Clonazepam is an anti-anxiety medication in the benzodiazepinefamily, 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.
Clonazepam is used to prevent and control seizures. This medication is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. It is also used to treat panic attacks. Clonazepam works by calming your brain and nerves. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines.
How to use Klonopin
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 or 3 times daily.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. For children, the dose is also based on weight. Older adults usually start with a lower dose to decrease the risk of side effects. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer time than directed.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as seizures, mental/mood changes, shaking, stomach/muscle cramps). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used clonazepam for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If you have several different types of seizure disorders, you may experience a worsening of seizures when you first start using clonazepam. Consult your doctor right away if this happens. Your doctor may need to add or adjust the dose of your other medications to control the seizures. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Before taking clonazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (such as diazepam, lorazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: a certain type of eye problem (narrow angle glaucoma), a certain blood disorder (porphyria), liver disease, kidney disease, lung/breathing problems, mental/mood problems (such as depression, thoughts of suicide), personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
For children, the long-term effects on physical and mental/behavioral development are uncertain and may not be seen until after many years. Therefore, discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with clonazepam with your doctor.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially drowsiness and confusion. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. However, since untreated seizures are a serious condition that can harm both a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, immediately talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.