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Anti Anxiety

What is the Difference Between Alprazolam and Etizolam?

14 Sep 2023

ImageWhat is the Difference Between Alprazolam and Etizolam?

Presently, anxiety disorder is the most widespread mental illness. Fortunately, several kinds of anxiety medications may be prescribed to improve well-being. For instance, two such drug options are Etizolam and Xanax.


Etizolam is a potent medication, sometimes sold as Etilaam or Etizest. Xanax is the brand name for an oral tablet called Alprazolam. Both drugs change how the brain transmits electrical signals. In addition, they specifically enhance how the brain’s GABA receptor functions. In effect, Etizolam and Alprazolam calm the rapid release of adrenaline from fear.


The effects and chemical structures of Alprazolam and Etizolam are very similar, but there are some differences. They are both central nervous system depressants to treat anxiety and panic disorders. They also have sedative qualities and may be used as sleep aids but may cause daytime drowsiness. They can also cause intoxication similar to alcohol, including memory loss, loss of motor control, respiratory depression, and slurred speech.

With so many similarities, how do the drugs differ? Here are some of the significant differences between Alprazolam and Etizolam.


Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine and is available by prescription. It primarily treats moderate to severe anxiety disorders, short-term anxiety, and panic attacks. It may also help with related conditions, like agoraphobia. Alprazolam is not a cure for these conditions but it may make them more manageable.


Unfortunately, benzodiazepines are often abused with other drugs like opioids. This may lead to a dangerous and potentially lethal overdose. Benzodiazepines (benzos) are abused for their calming and sedating effect.



Etizolam is a thienodiazepine, a class of medications chemically similar to benzodiazepines. It is not a scheduled substance in the United States nor approved for medical use. However, it is regulated as a prescription medicine in Japan, Italy, and India.


If consumed appropriately, it may help to treat anxiety and sleep problems. While more studies and regulations are required, it is less likely to cause dependence than benzodiazepines like Alprazolam.


Unfortunately, Etizolam is sold as a research chemical in the United States. Therefore, it is effortless to acquire for illicit use. This illegal use carries many of the same risks and dangers as benzodiazepines. Consequently, it should not be used recreationally. 


Difference between Alprazolam and Etizolam

Despite similarities, Alprazolam and Etizolam are different drug types. Xanaxis a benzodiazepine like Valium. Conversely, Etizolam has a slightly different chemical makeover. Ergo, Etizolam has added properties that may prevent seizures. Additionally, Etizolam is illegal in the United States and not approved by the FDA. In contrast, doctors widely prescribe Alprazolam as a Schedule IV substance.


Etizolam is 10 times stronger than Alprazolam. Comparatively, Etizolam is available in 0.25 to 1-milligram doses, while Alprazolam goes up to 3 milligrams. Frequently, patients taking Alprazolam may choose an extended-release form. Thus, the medicine lasts around 12 hours instead of the 5-7 hours for Etizolam. Plus, the availability of Etizolam and Alprazolam differs with the former not available at pharmacies.



The two drugs work in the brain similarly but are in different chemical classes. Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine with a chemical structure involving a benzene ring touching a diazepine ring.


However, Etizolam has benzene and diazepine rings, but the rings do not touch. Although the benzene ring resides in a benzodiazepine, another structure is known as a thiophene ring. This difference places Etizolam in a category called thienotriazolodiazepine.



Etizolam is an under-researched drug. In fact, more research is required on its drug class, thienodiazepines. It was first patented in 1972. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) disapproved of Etizolam for medical use. The drug was approved for research purposes only in 2020. Etizolam is not a federally controlled drug and not scheduled on the federal level.


Etizolam is not an approved drug for medical use in the U.S. However, it is commonly prescribed in Japan and some European countries. From a federal standpoint, the drug isn’t scheduled, but it’s considered a Schedule I drug in some states, which means it’s illegal to buy or sell it. However, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), you may buy Etizolam online or in stores if labelled as a “research chemical.”


Alprazolam is a Schedule IV substance by the federal government. In other words, it has a low potential for abuse and accepted for medical use. It also has a low physical and psychological dependence risk if abused. However, benzodiazepines do have a significant risk of physical dependence and abuse. Still, it’s limited compared to more addictive drugs that are more strictly scheduled. You can get it with a prescription, but buying and selling it without authorisation is illegal.


Effects and Medical Uses

Alprazolam and Etizolam have similar effects, and both can cause anxiolysis (anxiety relief), hypnosis, sedation, and anticonvulsant effects. Alprazolam is most commonly prescribed as a remedy for anxiety and panic disorders. In some cases, it can be effective in treating seizures.

Etizolam has a wide variety of uses. In low and standard doses, it most commonly affects anxiolysis. Still, sedation and hypnosis can be more common in higher doses. In Japan, it’s marketed as a treatment for anxiety, pain, depression, sleep disorders, and headaches.


Which Should I Take?

Generally, it’s essential to explore available options with the doctor. Sometimes, a drug that works well for you is not suitable for another person. Anxiety is a complex problem, so identifying the proper treatment for your symptoms may be a trial-and-error process you go through with professional help. However, Alprazolam is a standard option, and Etizolam is much less common in the U.K. and the United States. Since Etizolam is not approved, the doctor will not prescribe it to you.

  • Etizolam has similar effects to Alprazolam, although it has a less sedative effect.
  • Etizolam is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is not a prescription medication.
  • Etizolam has less abuse potential than benzodiazepines. But there are some cases of dependence.



Etizolam and Alprazolam are two similar but separate antidepressants. They have significant differences. Doctors commonly prescribe Alprazolam to treat mental illnesses such as anxiety and panic disorders. Both drugs provide a calming effect on a patient with clinical anxiety.