clonazepam, Klonopin (cont.)

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DOSING: The dose of clonazepam is tailored to the patient's needs. For seizures in adults the initial dose is 1.5 mg daily in 3 divided doses. Dosage may be increased by 0.5 to 1 mg daily every 3 days until seizures are controlled or side effects preclude further increases in dose. The maximum dose is 20 mg daily. The initial dose for panic disorders is 0.25 mg twice daily. The dose may be increased to the target dose of 1 mg daily after 3 days.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Clonazepam, like all other benzodiazepines, accentuates the effects of other drugs that slow the brain's processes, such as alcohol, barbiturates, and narcotics and leads to increased sedation.

PREGNANCY: Clonazepam and other benzodiazepines have been associated with fetal damage, including congenital malformations, when taken by pregnant women in their first trimester. Clonazepam is best avoided in the first trimester and probably throughout pregnancy.

NURSING MOTHERS: Benzodiazepines are secreted in breast milk. Mothers who are breastfeeding should not take clonazepam.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most commonly noted side effects associated with clonazepam are sedation, which is reported in approximately half of patients. Dizziness is reported in one-third of patients. Other side effects include a feeling of depression, loss of orientation, headache, weakness, unsteadiness, and sleep disturbance.

Like all benzodiazepines, clonazepam can cause physical dependence. Suddenly stopping therapy after a few months of daily therapy may be associated with a feeling of loss of self-worth, agitation, and insomnia. If clonazepam is taken continuously for longer than a few months, stopping therapy suddenly may produce seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, vomiting, and/or sweating. Therefore, discontinuation usually is accomplished by reducing the dose gradually.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2014


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