Klonopin a.k.a. Clonazepam is benzo that’s used to treat panic illness and seizure conditions. It’s also a next-level therapy for anxiety and is used to treat many other anxiety-related issues. It’s a benzo drug, which means it has euphoric effects. Klonopin is a benzodiazepine, and it comes in tablets and wafers (orally disintegrating). There are three strengths available: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg.
If you’re taking Klonopin at the recommendation of your doctor, you undoubtedly have a lot of questions and maybe even some concerns. You must know how the medicine works and how it will be used in your treatment approach.
You should also be aware of any potential side effects and how your diet, the other medications you use, and other factors might influence how it functions or result in health issues.
Taking too much klonopin will result in an overdose which requires klonopin addiction treatment. Klonopin is a benzodiazepine that works by slowing down the nervous system when taken in large doses. When klonopin is mixed with alcohol or opioids, it can be deadly because both substances slow down breathing and heart rate.
How Klonopin Treats SAD
Social anxiety disorder, previously known as social phobia, is a condition in which someone has excessive anxiety about or around social interactions. As a result of this, the person may avoid these situations.
When faced with speaking in front of people, for example, someone with SAD might feel profound anxiety or panic, potentially induce sweating and a racing heart or physical symptoms, as well as bodily responses. People who suffer from SAD are overly concerned about being judged, evaluated poorly, and embarrassed or humiliated.
Klonopin, for example, is a drug that works by slowing electrical activity in the brain. The use of Klonopin to treat anxiety is common because it inhibits electrical activity in the brain. Klonopin has immediate effects on social anxiety symptoms but may take longer to produce other possible benefits of the medication.
It’s unknown how Klonopin works to decrease anxiety, but it’s believed to do so via activation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Benzodiazepines bind to GABA receptors and calm the brain.
Benzodiazepines are frequently used with an antidepressant such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) to treat SAD. SSRIs are considered the first-line therapy for SAD. If a person with SAD has not responded well to an SSRI alone, Klonopin might be administered.
Klonopin is a fast-acting antianxiety drug that can be taken when needed, such as before giving a major presentation or meeting many new people. Because antianxiety medications like benzodiazepines have the potential for dependence, they may only be used on a limited basis by a doctor.
Always talk to your doctor about your medical history and work with them to determine which therapy is appropriate for you. People who have specific health issues or are in hazardous situations may not take Klonopin or need to take precautions.
You should not take Klonopin if you:
- Have a history of sensitivity to benzodiazepines (such as Ativan, Xanax, or Valium)
- Have significant liver disease
- Have been diagnosed with acute narrow-angle glaucoma
Speak with your doctor about Klonopin and any precautions you should know about, particularly if you:
- Have respiratory disease, or any lung issues
- Have depression or a history of depression
- Have suicidal thoughts and behaviors or have had them
- Are or are planning to become pregnant; are or planning to start breastfeeding
- Have any kidney or liver issues
- Have been diagnosed with porphyria
- Are younger than 18 or older than 64
Klonopin has been linked to an increased risk of symptoms of depression in certain persons. If you have a history of depression, your doctor will need to pay attention to you carefully while you’re taking Klonopin.
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The most frequent side effects of Klonopin are dose-related, which means the more a person takes, the more likely they are to experience adverse effects. After a few days or weeks, minor symptoms will generally go away.
Common Side Effects
The most common adverse effects people experience when taking Klonopin include:
- Trouble with coordination and walking
- Cognitive impairment
- Other side effects of Klonopin include:
- Blurred vision
- Changes in sex drive or sexual performance
- Frequent urination
- Increased production of saliva
- Pain in your muscles or joints
- Sinus or respiratory problems
Your doctor will check up with you after you start Klonopin and ask about your feelings since you began taking it. This discussion helps them assess the drug’s effectiveness in treating your problems while also allowing you to let them know of any unwanted effects you’re experiencing. Your doctor can then determine whether your dosage needs to be changed.
Potential Side Effects of Klonopin
The following are some of the possible adverse effects that Klonopin might have. Even fatal side effects are possible when you consume alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain other medicines with Klonopin. If a person on Klonopin exhibits any of the following signs seek medical attention immediately:
- Drowsiness, blackouts, or inactivity. These might indicate that someone has taken too much Klonopin or combined it with another drug or substance that is producing an adverse effect.
- Breathing difficulties, rashes, hives, and swelling of the face, throat, and eyes are possible allergic reactions. These might be indications of an allergic reaction.
Although uncommon, Klonopin may induce suicidal thoughts and ideas. If you notice any unusual changes in your behavior or mood, such as:
- Problems sleeping or insomnia
- New or worsening anxiety or depression
- Thinking about dying
Warnings and Interactions
It’s critical to be aware of the dangers while you’re on Klonopin. It may be habit-forming and susceptible to abuse, which is why it is a controlled medication. In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration updated the black box warning on benzodiazepines to highlight their potential for addiction, dependence, misuse, and withdrawal.
You should also be aware of how other medicines might interact if you take any medications besides Klonopin. Interactions between medicines can be minor, moderate, or severe, and they aren’t limited to prescription drugs.
You should also be aware of any over-the-counter medicines, herbs, or supplements that are not advisable to combine with Klonopin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you’re unsure whether it’s safe to take your pills or supplements together with Klonopin.
Klonopin has a high potential for misuse, abuse, and addiction. When combined with other drugs, such as opioids or alcohol, this can result in an overdose and even death.
When you use Klonopin, there is the possibility of becoming hooked. When you take the drug daily for more than two weeks, your chance of developing physical dependence rises.
Talk to your doctor if you want to cut back or stop taking Klonopin. They may help you decrease your dose by slowly lowering it over time, a technique known as taper. Stopping suddenly can produce withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures, that can be deadly.
Even if you are experiencing adverse effects, never cease taking Klonopin suddenly without consulting your doctor.
People over 65 are more prone to adverse effects associated with prescription medications, such as benzos. Older people are also at a higher risk of falling and experiencing cognitive impairment.
When you begin taking Klonopin, avoid hazardous activities until you’ve gotten used to the drug. Wait until you know how it makes you feel and how it affects your body before attempting these:
- Operate heavy machinery
- Participate in any potentially hazardous activities
- Prescription Medications
Some types or classes of prescription medications should be utilized with caution when taken together. They include the following:
- Other anti anxiety drugs
- Antipsychotic agents (thioxanthene and butyrophenone classes)
- Barbiturates and non barbiturate hypnotics
- Phenothiazines (such as Thorazine)
In particular, several prescription medicines are known to react with Klonopin. These drugs may influence how much Klonopin is in your body and how effectively it works. The following medications might raise Klonopin levels and effectiveness:
- Luvox (fluvoxamine)
- Sporanox (itraconazole)
Medications that may decrease the levels and effects of Klonopin include:
- Rifampin* (avoid rifampin, as it decreases the effects of many benzodiazepines)
Some people with a social anxiety disorder treated with antidepressants do so. You should be aware that Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI) and Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA) might enhance the sedative or depressive effects of Klonopin.
When taken with other drugs or alcohol, Klonopin’s effects may be amplified. Ensure to inform your doctor about all the medicines you take and any substances you consume, including over-the-counter medications, herbal treatments, and supplements.
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OTC Medication and Supplements
Klonopin might cause an overdose if taken with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, herbal supplements, or treatments. Examples include:
- Flu, cough, and cold symptom alleviation treatments, especially ones that include certain chemicals, may be an excellent way to treat yourself if you’re feeling under the weather. These are some of the best flu preventative remedies available today.
- Kava kava
- Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts)
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
- St. John’s wort
- Sleep aids, including alternative remedies that contain valerian
- Tagamet HB (cimetidine)
There’s even a chance that grapefruit juice might be harmful. Grapefruit has chemicals that can alter the way certain medicines function. You may not need to quit altogether, but your doctor recommends limiting how much you consume. Check-in with them to see if Klonopin requires you to avoid it while taking it.
If you don’t need any more medication, be sure you know how to get rid of it correctly. Prescriptions can’t usually be disposed of in the garbage or down the drain.
Medication disposal improperly affects people, animals, and the environment. Drugs flushed down the toilet eventually make their way into the drinking water supply and may harm someone if taken or end up on the street where they would be sold illegally if disposed of in a landfill.
Many hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and other community organizations run take-back programs for unused or expired medicines to prevent these problems.
If your physician has not instructed you on how to dispose of unused Klonopin, ask a pharmacist. They can advise you on how to get rid of your pills correctly.
If you’re taking Klonopin for SAD, your doctor has decided that it might be beneficial in your therapy. If you have any questions or issues about the treatment, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
If you don’t think Klonopin is helping you with your problems, or if the side effects are too severe, some alternative medications and therapies may help you.
Your doctor may prescribe other treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of therapy in which you work with a therapist to learn how to monitor and change your thought processes and actions to cope with problems more effectively. CBT is beneficial for some people who suffer from SAD or other mental health issues.
When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication?
Klonopin (Clonazepam) is the brand name for Clonazepam, which the FDA first licensed in 1998.
Is there a generic version of Klonopin?
Yes, the non-branded version is available in the United States as Clonazepam and is referred to as “clon.”
Are there any significant differences between Klonopin and other medications used to treat bipolar disorder?
Klonopin is not a primary treatment for bipolar disorder, but it can treat acute manic episodes that are sometimes associated with the illness. Anti Anxiety medications, including Klonopin, are sometimes given to sufferers of severe manic episodes linked with bipolar disorder. However, Klonopin is not a regular therapy for the condition.
Klonopin is frequently used in tandem with other medicines to treat symptoms. Benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, can be habit-forming. Therefore individuals who have bipolar disorder and have a history of substance abuse might do better with different medicines. The medicine comes in tablet and orally dissolving varieties.
Can children take Klonopin?
Klonopin can be used to treat seizure disorder in children, although the safety and efficacy of the drug in treating panic disorder or bipolar illness have not been evaluated. Consider the hazards of the medicine before deciding whether or not to administer it.
Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Klonopin and any other drugs?
Absolutely. As with any medication, it is essential to review all drugs you take with your doctor before starting Klonopin. Sometimes interactions can lead to side effects or worsen existing conditions. Other times, you might experience more severe problems. Here are some of the most common drug interactions people on Klonopin experience:
- Narcotic painkillers: Klonopin can amplify the effects of narcotic analgesics, potentially leading to dangerous respiratory problems.
- Birth control pills: Taking Klonopin along with birth control pills can increase the risk of specific congenital disabilities.
- Statins: This class of drugs, which are used to lower blood cholesterol, can interfere with Klonopin’s metabolism.
- Prozac: This popular antidepressant can inhibit the breakdown of Klonopin in the body, leading to an increased risk of overdose.