Clonazepam (Klonopin) is FDA-approved for the treatment of panic disorder and seizure disorders. Other Klonopin off-label uses include treating acute mania, restless leg syndrome, alcohol withdrawal, and difficulty sleeping.
Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine medication and a controlled substance, so patients should follow the doctor’s instructions to avoid negative consequences. Aside from the dosage, intake time, and other recommendations, the patient can learn more about the side effects and interactions their prescribed medicine may cause. Read on to explore clonazepam from this perspective.
EZCare doctors are ready to determine the most effective medication for you after examining your symptoms.
Clonazepam: Drug Interactions
Drug interactions can change how medications work and increase the risk of experiencing severe side effects. So, what not to take with clonazepam?
To prevent Klonopin interactions, patients should not take it along with other medications that cause drowsiness or slow down breathing. These include:
- Antihistamines like diphenhydramine.
- Opioid pain relievers involve the risk of extreme drowsiness, which can be fatal such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, and morphine.
- Cough medications like dextromethorphan and pholcodine since they can lead to acute side effects like difficulty or slowed breathing, which can be fatal.
- Sleep medication like zolpidem or melatonin supplements.
- Antipsychotics, antianxiety, some anticonvulsant medications, or ADHD medication like Adderall.
- CNS depressants like sodium oxybate.
- Muscle relaxants.
Drugs that can increase clonazepam’s levels and effects:
Medications that can decrease clonazepam’s levels and effects:
Individuals taking clonazepam with any of the above-mentioned medications and substances should be extra careful. They should get immediate medical help if they pass out, feel sleepy, or dizzy, or experience slow and labored breathing or other serious side effects. Caregivers should get individual medical help if they are not feeling well.
Pregnant women, or those planning to get pregnant, should consult with their healthcare providers to help them manage their medications. Often, individuals with anxiety disorders who plan to get pregnant must make a balanced decision regarding benzodiazepine use during pregnancy and probably should find a better alternative medicine after discussing it with their doctor. These drugs may increase the risk of low birth weight and premature birth. Other possible side effects include “floppy baby syndrome” and newborn withdrawal.
Additionally, physicians advise breastfeeding mothers to be cautious since the drug can pass to the child through their breast milk.
Specific Health Issues
Patients should not take clonazepam if they have an allergy to benzodiazepines, severe liver disease, or narrow-angle glaucoma.
Individuals with the following conditions should inform their physician before taking the drug:
- Liver or kidney disease.
- Breathing problems.
- Mood problems.
- History of substance abuse.
- Suicidal thoughts.
Contact us to go through a detailed health assessment to get an accurate diagnosis and know what treatment will help you best.
Physicians prescribe benzodiazepines like clonazepam for short periods because they can be addictive. The drugs may still make users physically and emotionally dependent even when they use them as prescribed. Physicians determine how long users can take the medication depending on various inputs, and the patients should not take it for a longer period than prescribed.
Individuals taking clonazepam should not operate machinery or drive a car until they are sure the medication doesn’t adversely affect them by causing excessive drowsiness. Some people may feel dizzy or tired after taking the drug because clonazepam diminishes motor performance, leading to increased chances of being involved in an accident.
Clonazepam Side Effects
Common Side Effects
Common clonazepam side effects include:
- Poor focus.
- Impaired coordination.
Clonazepam’s side effects may decrease on their own over time as you continue taking the medication. However, patients should consult with their healthcare provider if the side effects become problematic or if they don’t improve.
Serious and Rare Side Effects
Some rare yet serious side effects of Clonazepam include:
- Trouble speaking.
- Shortness of breath.
- Passing out.
- Feeling tired.
- Loss of libido.
- Increased heart rate.
- Memory impairment.
Some people using clonazepam (or other benzodiazepine medications) may develop severe allergic reactions, including swelling of the face, which can happen as early as the first dose. Others taking the medication for sleep can have vivid dreams.
Others may experience low mood, depression, self-harm thoughts, suicide, or a lack of interest in life. People experiencing these symptoms should seek help from a licensed medical practitioner.
Patients receiving long-term and high-dose therapy of clonazepam should not stop it suddenly without the supervision of a medical practitioner. They should gradually lower the dosing over a period of approximately 7 weeks. Abrupt withdrawal can cause serious effects due to physical and psychological dependence, such as:
- Abdominal and muscle cramps.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Behavioral disorders.
Clonazepam helps you feel calmer. However, one of the medication’s side effects is making users feel confused or sleepy when they take it. The symptoms improve after their bodies adjust to the drug. People taking clonazepam for panic disorder should wait about an hour before they start feeling better.
Those taking it for seizures have to wait a few weeks. Overall, they should avoid taking the drug and seek medical help immediately if they notice any severe symptoms.