Table of Contents
- What is Klonopin?
- Klonopin composition
- History behind the Klonopin
- Klonopin Indications
- How does Klonopin work? (Klonopin Mechanism of Action)
- How to Take Klonopin?
- Common Klonopin Dose
- When to Avoid Klonopin?
- Klonopin Side Effects
- Effects on organs
- Warnings and Precautions
- Reported Allergic Reactions
- Effect of Klonopin on the menstrual cycle
- Drug Interactions To Be Careful About
- Food interactions of Klonopin
- Interactions with laboratory procedures
- How Long Does the Effect Stay?
- Is Klonopin Addictive?
- Can I have Klonopin with alcohol?
- Can I have Klonopin When Pregnant?
- Can I have Klonopin when feeding a baby?
- Can I drive after taking Klonopin?
- Effect of an overdose of Klonopin
- Effect of using expired Klonopin
- Effect of missing a dose of Klonopin
- Storage requirements
- Substitutes for Klonopin
What is Klonopin?
Klonopin I a prescription medication used to neurological conditions like treat seizures disorders, panic attacks, and a kind of movement disorder called Akathisia. This drug is also referred to as a seizure drug or anti-epileptic medicine.
Klonopin is composed of Clonazepam as an active ingredient. It belongs to the class of drugs called Benzodiazepines.
History behind the Klonopin
Clonazepam that is a key ingredient in the Klonopin got patented in 1960 and its official sales went live in the United States from Roche Pharmaceuticals in the year 1975. This medicine is in the top 34th place in most prescribed medication lists in the United States as of 2017 ranging more than 20 million prescriptions.
Klonopin is prescribed to use under medical supervision for treating neurological disorders like –
- Seizures disorders
- Panic attacks or disorders including agoraphobia
- Akathisia (is a kind of movement disorder )
How does Klonopin work? (Clonazepam Mechanism of Action)
Klonopin belongs to a group of medicine called tranquilizers. They work by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.
How to Take Klonopin?
This medicine is available in tablet form and has to be used like any normal pills with a glass of water. It is advised to swallow the entire tablet without crushing or chewing.
Common Klonopin Dose
This medicine is a short term prescription medication and not advised to use more than 9 weeks without your doctor’s consent.
When to Avoid Klonopin?
Klonopin is advised to use in people suffering from some health conditions like –
- Narrow-angle glaucoma
- Severe liver disease
- Severe kidney disorder
- Breathing difficulties
- Patients with severe depression or suicidal thoughts
- Allergic to Diazepam or a similar medicine
- Children below 18 years
Klonopin Side Effects
Klonopin can cause a few side effects in some patients. Few common possible side effects are –
- Loss of coordination
- Increased saliva production
- A small number of people may experience depression, suicidal thoughts, etc.
Effects on organs
In general sedative medicine including Klonopin may show effects on some body parts like liver and heart. They may slow down the heartbeat which can be life-threatening if an overdose happens. They may even result in abnormalities in liver functions. This medicine is primarily metabolized in the liver and the metabolites are eliminated by the kidneys. Hence the overdose can result in damage to these vital organs.
Warnings and Precautions
- Not advised to use this medicine along with alcohol, or opioid medication as it can lead to severe sedation, breathing issues, coma, and even death.
- It is advised to inform your doctor if any history of an allergic reaction to similar medication like Flurazepam, diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax)
- Not advised to use in pregnancy and nursing mothers.
- Not advised to use in children aged below 18 years.
Reported Allergic Reactions
No major allergic reactions are noticed with Klonopin. But if you notice any allergic reactions like –
- Breathing difficulties
- Swelling of facial organs like lips, tongue or throat
Effect of Klonopin on the menstrual cycle
In general, it is reported that some women suffering from seizures or epilepsy may show issues related to irregular menstrual cycles. Klonopin may cause irregular menstrual cycles in some women patients like any other medicine used to treat psychological disorders as it causes the hormonal changes in the body. Consult your doctor for further options if such irregularities do appear after using this medicine.
Drug Interactions of Klonopin to Be Careful About
Klonopin may show drug interactions if used along with other medications or products and act differently. Precaution is advised if you are using any medication as mentioned below. This is not a comprehensive list of drugs that Klonopin may show drug interactions. It is advised that you share all details about any medications including prescription or non-prescription medications that you may be using with your doctor so that your doctor can estimate the possibilities of drug interactions and prescribe accordingly.
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
Food interactions of Klonopin
Caffeine in general is a stimulant whereas the Klonopin is CNS Depressant medicine. Caffeine is known to show interactions if taken in large quantities while you are using Klonopin. Caffeine may increase the effects of Klonopin. Mixed consumption of a high dose of Klonopin and Caffeine may result in adverse effects.
Interactions of Klonopin with laboratory procedures
Limited clinical data is available on the effect of Klonopin with laboratory results. It is always advised that you share the details of your current medication with your doctor if you have to undergo any lab tests so that they are aware of it.
How Long Does the Effect Stay?
The effect of the Klonopin starts showing within 1 hour after consumption and it can last for 6 to 12 hours. The elimination half-life of this medicine is around 18 to 60 hours.
Is Klonopin Addictive?
Klonopin can be addictive. There is also a risk of getting sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death
Can I have Klonopin with alcohol?
It is not advised to take this medicine along with alcohol or any opioid medicine that can cause sleepiness as consuming both together may result in adverse effects like shallow breathing, decreased heartbeats, and coma and sometimes lead to even death.
Can I have Klonopin When Pregnant?
No, Klonopin is not advised to use during pregnancy as it can harm the fetus. But if the necessity is clinically established and the benefits to mothers are higher to the harm caused to the fetus are higher in such a scenario your doctor may prescribe this.
Can I have Klonopin when feeding a baby?
Similarly, as in the case of pregnancy, the usage of Klonopin in the case of nursing mothers is decided by the doctor base on the benefits and harm ratio to the mother and the infant respectively.
Can I drive after taking Klonopin?
No, not advised to do activities like driving a car or doing tasks that require alertness.
Effect of an overdose of Klonopin
Overdose of the medicine may result in conditions like severe drowsiness, confusion, loss of consciousness, slowed or decreased reflexes, or even shallow breathing, and death may happen if heavily dosed. It is advised to consult the emergency department or your doctor immediately if such overdose symptoms do occur.
Effect of using expired Klonopin
It is not advised to use an expired medication in general as it may not show the intended benefits or even may result in adverse effects in some cases. It is advised to dispose of the medicine safely after expiry.
Effect of missing a dose of Klonopin
There is no harm if you miss a single dose. Continue with the next dose normally, but never double the dose to cover the missed one.
Klonopin is advised to store at room temperature without freezing and not to expose to direct sunlight or heat. Store the medicine away from reach to pets and kids.
Substitutes for Klonopin
Your doctor may prescribe any of these below-mentioned medications as an alternative to Klonopin.
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Flurazepam (Dalmane)