Etizolam or Clonazepam- Which is Better for Anxiety

by | Nov 10, 2021 | Anxiety Treatment | 0 comments

Both Etizolam and Clonazepam are used to treat anxiety, seizures and a range of other complications. Clonazepam, being a potent benzodiazepine, has anxiety-relieving and sleep-inducing properties that make it useful in certain conditions. But Etizolam, being a benzodiazepine analogue, takes care of the anxiety problems without making the patient drowsy. Let’s have a detailed look at both medications before deciding the better of the two for anxiety symptoms.

The Key Factors

Use Cases

Etizolam is a potent class of benzodiazepines used for its sedative and muscle relaxing characteristics. What makes it different is that it also has hypnotic, anticonvulsant and anxiolytic properties. Simply put, it is effectively used in patients having anxiety attacks and as a sedative in Alzheimer’s patients.

Studies have shown that out of the same strength of different Benzodiazepines administered to patients with anxiety disorder, Etizolam appeared to be the most effective. The tolerance level remained the same despite its increased efficacy. Etizolam is a Schedule 1 medication as declared by the Ohio Administrative code but banned in other places of the USA. It is not possible to buy Etizolam online in USA  because of its addictive nature.

Clonazepam too is a benzodiazepine but of the tranquillizer class. It is primarily used to treat anxiety, seizures and panic disorder. It is additionally is used as an effective treatment measure towards akathisia, i.e. an excess movement disorder resulting from a side-effect of antipsychotic medication.

It is a Schedule IV FDA approved medication used exclusively for immediate relief from seizures and panic attacks but not for sedation or insomnia.

Working Methods

Etizolam is a theniodiazepine. It works on the GABA receptors of the brain (neurotransmitter controlling the activity of the neurons) for its sedation and anxiolytic effects. It is available as 1mg and 2mg tablets and sometimes as gel capsules. It can be taken orally or sublingually under the tongue.

Etizolam starts acting in 30-60 minutes. It peaks in 1-2 hours, after which its effects last for 7-8 hours. It has a half-life of 3-4 hours. It is metabolized by the liver and excreted by the kidneys.

Clonazepam also works on the GABA cells but by increasing their levels to control seizures and relax the patient. Its effect on the GABA cells helps controlling abnormal electric activity inside the brain. It is available in tablet and liquid form and can be safely taken by people above 18 years.

Clonazepam starts kicking in 20-60 minutes post-consumption. It peaks in 1-4 hours, and its effects last for 8-12 hours. It has a much longer half-life of 30-40 hours, after which it is gradually metabolized by the liver and excreted by the kidneys.

Efficacy

Anxiety can arise due to a variety of reasons. Environmental factors like family and work stress, a side-effect of a medication prescribed for a body ailment, hormonal changes and sometimes long-term dependence on medication can cause anxiety. Anxiety could also result from several factors like sleep disorders, restlessness, irritability and sometimes even muscle tensions. .

Working on the neuroreceptors of the brain, Etizolam effectively treats anxiety with insomnia to a great extent. Etizolam has been found to be significantly stronger than other benzodiazepines in the treatment of anxiety. It provides symptomatic relief from Cervical spondylitis and lumbar pain. It also helps to a great extent in providing relief from headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and hypertension. Research has proved Etizolam to be effective in various conditions like cervical problems, lumbar dysfunctions, and reducing the pain associated with cancerous problems.

Seizures are a surge of uncontrolled activity between the brain cells affecting the body due to their malfunction. They do not last for more than 60-90 seconds. But in that timeframe, they cause significant damage to the body like loss of consciousness, stiffening or abnormal jerking of the body, loss of bowel or bladder control, and sometimes breathing problems as well.

Clonazepam is used ineffectively controlling seizures or epileptic fits. It is especially useful in cases of myoclonic seizure causing jerky body movements along with photosensitivity induced seizures. It is also used in cases of restless leg syndrome (a nervous system disorder causing a psychological urge to move the legs), panic disorders and involuntary muscle spasms. Clonazepam is used as a second-line treatment for anxiety disorders, especially social anxiety disorders arising due to the surrounding social situations. Additionally, Clonazepam is also used as a sleep inducer and as an effective treatment for people undergoing alcohol withdrawal.

Side Effects

The intensity of side effects in Etizolam is pretty severe as compared to Clonazepam. Etizolam, when mismanaged or used in the long-term, can lead to a number of effects ranging from impaired cognitive function and coordination to libido changes, depression and confusion. And Etizolam tends to greater dependence leading to its misuse, because of which it has been banned in some countries. But with all its shortcomings, it still remains one of the most sought after antidepressants, with its nootropic effects adding to its efficacy and popularity.

Clonazepam, in comparison, leads to a range of side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, uncoordinated body and mind movements, and overall unsteady behavior. Additionally, it also has a low tolerance and higher dependence rate like Etizolam, bringing the two drugs to equal levels in terms of tolerance. But its role as a medicine for insomnia puts it in a disadvantageous position for anxiety patients causing them to stay active after taking the medication. That said, it should also be remembered never to combine the two in the hope of getting the best of their advantage. It increases the risk of side effects caused to the medication and reduces their metabolism rate, thereby creating a new range of complications in the long run.

Conclusion

Both Etizolam and Clonazepam are effective benzodiazepines used in the treatment of anxiety problems. While Etizolam treats anxiety as a first line of action, Clonazepam treats selective types of anxiety, keeping it as its second line of action.

This makes Etizolam a much better option than Clonazepam for anxiety-related disorders. Besides, Etizolam can be converted into a much more potent medicine with negligence side-effects compared to its counterpart.

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