- Tips to Fast Stress Relief
- Take the Panic Attacks Quiz!
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Slideshow
- What is clonazepam, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for clonazepam?
- Is clonazepam available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for clonazepam?
- What are the uses for clonazepam?
- What are the side effects of clonazepam?
- What is the dosage for clonazepam?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with clonazepam?
- Is clonazepam safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about clonazepam?
What is clonazepam, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- 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.
What brand names are available for clonazepam?
Is clonazepam available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for clonazepam?
What are the uses for clonazepam?
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.
What are the side effects of clonazepam?
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.
Other common side effects include:
- A feeling of depression,
- Loss of orientation,
- Unsteadiness, and
- Sleep disturbance
- Lack of inhibition
- Changes in sexual desire
Other serious side effects of clonazepam include:
- Respiratory depression
- Enlarged liver
- Withdrawal symptoms (if stopped suddenly)
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Blood disorders
Other serious adverse reactions:
- Antiepileptic medications have been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need for the antiepileptic drug. Patients who begin antiepileptic therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts or unusual changes in behavior.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.