Klonopin (clonazepam) vs. Valium (diazepam)

Medically Reviewed on 8/10/2022

Klonopin vs. Valium: What's the difference?

What are Klonopin and Valium?


Panic attacks are repeated attacks of fear that can last for several minutes. See Answer

What are the side effects of Klonopin and Valium?

Klonopin side effects

The most common side effects associated with Klonopin are sedation, which is reported in approximately half of patients. Dizziness is reported in one-third of patients.

Other common side effects include:

Other serious side effects of Klonopin include:

Other serious adverse reactions:

Antiepileptic medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need for the antiepileptic drug. Patients who begin antiepileptic therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.

Valium side effects

The most common side effects of Valium are:

Other important side effects include:

Possible serious side effects include:

What is the dosage of Klonopin vs. Valium?

Klonopin dosage

The dosage of Klonopin is tailored to the patient's needs.

  • For seizures in adults, the initial dose is 1.5 mg daily in 3 divided doses.
  • Dosage may be increased by 0.5 to 1 mg daily every 3 days until seizures are controlled or side effects preclude further increases in dose.
  • The maximum dose is 20 mg daily. The initial dose for panic disorders is 0.25 mg twice daily.
  • The dose may be increased to the target dose of 1 mg daily after 3 days.

Valium dosage

  • Valium may be taken with or without food.
  • Valium is disposed of by the liver and excreted mainly by the kidney. Dosages of Valium may need to be lowered in patients with abnormal kidney function.
  • The usual oral Valium dose for anxiety or seizures is 2-10 mg given 2-4 times daily.
  • The usual rectal dose is 0.2-0.5 mg/kg and depends on the age of the patient.


A Visual Guide to Generalized Anxiety Disorder See Slideshow

What drugs interact with Klonopin and Valium?

Klonopin drug interactions

Klonopin, like all other benzodiazepines, accentuates the effects of other drugs that slow the brain's processes -- such as alcohol, barbiturates, and narcotics, leading to increased sedation.

Valium drug interactions

Alcohol or medications that cause sedation may add to the sedative effects of Valium. Patients taking benzodiazepines should avoid such combinations.

The following drugs may prolong the effects of Valium by inhibiting liver enzymes that eliminate diazepam:

Dosages may need to be decreased when these drugs are used with Valium.

Carbamazepine (Tegretol), rifampin (Rifadin), and St. John's Wort decrease levels of Valium by increasing the elimination of diazepam by liver enzymes.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Depression Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Are Klonopin and Valium safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?



  • Benzodiazepines, including Valium, can cause fetal abnormalities and should not be used during pregnancy.
  • Valium is excreted in breast milk and can affect nursing infants. Therefore, Valium should not be used by women who are nursing.


Klonopin (clonazepam) and Valium (diazepam) are benzodiazepines used in the treatment of anxiety and certain types of seizures. Klonopin is also used to treat panic disorder, while Valium is also used to treat hallucinations resulting from alcohol withdrawal and for sedation during surgery. Side effects of Klonopin and Valium that are similar include drowsiness/sedation, unsteadiness or loss of balance, sleep problems (insomnia), fatigue, confusion, and rash.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically Reviewed on 8/10/2022
FDA Prescribing Information