GENERIC NAME: clonazepam
BRAND NAME: Klonopin
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Clonazepam is an anti-anxiety medication in the benzodiazepine family, the same family that includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), flurazepam (Dalmane), and others. Clonazepam and other benzodiazepines act by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter (a chemical that nerve cells use to communicate with each other) that inhibits brain activity. It is believed that excessive activity in the brain may lead to anxiety or other psychiatric disorders. Clonazepam is primarily used for treating panic disorder and preventing certain types of seizures. The FDA approved clonazepam in June 1975.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Clonazepam is used for:
- The treatment of panic disorder
- Certain types of seizures, specifically petit mal seizures, akinetic seizures, and myoclonus, as well as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Clonazepam maybe used alone or together with other medications for these seizure disorders.
- The short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects associated with clonazepam are sedation, which is reported in approximately half of patients. Dizziness is reported in one-third of patients.
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