Klonopin vs. Valium: What's the difference? (2023)

| Conditions treated | Efficacy | Insurance coverage and cost comparison | Side effects | Drug interactions | Warnings | FAQ

If you experience anxiety or other mental health conditions, you are not alone. Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States every year—that’s 18% of the population.

Klonopin (clonazepam) and Valium (diazepam) are two benzodiazepine medications used in the treatment of anxiety and other conditions. Both prescription drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Benzodiazepines work in the central nervous system (CNS) by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). By doing so, the medication slows down the brain and nervous system, which results in a relaxing and calming effect, and can help aid sleep when taken at bedtime. Because benzodiazepines (sometimes referred to as benzos) have the potential for substance abuse or dependence, they are classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as controlled substance Schedule IV drugs.

What are the main differences between Klonopin and Valium?

Klonopin and Valium are both anxiety medications, also called anxiolytics. Klonopin (Klonopin Coupons | What is Klonopin?) is a benzodiazepine drug also known by its generic name, clonazepam (Clonazepam Coupons | What is Clonazepam?). It is available in the form of an oral tablet and an orally disintegrating tablet. Klonopin is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine. It takes about one to four hours to reach its maximum effect. The half-life of a drug is the time it takes for half of the drug to leave the body, and it takes five to six half-lives to eliminate a drug from the body. The half-life of Klonopin is 30-40 hours.

Valium (Valium Coupons | What is Valium?)is also a benzodiazepine drug, and its generic name is diazepam. It is available in tablet, injection, and oral solution form, as well as a rectal gel. The rectal gel is used for seizure treatment. Valium is considered a long-acting benzodiazepine. It starts working quickly—the maximum effect can be felt within an hour, and it stays in the body for a longer time. The half-life is up to 100 hours.


Main differences between Klonopin and Valium
Drug classBenzodiazepineBenzodiazepine
Brand/generic statusBrand and genericBrand and generic
What is the generic name?ClonazepamDiazepam
What form(s) does the drug come in?Tablet, orally disintegrating tabletTablet, injection, oral solution, rectal gel (Diastat AcuDial)
What is the standard dosage?Varies; a common dose is 1 mg by mouth twice a dayVaries; a common dose is 5 mg by mouth 2 to 4 times a day
How long is the typical treatment?Varies; length of treatment is not established, so patients should be closely monitoredVaries; length of treatment is not established, so patients should be closely monitored
Who typically uses the medication?Adults and childrenAdults and children

Want the best price on Valium?

Sign up for Valium price alerts and find out when the price changes!

Get price alerts

Conditions treated by Klonopin and Valium

Klonopin is indicated in the treatment of seizure disorders and panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia). Valium is indicated for anxiety disorders, short-term relief of anxiety symptoms, acute alcohol withdrawal, and muscle spasm conditions (skeletal muscle spasm, spasticity, athetosis, and stiff-person syndrome).

ConditionKlonopin Valium
Seizure disordersYesDiazepam rectal gel is used in certain patients with epilepsy
Panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia)/panic attacksYesOff-label
Anxiety disorders/short-term relief of the symptoms of anxietyOff-labelYes
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal (agitation/tremors)Off-labelYes
Skeletal muscle spasm, spasticity, athetosis, and stiff-person syndromeOff-labelYes
Adjunctively in convulsive disorders (not as sole therapy)NoYes

Is Klonopin or Valium more effective?

Klonopin and Valium have different indications—for example, Valium is indicated for symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, while Klonopin is not (but may be used off-label). The selection of Klonopin or Valium, therefore, will depend on the indication. Also, the prescriber will likely take into account that Klonopin is intermediate-acting and Valium is long-acting. There are no head-to-head studies comparing Klonopin and Valium.

The most effective medication for you should be determined by your healthcare provider, who can take into account your medical condition(s) and medical history as well as any medications you take that may interact with Klonopin or Valium.

(Video) Klonopin ( Clonazepam ) Vs Valium ( Diazepam) Review And Experience

Want the best price on Klonopin?

Sign up for Klonopin price alerts and find out when the price changes!

Get price alerts

Coverage and cost comparison of Klonopin vs. Valium

Klonopin is generally covered by insurance and Medicare Part D. The generic form of clonazepam is less expensive. The brand name may not be covered or may have a much higher copay. A common prescription would be for 60 tablets of 1 mg generic clonazepam, and the out-of-pocket price can be more than $40. You can purchase it for around $15 at participating pharmacies with a SingleCare coupon.

Valium is also usually covered by insurance and Medicare Part D in its generic form of diazepam. The brand-name product would be much more expensive or may not be covered. A typical prescription would be for 60 tablets of 5 mg generic diazepam. The out-of-pocket price is approximately $23 but is less than $10 with a SingleCare discount.

Klonopin Valium
Typically covered by insurance?Yes (generic preferred)Yes (generic preferred)
Typically covered by Medicare Part D?Yes (generic preferred)Yes (generic preferred)
Standard dosage#60, 1 mg tablets#60, 5 mg tablets
Typical Medicare Part D copay$0-$24$0-$12
SingleCare cost$13-$16$6-$11

Common side effects of Klonopin vs. Valium

Side effects vary widely, depending on the dose and condition being treated.

(Video) 2-Minute Neuroscience: Benzodiazepines

The most common side effects of Klonopin are drowsiness, fatigue, upper respiratory infection, depression, lack of muscle control, and weakness. The most common side effects of Valium are drowsiness, fatigue, muscle weakness, and ataxia. The percent of the incidence of side effects was not reported with Valium.

This is not a full list of side effects. Other side effects may occur. Consult your healthcare provider for a full list of adverse effects.

Klonopin Valium
Side effectApplicable?FrequencyApplicable?Frequency
DrowsinessYes37%YesNot reported
FatigueYes9%YesNot reported
AtaxiaYes5%YesNot reported
Muscle weaknessYesNot reportedYesNot reported
DepressionYes7%YesNot reported
Upper respiratory infectionYes8%No
DizzinessYes5%YesNot reported

Source: DailyMed (Klonopin), DailyMed (Valium).

Drug interactions of Klonopin vs. Valium

Benzodiazepines should not be taken with opioids because of the risk of overdose, severe respiratory depression, coma, or even death. If the combination cannot be avoided, the patient should take the lowest dose for the shortest duration of time, and should be closely monitored by the prescriber. Benzodiazepines also interact with other CNS depressants, including alcohol, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and anticonvulsants. This is not a full list of drug interactions. Other drug interactions may occur. Consult your healthcare provider for a full list of drug interactions.

DrugDrug ClassKlonopin Valium
SSRI antidepressantsYesYes
SNRI antidepressantsYesYes
Tricyclic antidepressantsYesYes
Muscle relaxantsYesYes
MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors)YesYes
DiphenhydramineSedating antihistaminesYesYes

Warnings of Klonopin and Valium

Any time you fill a prescription for Klonopin or Valium, you will receive a medication guide with important information about side effects and warnings. Because they are both benzodiazepines, Klonopin and Valium have similar warnings. Both drugs have a boxed warning, which is the strongest warning required by the FDA. Benzodiazepines such as Klonopin or Valium should not be used in combination with opioids, due to the risk of extreme sedation, severe respiratory depression, coma, or even death. If the combination of an opioid and a benzodiazepine cannot be avoided, the patient should take the lowest dose for the shortest period of time and be closely monitored by the prescriber.

Other warnings include:

(Video) Difference Between Lorazepam and Diazepam

  • Benzodiazepines may cause both physical and psychological dependence, and the risk is higher with higher doses, longer duration of use, or a history of drug or alcohol abuse. If you take a benzodiazepine, take the medication only as prescribed. Do not take extra doses, and do not take the medication for any other reason than for which it was prescribed. Keep the medication out of the reach of children, and under lock and key if possible.
  • Patients should use caution when driving or operating machinery until effects are known.
  • Avoid alcohol and other CNS depressant medications when taking a benzodiazepine.
  • Use with caution in patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
  • When discontinuing a benzodiazepine, the drug should be tapered slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms may include seizures, agitation, confusion, rapid heartbeat, vertigo, and other symptoms. Patients with seizure disorders are at higher risk for withdrawal symptoms.
  • When used in patients who have certain types of seizure disorders, Klonopin or Valium may increase the incidence or precipitate the onset of generalized tonic-clonic seizures, possibly requiring the addition of anticonvulsants or an increase in their dosage.
  • Patients, their caregivers, and families should be aware that benzodiazepines may cause an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Be alert to any signs and symptoms of depression, changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts of self-harm. Any concerning behavior should be reported immediately to the healthcare provider.
  • Benzodiazepines should be used with caution in patients with impaired respiratory function (such as COPD and sleep apnea).
  • Use with caution/use lower doses in patients with liver or kidney problems.
  • Klonopin or Valium should not be used in pregnancy. Both drugs are classified as pregnancy category D, meaning there is a risk of harm to the fetus. If you are taking Klonopin or Valium and find out that you are pregnant, contact your healthcare provider immediately for guidance.
  • Both drugs are on the Beers’ List of drugs that may be inappropriate for use in older adults. Older adults have increased sensitivity to benzodiazepines and there is an increased risk of cognitive impairment, delirium, falls, fractures, and motor vehicle crashes in older adults when Klonopin or Valium is used.

Frequently asked questions about Klonopin vs. Valium

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin, or clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine drug used in the treatment of certain types of seizures and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia.

What is Valium?

Valium is a benzodiazepine drug used for anxiety, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and muscle spasms.

Are Klonopin and Valium the same?

No. Klonopin and Valium are both benzodiazepines, but they are not exactly the same. Read above to find out more about the differences between Klonopin and Valium. Other common benzodiazepines you may have heard of include Xanax (alprazolam) and Ativan (lorazepam).

RELATED: Xanax Coupons | Ativan Coupons

Is Klonopin or Valium better?

There are no studies directly comparing the two drugs. Your healthcare provider can determine if one of these drugs is appropriate for you, taking into account your medical conditions, history, and other medications you take.

Can I use Klonopin or Valium while pregnant?

Both drugs are category D and should not be used in pregnancy. They could cause harm to the developing fetus. If you are already taking Klonopin or Valium and find out that you are pregnant, consult your healthcare provider immediately.

(Video) Lorazepam vs Clonazepam: What Is The Difference?

Can I use Klonopin or Valium with alcohol?

No. Combining Klonopin or Valium with alcohol is dangerous and can cause respiratory depression (slowed breathing, not getting enough oxygen), extreme sedation, coma, or even death.

Is Klonopin a muscle relaxant?

Klonopin is not indicated for use as a muscle relaxant. Valium does have an indication as an adjunct in the relief for skeletal muscle spasms, for patients with muscle spasm due to inflammation; spasticity due to certain conditions such as cerebral palsy or paraplegia; athetosis; and stiff-person syndrome. Occasionally, Klonopin may be used off-label for muscle spasms, but it is not a first-line or common treatment for muscle spasms.

Does Valium help with sleep?

Drowsiness is one of the most common side effects of Valium. However, Valium may cause the opposite effect—insomnia or sleep disturbances—in some patients. Although Valium often causes drowsiness, it is not prescribed (or indicated) to help with sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, consult your healthcare provider for medical advice.


1. Xanax Vs. Klonopin
(Medical Knowledge Online)
2. Klonopin Vs Xanax - My Experience
(Bipolar Corner)
3. Comparing the Pharmacokinetics of Benzodiazepines | Lorazepam, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Diazepam, etc
(Drug Talk)
4. Valium VS Xanax: 8 Similarities and Differences
(Lighthouse Treatment Center : Alcohol & Drug Rehab Orange County)
5. Difference Between Klonopin and Xanax
(Difference Between)
6. Xanax vs Clonazepam For Severe Anxiety?
(Juliuss Webisodes)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rubie Ullrich

Last Updated: 06/04/2023

Views: 6286

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rubie Ullrich

Birthday: 1998-02-02

Address: 743 Stoltenberg Center, Genovevaville, NJ 59925-3119

Phone: +2202978377583

Job: Administration Engineer

Hobby: Surfing, Sailing, Listening to music, Web surfing, Kitesurfing, Geocaching, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Rubie Ullrich, I am a enthusiastic, perfect, tender, vivacious, talented, famous, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.