Clonazepam - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Clonazepam: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is clonazepam?

Clonazepam (Klonopin) is a drug prescribed by doctors for curing seizures or fits, panic attacks, anxiety disorder, involuntary muscle spasms, and akathisia (movement disorder causing restlessness and an inability to sit still).

The drug belongs to the class of benzodiazepines. It is taken orally either as a tablet or liquid. Clonazepam achieves its effects by boosting the activity of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. The effects show within an hour and last anywhere between 6 to 12 hours.

What are the uses of clonazepam?

Clonazepam is used for treating medical conditions like seizures and panic attacks. This prescription sedative is specifically aimed at controlling epileptic (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome), akinetic, and myoclonic seizures. It reduces the abnormal electrical functions in the brain and produces a calming effect on the nerves.

Doctors prescribe a dosage for short-term usage depending on age, condition, and weight. It is crucial to consume the dose as directed. Regular consumption can benefit you therapeutically.

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What are the side effects of clonazepam?

Clonazepam is intended and prescribed for controlling episodes of seizures and panic attacks. Despite these significant benefits, the drug may have some common side effects, including:

  • Sedation
  • Unconsciousness and weakness
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness and Nausea
  • Poor movement and balance issues
  • Lower concentration, memory, and attention span
  • Loss of appetite

For any of the serious side effects below, you must immediately seek professional help and report the worsening symptoms to your doctor:

  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Increased heart rate
  • Depression (in adults), with suicidal tendencies
  • Low blood pressure
  • Breathing issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of pleasure (anhedonia)


Frequently Asked Questions about Clonazepam

1. Is clonazepam a sleeping pill?

Clonazepam is prescribed for treating panic and anxiety disorders and seizures. However, it is also effective in the treatment of difficult REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). It lessens the symptoms in nearly 90% of patients. It has also shown minimal evidence of tolerance or abuse. The patient generally starts responding within the first week.

2. What not to take with clonazepam?

Clonazepam may potentially interact with other medications to increase drowsiness and reduce the effectiveness of the medicine. Strictly avoid taking it with other benzodiazepine medications, like:

  • Opioid cough medicines like codeine cough syrup
  • Sleeping medicine like zolpidem (Ambien®)
  • Other drugs which treat anxiety, psychotic disorders, bipolar personality disorder, epileptic seizures, and depression (such as amitriptyline)

3. Does clonazepam cause depression?

People who abuse their medicine intake and consume larger doses for a long duration can experience various mental health issues like intense mood swings and hallucinations, and the risk of depression. Moreover, it can also trigger suicidal thoughts. Thus, it is crucial to monitor mood fluctuations. Occasionally, paradoxical reactions like increased excitement and talkativeness may also occur.

4. How much clonazepam should I take?

The quantity intake varies for each individual depending on their situation. For panic or anxiety disorders, the recommended dose for adults is 0.25 mg twice per day. If necessary, the doctor can increase the intake in increments of 0.125 mg to 0.25 mg every 3 days, until the disorder is controlled or lessened. The maximum dosage, however, should not exceed 4 mg each day.

5. Can clonazepam overdose cause death?

Excess intake of clonazepam is harmful to health. The side effects include sweating, confusion, extreme drowsiness or sedation, and weakened body coordination. Overdosing on or combining clonazepam with other unsuitable depressants can cause one to stop breathing and experience substance blackout. This may result in death. Hence, do not exceed the prescribed intake of the tablet.

6. Is clonazepam a benzodiazepine?

Yes, clonazepam (Klonopin) belongs to the family of drugs called benzodiazepines. Clonazepam is an anticonvulsant and antiepileptic medication. Doctors prescribe these drugs to both adults and children for treating disorders like panic, anxiety, and seizures. This drug directly affects the central nervous system to get the desired outcome.

7. When to take clonazepam?

Clonazepam can be consumed with or without food. In case of an upset stomach, take it with meals. Depending on the individual situation, the specialist will prescribe the necessary dosage you must consume, either regularly or on an as-needed basis. Typically, the doctors restrict the amount one can consume daily to avoid side effects.

8. Can you snort clonazepam?

Clonazepam is prescribed either as a tablet or as an orally disintegrating form. Doctors warn against snorting (insufflation) the drug. Drug abusers tend to abuse this substance for pleasure and relaxation by snorting it. However, that can cause a faster onset of feeling ‘high’ and other side effects, than when the drug is taken in an oral form.

9. Does clonazepam cause weight gain?

As clonazepam is a benzodiazepine, it is often associated with weight gain, especially for people addicted to the substance. This is because: Clonazepam may slow your metabolism, i.e. how the body converts food into energy It can make you feel lethargic. This leads to reduced physical activities and binging of junk food, thus, causing weight gain.

10. How long can clonazepam be detected in urine?

According to a Mayo Clinic study, benzodiazepines like clonazepam can stay in the system or urine for up to 30 days. It depends on your age, metabolic process, dosage, dosage frequency, and sensitivity to the drug. The elimination time varies significantly from person to person. Sometimes, common tests can miss out on detecting clonazepam as well.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.