- Side Effects
- Drug Interaction
- Precautions & Warnings
- Things to Know
Brand Name: Klonopin
Generic Name: clonazepam
Drug Class: Benzodiazepine Anxiolytics, Anticonvulsants, Benzodiazepine
What is clonazepam, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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?
Do I need a prescription for clonazepam?
What are the uses for clonazepam?
Clonazepam is used for:
- The treatment of a panic disorder
- Certain types of seizures, specifically petit mal seizures, akinetic seizures, and myoclonus, as well as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Clonazepam may be 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 the 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.
What is the dosage for clonazepam?
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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with clonazepam?
Is clonazepam safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- 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.
- Benzodiazepines are secreted in breast milk. Mothers who are breastfeeding should not take clonazepam.
What else should I know about clonazepam?
- Tablets: 0.5, 1, and 2 mg;
- Disintegrating tablets: 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1, and 2 mg.
Tablets should be kept at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
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FDA Prescribing Information