People often want to compare different drugs that have similar effects, and two drugs that are in some ways similar but in many ways very different from one another are trazodone and Klonopin. The following provides an overview of what each drug is, how it works, and a comparison of trazodone vs. Klonopin.

Trazodone and Klonopin

Before comparing trazodone vs. Klonopin, it’s helpful to see what each is on its own.

Trazodone is a prescription, generic drug that’s approved by the FDA to treat depression. It’s an atypical antidepressant and a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI). It’s often used in patients who don’t respond to other antidepressants.
In addition to serving as an antidepressant, there are many extra-label uses for trazodone, one of the most common of which is as a treatment for insomnia. There are many other uses for trazodone too, such as for the treatment of chronic pain, OCD and also the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Trazodone has fewer risks and side effects than many other similar drugs. For example, it’s not considered to be very habit-forming, which is why it can be useful during alcohol withdrawal or to help people with insomnia or are predisposed to substance abuse.

Trazodone’s primary side effect is drowsiness, although this can be reduced when depression and other conditions are being treated if it’s taken in divided doses with the largest dose taken before bedtime.

Trazodone acts on certain receptors in the brain to influence how much serotonin is available, which is how it increases mood and also things like appetite.

Klonopin, on the other hand, is an incredibly controversial drug, first available in the U.S. in 1960.

Klonopin is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines which also include Valium and Xanax. Benzodiazepines are among the most prescribed drugs in the U.S., and they affect a certain neurotransmitter called GABA. This is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, so when someone takes a benzo like Klonopin, it inhibits the activity of other neurons in the brain and has a calming effect.

Klonopin is considered a controlled substance and also a psychoactive drug because it affects thinking, mood and cognitive function. In some cases, along with being used to treat anxiety, Klonopin and other benzos can be used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Because of the calming effect, Klonopin can sometimes be used as a sleep aid, whether directly or when it’s an indirect side effect.

Klonopin is a drug that has a high potential for abuse, which is why it’s a controlled substance in the U.S., and it’s considered very addictive.

The overall effects of Klonopin, along with relaxation and a reduction of anxiety, include euphoria, slowed reflexes, and a feeling of well-being. These effects are some of the reasons it’s addictive and is often abused.

Taking Trazodone and Klonopin Together

Before comparing trazodone vs. Klonopin, can they be taken together?

The answer is generally no. If trazodone and Klonopin are taken together, it can cause excessive drowsiness and also central nervous system depression that could lead to an overdose.

Trazodone on its own isn’t usually associated with overdoses, but when it’s paired with other substances including benzodiazepines or alcohol, it can lead to an overdose.

Trazodone vs. Klonopin

So how does trazodone vs. Klonopin compare?

The following provides an overview of some of the biggest differences seen when looking at trazodone vs. Klonopin.

  • Trazodone isn’t considered habit-forming in most cases, and this is one of the biggest differences between trazodone and Klonopin. Klonopin has a high potential for abuse, which is why it is a controlled substance.
  • Another difference in trazodone vs. Klonopin is the fact that trazodone doesn’t necessarily impair thinking or coordination, and you can take it throughout the day.
  • Klonopin is a short-acting drug, and it’s also intended as a short-term treatment option for anxiety. It’s not intended as a long-term treatment option for the conditions it can treat, primarily because of the habit-forming nature of the drug, but also because of the risks and side effects. Trazodone is considered largely safe for long-term use.
  • One similarity between trazodone and Klonopin is the fact that both can lead to physical dependence. This means that if someone takes them and then stops suddenly without tapering down their dosage, they may go through withdrawal.
  • Trazodone is only approved as an antidepressant officially, while Klonopin is an anxiety medication. Trazodone may be used to treat anxiety, but not as often as it’s used to treat depression and insomnia. Klonopin, on the other hand, has the potential to make depression worse for some people.
Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.