I have been diagnosed with sever anixiety with panic disorder since 1999. My panic attacks can be so severe that I sometimes end up in the hospital because my heart rate gets dangerously high to the point I could have a heart attack.
Over the years since then (it is now 2013) I started with .25 Xanax 2x per day as needed in late 1999-early 2000. Then to .05 Xanax to 1mg 3x to 4x per day as needed in 2006.
In 2010 due to a pregnancy I had to switch from 1mg Xanax to 1mg Ativan 2x per day. I dont know if it was a hormonal change in my body or my strong will to cope with my anxiety so i wouuldnt but my unborn baby's life at risk for disabilities because of the benzos but i made it though.
After pregnancy late 2010 went back on 1mg Xanax because I had increased anxiety postpardum. 2012 switched to 10mg of Valium. I had a very bad side effect with Valium so i switch back to 1mg Xanax 6x per day within 2 week from switching.
2013 I felt I was taking too much Xanax and asked my Psyc to switch me to something with a longer half life because I was feeling withdrawls symptoms during the day with Xanax due to its short half life. I had built up a high tolerance to Xanax that at 6mg a day. My Psyc then prescribed me 1mg Klonopin 3x per day.
At first I was very reluctant to take the Klonopin because I had such a bad experience when switching from Xanax to Valium but I decided to give it a try. Being that I've had a very long relationship with my Psyc he also prescribed me a small prescription of 1mg Xanax as needed if I experienced a SEVERE panic attack wile taking the Klonopin. (Not very many Dr will do that however he knows I'm not one to abuse the medication.)
After the switch from 1mg Xanax to 1mg Klonopin I still had anxiety for the first few weeks but less panic attacks. I would take a 1mg Xanax when I had an SEVERE attack while on Klonopin. Over time I noticed that the Klonopin's longer half life reduced my anxiety and panic attacks because of its longer half life I didn't have rebound anxiety or panic attacks like I had with Xanax.
Eventually I stopped needing both and just took Klonopin. I recently added Lexapro to treat some depression and I've noticed it has increased my anxiety even with the Klonopin. I spoke with my Dr and he advised me that can happen when first starting Lexapro. He then advised me it was ok to take a 1mg Xanax only for SEVERE panic attacks. So I started taking both again.
After a few weeks of taking the Lexpro my anxiety and panic attacks went subsided. The Lexapro decreased my resting heart rate from average mid 90's to low 60's and I stopped taking the 1mg Xanax with 1mg Klonopin.
I just recently had my purse stolen and my bottle of Klonopin was in there. My insurance wouldn't refill my prescription of Klonopin until my next refill was due. So I decided to just use to existing Xanax I had to get me through it. Now I'm experiencing more anxiety and panic attacks! I'm having withdrawl issue because the Xanax's short half life. I can't wait to refill my Klonopin. I know my situation is reverse from the original post but I wanted to share my personal experience with you so you know what you may experience once you switch from Klonopin to Xanax.
Yes, Xanax is a quick fix because it acts faster in your system than Klonopin does. So that could be why you felt that Xanax was/is a better alternative from Klonopin. I offer my advise to you as someone who went from Xanax to Klonopin. If you feel that taking Xanax is a better alternative to you because you just need it for a quick fix for your anxiety you may very well find yourself either becoming very dependent on it and needing more of it as time goes by because you build up a tolerance to it. You may also experience rebound anxiety because you're on Klonopin now and are wanting to switch to something that has a shorter half life than what you are currently taking. Depending on the relationship you have with your Psyc perhaps you can ask them about your option to take a .25mg of Xanax to take if you're having a really SEVERE episode while on Klonopin. That may help you.
With my long history with Xanax I can tell you from experience over time if you switch you will build up such a high tolerance to Xanax that you'll feel you'll need to go up in dosage. I'm only saying that because you've been permanently diagnosed with anxiety versus someone who is just going through a rough patch in their life and only needs a benzo to cope with what they are dealing with at that moment temporarily.
Eventually I foresee your Psyc putting you back on something with a longer half life because Xanax is the most addictive of all other Benzos. I'm not implying that you are abusing medications so please don't take it that way. You're obviously are taking Klonopin to treat a permanent condition. Try and talk to your Psyc and ask if you can be prescribed .25mg of Xanax for SEVERE episodes. Not daily but as needed for SEVERE episodes of anxiety and or panic attacks. It's worth a try. They may not prescribe both not very many Psycs will unless they really trust you won't abuse it. Think carefully!
If you are trying to use Xanax to ween your self completely off of Benzos it may have the exact opposite effect of what you want. However it could also be what you're looking for but the odds are against you only because you'd be switching to Xanax with a shorter half life versus the longer lasting Klonopin you've been on.
I hope you find a resolution to your situation. Anxiety and panic attacks suck! I wish I could live a normal life without having any anxiety or panic attacks but the likely hood of my condition is null because every female in my family has been diagnosed with it. Sadly it is hereditary. My daughter is almost 15 and is showing early signs of the condition. I hope that she takes after her father and its just temp anxiety from just being a teenager. Good Luck to you!