefer valium always have, i dont like xananx, my doctor took me off suddenly from valium after many years and put me on xanax, i dont like it, the valium just makes me feel better with my anxiety and panic attacks, i read the xanax is better, i dont think so. i dont like it, and i think the dr should leave me be with what works for me.

Votes: +2 free discount card

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