Klonopin Uses and Risks
Klonopin (clonazepam) drugs are central nervous system muscle relaxants that are prescribed by a doctor or pharmacist that are used to treat certain mental health conditions such as panic disorder or seizures. It is also used off-label as a second line of treatment for social anxiety disorder. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved clonazepam in 1975. Similar drugs like doxepin, are drugs used to treat certain sleep disorders and are antidepressants.
What is Klonopin Exactly?
Klonopin comes in the form of an orally disintegrating tablet in the following doses 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg. This medication is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. Before taking this medication ask your doctor or pharmacist for professional medical advice about the potential drug interactions, allergic reaction, or side effects with other drugs or herbal supplements.
Use for Panic Attacks, Seizures and Anxiety
Klonopin is primarily used to treat mental illness or medical conditions such panic attacks and seizures, but it has also been known to be used for cases of intense anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, acute catatonic reactions (a state in which a person does not move or speak at all) or restless legs syndrome. Klonopin (clonazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam) are similar medications indicated to treat anxiety and panic disorders. The effects of clonazepam (klonopin) can cause severe drowsiness and extreme sleepiness, so it is important to ask your doctor before taking this drug due to the sedative effects.
Tell your doctor before taking clonazepam if you have ever had breathing problems, mood problems depression kidney or liver disease, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).
Can I Use Klonopin for New or Worsening Seizures?
Clonazepam (klonopin) is usually used as an “add-on” medication for people who continue to have seizures while taking other medications, or sometimes as a medication of last resort after most others have failed. Klonopin comes in tablet form, which should be taken with water, and is available in the strengths 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg. It sometimes loses its efficacy after a while for seizure disorders, which is why it important to call your doctor to discuss your options.
How Should I take Klonopin?
It is pertinent to take klonopin as directed and how the drug was prescribed by your doctor. It is important to read all medication guides from the Food and Drug Administration and follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dosage of klonopin based on the individual needs of your diagnosis. Never use clonazepam in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.
Side Effects of Klonopin
There can be side effects associated with using klonopin that people should be aware of. The most common adverse effects people experience when taking klonopin include:
- Cognitive impairment
- Severe drowsiness
- Trouble with coordination and walking
- Memory problems
- Muscle weakness
Other side effects of klonopin prescription medications include:
- Blurred vision
- Sinus or respiratory problems
- Changes in your sex drive or sexual performance
- Pain in your muscles or joints
- Extreme drowsiness
- Frequent urination
- Increased production of saliva
Taking clonazepam (klonopin)can stop, slow down or cause trouble breathing especially if you drink alcohol, take an opioid medication, or use other medications that can slow your breathing and cause respiratory depression. There is also a risk for accidental falls in elderly patients. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe side effects of clonazepam it is important to call your doctor immediately or speak with your local poison control center.
Taking klonopin with other drugs could be dangerous depending on the other types of substances that you are taking. There are risks involved and certain side effects that can happen when taking klonopin with alcohol or even over the counter supplements or products. For example, you should tell your doctor before eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking klonopin. There could be potential side effects that occur that you unaware of.
If you miss a dose of your klonopin, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take a double dose to catch up on your dose that was missed, this could cause problems.
Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms
Taking klonopin, especially in large amounts can cause both a physical and psychological dependence to the drug. The symptoms of withdrawal may happen as quick as within a missed dose. The most common withdrawal symptoms are:
- Muscle cramps
- Mental/mood changes
- Suicidal thoughts
Along with withdrawal, there is a chance for overdose when taking klonopin. Like many other drugs, it is important to tell your doctor if you are taking other drugs in combination with klonopin or if you have certain medical conditions such as liver disease or respiratory disease before taking it. Your doctor can provide medical advice to determine the risks involved. Always read your prescription label carefully before taking the drug.
Risks and Overdose
Like many drugs and alcohol, there is the potential for dependence and overdose to occur. With, it is important to be aware of the signs before taking drugs like klonopin. Taking klonopin with other drugs like codeine can increase the chance for serious side effects or even death. If you think you are experiencing an overdose, contact a medical professional right away for medical advice and help.
According to the medication guide, you should avoid taking Klonopin if you:
- Suffer from liver disease
- Have had a problem with other benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Valium, or Ativan)
- Have been to a doctor who diagnosed you with acute narrow-angle glaucoma
If you think you are experiencing an overdose or negative side effects, reach out to a medical professional or doctor as soon as possible. The signs could be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
The most common overdose symptoms of klonopin include:
- Clammy skin
- Coma (unresponsiveness)
- Dilated pupils
- Excessive sleepiness
- Impaired coordination
- Slow reflexes
- Trouble breathing
- Rapid and weak pulse
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above side effects of overdose to klonopin it is important to call your doctor right away. Some of these side effects can be life-threatening or fatal.
Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of clonazepam (klonopin) on the baby.
Klonopin Abuse and Addiction
Like many other drugs taking too much klonopin can result in negative health effects, medical conditions, and drug abuse. Typically, someone who is abusing klonopin will need the drug to “function” at a normal level. A tolerance begins to develop, and the person will need to increase the dose slowly to achieve the desired side effects. If there is a missed dose or they take a lower dose they may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Some signs that you may have a klonopin addiction include:
- Persistent cravings for Klonopin
- Continued Klonopin use despite negative consequences
- Having a desire to quit but being unable to do so
- Losing interest in social or professional obligations
- Developing legal or financial issues
If you think that you are developing a dependence to klonopin or other substances, please contact AToN Center right away. We would be happy to discuss your options for addiction treatment at our facility.
Find Luxury Treatment at AToN Center
AToN Center treats individuals struggling with substance abuse at our San Diego, California luxury drug rehab. Our experienced doctoral level physicians and clinicians treat each client individually, based on the side effects they are experiencing from substance abuse. Before determining your treatment plan, we get a full medical history, ensuring we know the best strategies to use with you.
Our drug and alcohol treatment program offers many services including massage therapy, family counseling, 12 step alternatives, a first-class chef on site, gyms, pools, and other holistic treatment options that may be appealing to those looking for alternatives.
At AToN Center we understand the struggles that come along with addiction and substance, for both the person affected and their family. We ensure that everyone in the person’s life is involved during their treatment, and we want to be there every step of the way.
If you or someone you know is looking for help, please contact our treatment center right away. We can offer treatment options for all types of drugs and alcohol, including klonopin, and help you or your family member move towards recovery.