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Klonopin (clonazepam): definition, dosage, uses, and side effects

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Klonopin (clonazepam)

Klonopin is a brand name for the medicine clonazepam, which belongs to the benzodiazepine class of medications. It is a drug that stops or controls seizures.

The usual Klonopin dosage for seizures is 1.5 mg per day divided into three doses. For panic disorder, the initial dose is usually 0.25 mg twice daily and can be increased as necessary. Dosage adjustments should be done carefully and in consultation with a doctor.

The side effects of clonazepam include drowsiness, dizziness, coordination problems, fatigue, and memory or concentration issues. Confusion, mood problems, lack of appetite, hazy vision, sexual desire changes, and gastrointestinal disorders including nausea or diarrhea may also occur.

Klonopin is primarily used to assist people with seizure disorders in controlling their seizures. It is also prescribed to alleviate panic disorder symptoms, such as panic attacks, anticipatory anxiety, and agoraphobia.

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin is a prescription medicine that is primarily used to treat seizure disorders, panic disorder, and certain anxiety disorders. Its capacity to raise GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels accounts for the calming effects it exerts on the brain.

GABA functions as a tranquilizer, assisting in lowering excessive brain electrical activity and fostering a sense of relaxation. In the case of seizure disorders, Klonopin’s ability to reduce abnormal electrical activity can help prevent or control seizures.

What is the other term for Klonopin?

The other term for Klonopin is its generic name, clonazepam. Klonopin is the brand name used by the pharmaceutical business that first made and sold the drug. Contrarily, the active component of the medication is known by its generic name, clonazepam.

Klonopin and clonazepam are interchangeable terms for the same medicine. Benzodiazepines have many effects on the central nervous system (CNS). They can induce sleepiness, promote relaxation, alleviate anxiety, relax muscles, and help prevent seizures.

How common is Klonopin use?

Among 17,500 children aged 0-11 years, 6.66% or more than 1,100 were prescribed Klonopin during 2006-2013, according to a 2018 total population register-linkage study on benzodiazepine prescribing for children, adolescents, and young adults published in PLOS Medicine.

A study by Sean Esteban McCabe and Brady T. West published in the 2014 issue of Addictive Behaviors also found that between 2007 and 2011, about 9.7% of U.S. high school seniors used prescription benzodiazepine anxiolytics like Klonopin either for medical or non-medical reasons.

The expected lifetime prevalence of using prescription benzodiazepine anxiolytics for medical purposes was 4.9%, while the estimated lifetime prevalence of using prescription benzodiazepine anxiolytics for non-medical purposes was 7.5%.

A 2023 article titled, “Klonopin Abuse Symptoms and Addiction Treatment” from the American Addiction Centers also states that because Klonopin is relatively inexpensive and widely available in households and schools, it is a popular substance among teenagers and young adults.

More than one in every eight adults in the United States (12.6 percent) took benzodiazepines in the previous year, with misuse of the prescription drugs accounting for more than 17 percent of total use, according to a 2018 study on benzodiazepine use and misuse among adults in the United States published in the journal Psychiatric Services.

Women were more likely than men to report any benzodiazepine usage, whereas men were more likely to report misuse.

Finally, a 2018 critical review on prescription benzodiazepine use among older adults published in The Harvard Review of Psychiatry states that recent national estimates show that 8.7% of older Americans over the age of 65 were given benzodiazepines in the last year.

Because a percentage of all new users transition to long-term use, and because long-term usage accumulates among patients as they age, the prevalence of BZD prescribing is highest among older persons.

What is the purpose of Klonopin?

The purpose of Klonopin is to treat a variety of medical illnesses, including panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia) and a few types of seizure disorders, according to an article on clonazepam (Klonopin) from the National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI).

Additionally, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and particular phobias are also treated with Klonopin. It helps reduce excessive and persistent anxiety, worry, and tension associated with these conditions.

Can Klonopin be used for anxiety?

pills on blue background

Yes, Klonopin can be used for anxiety. According to an article about Klonopin (clonazepam) from Medical News Today, even though Klonopin is not specifically authorized as a treatment for anxiety, the medication is licensed for the treatment of panic disorder, a particular form of anxiety disorder.

Clonazepam also belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects. However, it is not typically recommended as a first-line treatment for anxiety disorders.

This is because they can lead to dependence and tolerance with prolonged use, and their sedating effects can interfere with daily functioning.

Can Klonopin be used for depression?

Yes, Klonopin may be used for depression in certain cases. For instance, it may occasionally be used for a short period in cases where anxiety symptoms are present alongside depression.

However, clonazepam use in depression is normally limited and carefully reviewed given the possible dangers of dependence, depressive symptoms, and suicidal thoughts associated with long-term benzodiazepine usage, according to a 2022 article entitled, “Benzodiazepine Addiction and Abuse” from The Recovery Village.

Who is eligible to take Klonopin?

Klonopin may be prescribed to adults and children of all ages diagnosed with certain seizure disorders, such as absence seizures, myoclonic seizures, and atonic seizures. Adults who suffer from panic disorder with or without agoraphobia are also eligible to take Klonopin.

In some cases, a healthcare professional may also recommend clonazepam to individuals with certain anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

In such circumstances, however, eligibility for Klonopin would be determined by the severity and kind of anxiety symptoms, as well as the individual’s reaction to other treatments.

Who is not eligible to take Klonopin?

An article entitled, “Who can and cannot take clonazepam” from the NHS (National Health Service) states that clonazepam may not be suitable for some people, including those with a known allergy to the medication, individuals with the neuromuscular disorder myasthenia gravis, people who suffer from sleep apnea, and those who have kidney, liver, or lung problems.

Klonopin may be contraindicated in patients with personality disorders, issues with alcohol or drugs, those with spinal or cerebellar ataxia, people who are currently having suicidal ideations due to a recent traumatic event, and those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive.

Is Klonopin safe to take during pregnancy?

No, Klonopin may not be safe to take during pregnancy. In fact, according to an article entitled, “Is Rivotril Safe to Use During Pregnancy?” from Women’s Recovery, doctors strive to avoid prescribing the medication to pregnant women due to the risks involved.

A fact sheet on clonazepam (Klonopin) from the National Library of Medicine also states that only using clonazepam during the first trimester of pregnancy was linked to an increased risk of birth abnormalities, according to a small number of studies.

On the other hand, an article about pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility while taking clonazepam published in the NHS suggests that clonazepam use during late pregnancy may have an effect on one’s baby, making them drowsy and sleepy.

However, in certain cases, the drug can be used during pregnancy only when clearly necessary and if the benefits outweigh the risks. For instance, a pregnant woman may need clonazepam to control their anxiety or seizure disorders, which, if left untreated, can also pose risks to her and her unborn baby.

The choice to take Klonopin during pregnancy should be made after carefully weighing the potential advantages and disadvantages with a healthcare professional.

What is Klonopin made of?

Klonopin is made of 0.5 mg, 1 mg, or 2 mg clonazepam. In addition, according to information on the label of clonazepam tablet from DailyMed, each tablet also contains the inactive ingredients lactose monohydrate, docusate sodium, magnesium stearate, sodium benzoate, microcrystalline cellulose, and sodium starch glycolate.

Furthermore, the 0.5 mg tablets contain the colorant D&C yellow #10 aluminum lake, while the 1 mg tablets contain D&C yellow #10 aluminum lake and FD&C blue #1 aluminum lake.

The United States Food and Drug Administration regulates colorings or coloring agents to assure their safety in the preparation of food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, according to a 2023 article on colorants from Drugs.com.

What are the health benefits of Klonopin?

hands holding pills

The health benefits of Klonopin include seizure control, anxiety relief, panic attack management, and muscle relaxation. Klonopin provides several potential health benefits for individuals who require its use.

For instance, Klonopin can help control and prevent seizures by lowering aberrant brain electrical activity, which enhances the patient’s quality of life and lowers the possibility of seizure-related problems.

The medicine also aids in the relief of anxiety symptoms, such as excessive concern, tension, and restlessness. By reducing anxiety, Klonopin can improve daily functioning and enhance overall well-being.

Clonazepam can lessen panic attacks and its symptoms like rapid heartbeat, perspiration, shortness of breath, and fear of losing control. Finally, its muscle-relaxant properties can reduce muscle tension and spasms, lowering pain levels and enhancing physical performance.

What are the health risks of Klonopin?

The potential health risks of Klonopin include sedation and impaired coordination, respiratory depression, increased risk of depression, suicidal ideation, and behavior, as well as the potential for abuse.

Klonopin may make you feel sleepy, lightheaded, and uncoordinated. In particular for older persons, these impacts can raise the risk of mishaps, falls, and injury. The medication can also suppress the respiratory system, especially at higher doses.

It may cause slow or shallow breathing, which can be dangerous for people with respiratory problems such as obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, and COPD.

Furthermore, according to a continuing education activity on clonazepam published in StatPearls, clonazepam raises the risk of depression and thoughts and behaviors related to suicide. Therefore, it is important to warn both patients and their caregivers to be alert for any signs of depression increasing, behavioral or mood abnormalities, or suicidal thoughts.

Finally, Klonopin and other benzodiazepines have a high risk of being abused, especially by people with a past substance abuse or addiction. Klonopin abuse or usage can have detrimental effects on one’s health.

What are the side effects of Klonopin?

The common side effects of Klonopin include drowsiness, dizziness, coordination problems, fatigue, and memory or concentration issues. These symptoms often start to improve after the first week or two of continuing the medication.

However, an article on clonazepam (Klonopin) from the National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI) suggests that it’s important for someone to see a doctor if these side effects persist or worsen.

Less common side effects, on the other hand, may include confusion, mood problems, lack of appetite, hazy vision, sexual desire changes, and gastrointestinal disorders including nausea or diarrhea. Although not all of these adverse effects are likely, they may necessitate medical care if they do occur.

What to know before you take Klonopin?

pills in a bowl

One of the most important things you need to know before taking Klonopin is that it has a high potential for abuse and long-term use or misuse of the medication can lead to physical and psychological dependence.

Abruptly stopping clonazepam or reducing its dosage without medical guidance can also cause withdrawal symptoms. It is crucial to follow your healthcare professional’s instructions for discontinuation.

With that said, it is also necessary for anyone to know that Klonopin should only be taken under the guidance and prescription of a healthcare professional. They will evaluate your current health status and past medical records to decide if Klonopin is a good choice for you.

How to take Klonopin?

When taking Klonopin,it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions precisely and avoid adjusting the dose on your own. In general, however, according to drug information on clonazepam (oral route) published in Mayo Clinic, these are ways on how to take Klonopin:

  1. For seizures in adults and children (aged 10 years and above):
    • Initially, take 0.5 mg of Klonopin three times daily.
    • The doctor may adjust the dose, but it should not exceed 20 mg per day.
  2. For seizures in children (up to 10 years old or 30 kg body weight):
    • The dose is based on body weight and must be determined by the doctor.
      • The average dose is 0.01 to 0.03 mg per kg of body weight each day, divided into two or three doses.
      • Usually, the dose should not exceed 0.05 mg per kg of body weight.
      • The doctor may make changes to the dose if necessary.
  3. For panic disorder in adults:
    • Take 0.25 mg of Klonopin twice daily.
    • The total daily dose should not exceed 4 mg.
  4. For panic disorder in children:
    • The dose and use of Klonopin should be determined by the doctor.

What is the best time to take Klonopin?

The best time to take Klonopin is at bedtime, especially if you only need to take the medication once a day, according to a 2023 article entitled, “Klonopin dosage” from Medical News Today.

Patients are typically required to take clonazepam two to three times a day, though. In this case, taking Klonopin at roughly the same time each day could be beneficial. This makes it easier to keep the drug at a constant level in your body so Klonopin will function as intended.

How often should I take Klonopin?

Klonopin is often taken with or without food one to three times daily, and preferably at the same time(s), as stated by drug information on clonazepam published in MedlinePlus.

However, if the medication makes you sleepy, you might be able to take just one dose before going to bed. Still, it’s best to follow your doctor’s orders regarding Klonopin dosage.

What is the recommended dosage of Klonopin?

The lowest recommended dosage of Klonopin that can be used to treat people with panic disorder is 0.25 milligrams (mg) twice daily. 2 mg twice daily is the maximum dose for this usage, as stated by an article about Klonopin dosage from Medical News Today.

The lowest Klonopin dosage commonly prescribed for persons with seizure disorders is 0.5 mg three times per day. Additionally, the maximum dosage advised for this application is up to 20 mg per day, spread out over several doses throughout the day.

What is the effect of missing a dose of Klonopin?

Missing a dose or not taking Klonopin on schedule may result in dangerous side effects, such as withdrawal symptoms. A 2020 article entitled, “Clonazepam, oral tablet” published in Medical News Today states that usually, one should take a missing dose as soon as they remember.

Take only one dose if you remember just a few hours before your next dose is due. Never try to make up missed doses by taking two at once.

How long does it take for Klonopin to start working?

pills scattered on floor

It takes around one to four hours for Klonopin to start working. Its calming effects, however, may be experienced earlier than that. The effects of Klonopin also last longer compared to other benzodiazepines.

In fact, according to an article entitled, “How Long Does It Take for Klonopin to Kick In?” from the Boca Recovery Center, clonazepam’s effects may continue for up to 12 hours. It is also highly metabolized, which means that the majority of it is broken down by the body.

As little as 2% of Klonopin is eliminated in the urine unmetabolized, leaving very little of it in the body after it is taken.

What are the precautions before using Klonopin?

There are certain precautions to ensure safe and effective use of Klonopin, including full disclosure of all the medications the patient is currently taking, their medical history, sudden changes in mood or behavior, and consulting the doctor first if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Make sure to tell your doctor about all the medications, vitamins, and herbal products you are using. Some medications, like painkillers, sleeping pills, or antidepressants, can react with Klonopin and cause more side effects.

You should also disclose your complete medical history to your doctor and tell them about any allergies, respiratory issues, liver disease, kidney problems, history of substance misuse, and other relevant conditions. These elements may have an impact on Klonopin’s safety and effectiveness.

A 2022 article titled, “Klonopin side effects: What you should know” from Medical News Today adds that before beginning Klonopin medication, you should inform your doctor if you are experiencing any mood issues, such as sadness or thoughts of self-harm. In certain circumstances, Klonopin may modestly raise the risk of mood issues, such as depression or suicidal ideation.

Finally, with your healthcare provider, go over the advantages and disadvantages of using Klonopin during pregnancy or while nursing a baby. The choice to use Klonopin should be carefully considered as it may offer dangers to the developing fetus or breastfeeding newborn.

What should I refrain from while taking Klonopin?

While taking Klonopin, you should refrain from consuming alcohol or using illegal drugs, driving or using heavy machinery, and stopping the medication without consulting your doctor.

Consuming alcohol or using illegal drugs while taking Klonopin increases your risk of experiencing serious, life-threatening breathing problems or sedation. Combining alcohol with clonazepam also heightens the risk of accidental overdose.

It is also important to refrain from driving or using heavy machinery if clonazepam makes you drowsy. Drowsiness from the medication can cause impaired judgment and might make it difficult for you to drive or operate machinery.

Abruptly stopping clonazepam without consulting your doctor first is not advisable. According to an article entitled, “Klonopin Tablet,Disintegrating – Uses, Side Effects, and More” from WebMD, some conditions, such as seizure disorders, anxiety, and panic disorders may worsen if this medicine is abruptly discontinued.

Where can you purchase Klonopin?

You can purchase Klonopin from various authorized sources, such as your local pharmacy, online pharmacies, or from mail-order pharmacy services.

To have your prescription filled, take it to your local pharmacy or drugstore. You will receive the medication from the pharmacist along with a filled prescription. There are also reputable online pharmacies that offer prescription medication services.

You can order and get your medication by mail from some pharmacies via their mail-order services. It’s important to note that purchasing medications without a valid prescription is illegal and unsafe. Only obtain Klonopin through legal and authorized channels with a legitimate prescription to ensure your safety and proper medical supervision.

Is a prescription required for Klonopin?

Yes, a prescription is required for Klonopin. It is a prescription drug, which means it can only be given to a patient under the written direction of a licensed healthcare provider, according to a 2019 article entitled, “Prescription medicines overview” from The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Furthermore, an article on the prescribed uses for clonazepam published in the Black Bear Lodge states that the medication has possible adverse short- and long-term consequences even with a prescription. Memory loss, depression, anxiety, and poor motor coordination are possible side effects for users.

What is the difference between Klonopin and Xanax?

difference between Klonopin and Xanax

Even though they are both classified as benzodiazepines, Klonopin and Xanax differ when it comes to their uses, onset of action, half-life, and risk of addiction. Klonopin, also known by its generic name clonazepam, is used to manage anxiety and panic disorder, as well as certain types of seizure disorders.

Xanax, which goes by the generic name alprazolam, is solely used to control anxiety. Another difference between the two medications is their onset of action. Xanax has a faster onset of action compared to Klonopin.

Xanax reaches peak blood levels and starts exerting its effects more quickly, usually only within minutes after ingestion. Klonopin takes longer to reach peak blood levels and may take up to 1 to 4 hours to show its maximum effect.

Klonopin has a longer half-life than Xanax. The half-life of Klonopin is significantly longer, ranging from 30 to 40 hours, in comparison to the half-life of Xanax, which is roughly 11 to 16 hours. As a result, Klonopin’s effects last longer and are sustained during a longer time frame.

Finally, when comparing Klonopin vs. Xanax, it is important to consider the risk of addiction that surrounds them. While both medications come with the risk of addiction, according to an article entitled, “What to Know About the Differences between Xanax and Klonopin Abuse” from Windward Way, experts believe that persons who abuse Xanax are more prone to develop addiction.

Multiple factors contribute to this. It is a more popular option of drug for those who wish to feel the effects of a drug soon due to the fact that it works more swiftly. Second, it is more likely than Klonopin to induce euphoria. Because of this, many more people opt to use Xanax for solely recreational and non-medical objectives than they do Klonopin.