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Klonopin (Clonazepam)

Klonopin, also called clonazepam, is used to relieve panic attacks and to control some types of seizures in children, teens, and adults. Klonopin is part of a group of medications called benzodiazepines and can also be prescribed to reduce the side effects of some common antipsychotic medications.

Dosage

Klonopin comes in a regular or a quick-dissolve tablet form and is usually taken one to three times per day. A doctor may start a patient out on one dose and then slowly increase their dosage to find the correct amount. It may take several weeks before the full effect of this medication are experienced, and users should continue to take the medication as directed even if they begin to feel better.

Important Information Before Use

Klonopin can be habit forming and should be taken only as directed.If you have or have ever had glaucoma or heart, kidney, or liver disease, you should talk to your doctor before you take Klonopin. If you are over age sixty-five, you should work with your doctor to find the correct dosage for you; older adults may need to use a lower dosage of this medication. If you consume large amounts of alcohol or take street drugs, you should talk to your doctor before using this medication.

 

Klonopin may interact with other medications or supplements, including antihistamines, some antibiotics, antidepressants, herbal remedies like St. John's Wort, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and more. If you are taking any other prescription drugs or supplements, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking this drug.

Important Information During Use

  • Medications like Klonopin can cause suicidal thoughts and actions in some children, teens, and young adults. Monitor yourself or your child carefully for extreme behaviors and personality changes.
  • Let your doctor know right away if you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Klonopin; this medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
  • Klonopin can make you extremely drowsy; use care when driving or operating heavy equipment.
  • Avoid using alcohol when taking Klonopin.
  • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice when you take Klonopin; grapefruit can reduce the effectiveness of this medication.
  • Tell your doctor, dentist, or surgeon that you are taking Klonopin before you have any type of surgery, including dental surgery.
  • Klonopin overdose is a life-threatening medical emergency and should be treated right away. Symptoms of Klonopin overdose include extreme drowsiness, weakness, confusion, and loss of consciousness.

Side Effects

If you experience serious or severe side effects from Klonopin, you should call your doctor. Serious side effects can include:

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Hives or skin rash
  • Swollen face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Hoarse voice

Less serious side effects include:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Unsteadiness
  • Problems with memory or thinking
  • Increased saliva
  • Change in sex drive or ability
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurry vision

Withdrawing

You should not stop taking Klonopin abruptly. Because this medication can cause dependency issues, you should talk to your doctor before reducing or discontinuing this medication. You can reduce the symptoms you feel during withdrawal by slowly tapering off over time. Possible symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Behavioral changes
  • Sweating
  • Tremors or uncontrollable shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia

References:

  1. Klonopin. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.drugs.com/klonopin.html
  2. Klonopin (clonazepam). (2013, January). Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Helpline1&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=130565

 

Last Update: 12-19-2014

 
   

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