Etizolam vs Xanax

Etizolam vs Xanax

Etizolam vs. Xanax: What do you need to know?

Etizolam and Xanax have been recognized and adored by millions of people. Both the medicines have extended benefits in terms of treating anxiety disorders. However, these medicines differ from each other in various aspects. We are going to unfold these differences as we move ahead.

Xanax is a brand and Etizolam is a chemical or generic name available under several brand names. Your doctor prescribes any of these medicines depending on your diagnosis and severity of symptoms. Regardless which medicine you go for, there is a tiny possibility of developing addiction or dependency. Therefore, it is vital to understand how these medicines work, their effects on the brain functioning, and how they can cause dependency.

It’s interesting to know that both the medicines are almost similar in terms of their chemical structure and their usages. They both work as central nervous system (CNS) depressants and used in the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. Also, these two medicines are useful in treating insomnia due to their sedation property. They also cause daytime sleepiness. Etizolam and Xanax are known to develop intoxication which looks like memory loss, loss of motor control, slurry speech, respiratory depression etc.

Though similarities shared by these two medicines, they are different from one another. So, let’s dive right in the differences they have. We are also going to learn which one is more effective and safe amongst the two. Let’s get started!

Chemistry of Etizolam and Xanax

As said earlier, these two medicines are quite similar in nature. Their working mechanism is similar that involves working on the brain. Structurally, Xanax is a benzodiazepine which has a benzene ring touching a diazepine ring. Etizolam also has a benzene ring in its structure but it does not touch the diazepine ring. However, the presence of thiophene ring makes Etizolam different from Xanax, and it is put in the class of medicines called thienotriazolodiazepine.



Xanax is not available on the NHS in UK. But you can buy Etizolam in UK legally, but required doctor’s prescription. However, you can get the medicine upon receiving a private prescription. This medicine is treated as a tranquilizer and put under class C of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Possessing Xanax without prescription is an offense and you may be punished with 2 years of sentence and unlimited fine. 

Etizolam, a prescription medication, is unlicensed in the UK. It is not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

A brief about Etizolam

Etizolam is placed in thienodiazepine class of medicines which shows similar properties to benzodiazepines. Lately, it has gained popularity on the new psychoactive substance (NPS) market in the UK. Etizolam 1mg is equivalent to 10mg of diazepam.

When used in prescribed dosage strength for prescribed period of time, the medicine helps in correcting anxiety and sleep issues like insomnia. It is believed that Etizolam causes less dependency as compared benzodiazepines such as Xanax. However, more studies and regulations are required to support the statement.

A brief about Xanax

It is a benzodiazepine class of medicine available by prescription for the treatment of moderate to severe anxiety disorders, panic attacks and related conditions such as agoraphobia. Unfortunately, Xanax is not a cure for any of these health issues but it makes easier to manage their symptoms.

Though Xanax is available only with prescription, it is highly abused drug for its fast-acting capacity to offer calming and sedation effects.

Etizolam vs. Xanax

  • Etizolam and Xanax belong to thienodiazepine and benzodiazepine class of medicines respectively. Though these two medications are structurally similar, Etizolam has not been as researched as Xanax for their usages.
  • Etizolam is less addictive than Xanax but the fact cannot be denied that it can be put to abuse or dependence.
  • Both the medicines cause sedation but Etizolam is less sedative than Xanax. However, they both have interestingly similar anxiolytic effect.
  • Etizolam is manufactured and available in the form of immediate-release tablets while Xanax is accessible in various formats such as immediate-release, extended-release, orally-disintegrating tablet, and oral solution. Also, Xanax has various dosing increments than Etizolam.
  • These two medicines have slight differences in their metabolism and elimination half-life. As per the findings, Etizolam is metabolized by CYP3A4, CYP2C18, and CYP2C19 enzymes, and Xanax metabolism is carried by the enzyme CYP3A4. The elimination half-life of Etizolam is 7 to 15 hours. Xanax has elimination half-life of 9 to 16 hours.
  • Etizolam and Xanax have slightly different mechanism of action. Etizolam interacts with A1 subunits of GABAA receptors while Xanax works at D1 and D2 dopamine receptors.
  • Etizolam starts working within 15 to 25 minutes while Xanax takes about 20 to 40 minutes. The time duration of releasing effects for immediate release tablets of Etizolam is 5 to 7 hours, and 4 to 6 hours for Xanax immediate release tablets.
  • Etizolam is more likely to cause side effects of muscle weakness than Xanax whereas Xanax is more likely to produce side effects of lightheadedness, depression, headache etc.
  • Though Xanax is most abused drug, Etizolam does not have low abuse potential. It is majorly because of their mode of work that involves working on the central nervous system.
Read more about Etizolam Vs Diclazepam – A Brief Comparison. 

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