Overview

Klonopin is an anti-anxiety agent, similar in many respects to Valium. It belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. Once called minor tranquilizers or sedatives, many such drugs are prescribed to calm jittery nerves and relieve excessive tension. Klonopin is prescribed primarily to control certain types of seizures. It is a relatively long-acting drug.

Side Effects and Interactions

Side effects associated with Klonopin include sedation, dizziness, and unsteadiness. These may fade after a few days or weeks.

Do not drive, operate machinery or undertake any activity that requires close attention.

Klonopin may make acute narrow angle glaucoma worse and should not be taken by people diagnosed with this condition.

Other possible reactions include confusion, depression, amnesia, hallucinations, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, coated tongue, dry mouth, constipation, visual problems, rash, hair loss, increased sex drive, urinary difficulties and palpitations. Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

Do not drink alcohol or use any other sedative while on this drug, as the combination may increase the risk of dizziness, drowsiness, lack of coordination or confusion. Klonopin can affect blood cell counts and may raise liver enzymes. Periodic tests should be conducted to monitor these.

Many medicines, including narcotics, barbiturates and other sleeping pills, drugs for schizophrenia, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and MAO inhibitors (Eldepryl, Nardil, Parnate) can interact with Klonopin to increase sedation.

Other possible interactions involve asthma drugs such as theophylline, AIDS drugs like Crixivan and Norvir, beta blockers metoprolol and propranlolTagamet, oral contraceptives, Luvox, tuberculosis treatments isoniazid and rifampin, Prilosec and Serzone.

Check with your pharmacist and physician to make sure Klonopin is safe in combination with any other medicines you take.

Special Precautions

The effectiveness of Klonopin may decline after many months on the medication. Dependence is a possibility with any benzodiazepine. Sudden discontinuation of the drug could trigger status epilepticus in patients taking it as an anticonvulsant.

Other withdrawal symptoms may include nervousness, agitation, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, fatigue, headache and nerve twitching. Never stop taking Klonopin without medical supervision. This medication may have to be phased out gradually over a period of weeks or months.

Klonopin is not appropriate for those with liver disease. It should not be prescribed for anyone who has had an allergic reaction to another benzodiazepine.

Taking the Medicine

Klonopin is taken three times a day. It may be taken with food, especially if it upsets your stomach

Carry identification (Medic-Alert) if you are taking Klonopin as an anticonvulsant.

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  1. Matt
    Reply

    great drug for a mania add on to maintenance drug lamictal, which doesn’t have the best consistency with generics

  2. Nikki
    Reply

    I started w/Xanax years ago and I’ve been on Clonazepam for quite awhile. Recently I have noticed a change in my eyes. They want me to take Restasis, I don’t want to go there – another medicine! I have had to stop wearing my contacts which is really depressing me and the Clonazepam is drying out my eyes to the point where I have no tears. I am now sick from even starting these drugs. Sometimes they work and other time don’t and sometimes I have extreme anxiety and other times its not there w/small am’ts of Clonazepam. I feel like I’m on a constant up and down. I really can’t stop taking them altogether which was for anxiety and panic but sometimes when I get the horrible can’t breathe I think it’s from the meds. Doctor’s don’t seem to know what to do.
    If I could find a way to be stronger and more self confident more self worth I don’t think I’d need the drugs. But thank you for all your comments – after reading them and before I try and go off – which I am on a low dose I’m going to ask my Dr for Klonipin instead of the generic.
    Thanks

  3. kh
    Reply

    I really feel for you and everyone else who has suffered from disorders that land us on these meds. I’ve been on clonazepam for yrs now just 1mg at night for sleep it does work for me with no side effects, I suffered terribly from insomnia. I’ve not tried too wean off of it but do wish I didn’t need it for something that should come naturally. It’s awful too go thru life suffering from depression sleeplessness panic disorders ect.
    I am currently trying too wean off of celexa very slowly, I would suggest too anyone try cutting ur meds too every other day for a month then cut out another day the following month instead of cutting pills in half.

  4. AJ
    Reply

    Like so many people on here, I feel as though it MUST be klonopin that is causing me to have some weird reactions/sensitivities, etc. I started with .5mg as need in summer 2005. Crisis situation in spring 2007 left me begging for 1mg. My psychiatrist was reluctant, but did give it to me.
    Then I changed doctors. Soon, 1mg because 2, 3 and 4mg. Realizing that I someday might want to get pregnant, I decided to taper down. In a 9 month period, I went from 4mg down to 2mg. I was very proud of myself. I went ever so S L O W L Y.
    Then I had some issues with Prozac. And I decided I needed to focus on that before continuing my taper. There were some benefits of going from 4mg to 2mg. But I still have weird stuff that I cannot explain, and neither can anyone else! If I exercise, get a massage, do thing like EFT (tapping), take a new supplement (fish oil, for example), my body freaks out after a couple of days. I get chills, aches, flu-like feelings, a stuffy nose. I can only attribute it to klonopin. I thought maybe I had an autoimmune disorder. And maybe I do, although I tested negative for an autoimmune panel.
    I’ve been off Prozac for 2 months. Longest I’ve gone in 15 years. Now I want to S L O W L Y get back on it. I tried 10mg per day for 3 days. Felt very strange. Rash/itchiness, weird “warm patches” on my skin. I’m at my wit’s end!
    I emailed someone who wrote a well known books about the road to recovering from these drugs. This person suggested that some of my “adverse” reactions to reincorporating Prozac might’ve been because of the Klonopin and how it effects basic metabolic processes.
    Has anyone else noticed that, aside from the wonderful calming effect it’s had in the beginning, that other things started becoming “off” the longer they were on the drug?
    I’m just so scared and fed up. Like most of us here……:)

  5. Barb
    Reply

    I have been on 0.5mg. of clonazepam for about 2 years now, since March of 2013 I started having pressure in the back of my head and neck and pain down my left side of my body, now my left hand has numbness, I have had MRI’s and no results, I wonder could this be from taking this medication for a long period of time causing this new onset of problems for me, has anyone else had these problems

  6. Tom
    Reply

    Hi Gary, I was up to 3mg daily for almost 16 yrs and the way I did it was with the Ashton Manual [I believe there’s a link posted above or just google it] I basically reduced my dose by 1/10 every week or two depending if i felt ready to drop again. >But

  7. sr
    Reply

    Thank you everybody for your comments. I have been looking for some reason why I am so dry – terrible. My eyes are burning so bad, my throat is so dry, chapped lips…..and I don’t know what dr to go to. They don’t help and Im beginning to think they’ll give you anything in the form of medicine.
    I had plugs put in my eye for dryness but it seems to make it worse. I try to take .5 Clonazepam once a day, broken up sometimes another 1/2. Who new so little could be so powerful. I’ve been on it for about 8 years, before that Xanax. I guess I learned from your comments why I feel so bad.
    I try to not take any some days but then a few days later I get into the terrible anxiety. I used to take 3/ .5’s and I will suffer before I have to take anymore. I don’t know how I’d taper off when I take them so sporadic. ? Then the dr put me on Zolpidem to sleep. Love it but think its not good for you and adding to my dryness. It seems they don’t work if I’m not taking the Clonazepam.
    I asked my dr to take me off them that they were causing my anxiety and he said no you have anxiety. I have a feeling I can’t be taken off them and because each day is different. My life is terrible and very lonely most times from not feeling good. I do have Zoloft and Im going to try and take it in place of the Cloazepam but I tried it last May and got so dizzy. I wish I could contact Dr Phil – I’m serious that’s how bad I feel. I’m sure he’d help. Maybe we should all get together and write to him?
    Thanks everyone
    Wishing you luck on feeling much better

  8. B Dawn W.
    Reply

    I had a horrible incident in 1999, finding I had a sexual criminal and sociopath living in my house. Developed PTSD after getting him out immediately. Then mother died in Jan. 2000 of cancer. Tried many anti-depressive meds. Finally Pristiq worked with no side affect but still having panic attacks so I was put on .5mg of Clonazepam as needed for panic attacks. May not take any for a month and the next month I may need 4-5. These recommended by psy. because they act on me in 10 minutes. I am not addicted but is nice to have something when I really need it

  9. omkhairwa
    Reply

    I am taking clonazapam for sleep disorder, any other option for good sleep?

  10. bkc
    Reply

    I went to a doctor recently to find out I am bi polar and have severe anxiety attacks, as well as anxiety disorders. I am currently on clonazepam .5mg. The last couple of days have been a sense of weighing less and a severe change in my outlook of the world that I live in. I have suffered all my life with these disorders and am finally getting the help/relief from the pains I have been feeling.
    I know that I can never go back to the way things were, but at least I now have a fighting chance to be happy. I have hurt a lot of people unintentionally with my problems, because I did not know that I had one. I suffer a lot of drowsiness, increased sex drive and sleeping. I have been advised that that will change in time, as I get used to taking it.
    I needed to see the world as a better place and to make the pain go away. I was over medicating for various pains. I do not feel that pain now and my attitude has greatly improved. I am happier and the people I love are happier, these are what matter most in my life. If this is a sacrifice I have to make for my loved ones and myself to increase the quality of our lives, I pay it gladly.

  11. PK
    Reply

    I’ve taken Klonopin for 14 years or so for insomnia/anxiety. It stopped working many years ago, but every time I tried to stop taking it, I felt awful. I thought that was because I needed the drug as a medicine. I wasn’t told about “tolerance withdrawal,” meaning that my body was in withdrawal from the drug while I was taking the same dose. I came across this information by accident.
    Apparently, I’d had to have kept increasing the dosage to get a therapeutic benefit. I’m grateful that I never went over 2 mg. But in the meantime, I gradually lost interest in virtually everything I ever cared about. My creativity disappeared. I had less and less energy. The smallest tasks became overwhelming. I gained 20 pounds.
    So, I decided to wean myself off of it at what I thought was a reasonable rate. I got down to 1 mg in 2-1/2 months. I simply can’t believe how difficult this has been. I’m so hyper-sensitive that I can’t stand to leave the house. At times, I’ve had to wear sunglasses indoors because the light hurts my eyes so much. The slightest sound is like an explosion. Burning skin, itching all over, pain in my joints and muscles, the worst insomnia of my life, tinnitus, vertigo … the list goes on and on and on.
    If I’d been anything close to fully informed about this drug, I would never have taken it.
    I’m currently trying to get my doctor to cooperate with the Ashton method to wean off the last half of this drug that I’ve come to see as poison. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m determined to get through it somehow. I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone. It’s a freaking nightmare.

  12. marne
    Reply

    For 20+ years I was periodically plagued with suddenly waking up about an hour after of falling asleep with the absolute certainty that I was in the process of swallowing something that was going to be imminently fatal. I would always try to spit out the phantom object [rarely the same object- nails, razor blades, etc.]. My screaming would wake me up me ….and my wife…. and the event would end. As you might expect, these events got old after time, periodically being convinced that death was imminent. It also became increasingly frequent. Finally, I worked my way through the medical system, eliminating possible causes like reflux, until I was referred to a sleep disorder specialist who diagnosed it as a parasomnia.
    I was put on .5 mg of clonazapam. It cut the frequency of the occurrences of the events by over 90%. most of the other 10% are associate with throat irritations like a cold. So far, the drug has not caused me a problem in the 2 years that I have been taking it. So my choice is….. believe that I am dying several times a week or take the meds. My wife and I both sleep better with it. Seems like a Hobson’s choice to me!

  13. andrew v.
    Reply

    I’m 26 I have been on 3 mg of clonazepam before bed for my SAD and chronic insomnia I’ve tried everything but I’m currently on 3mg clonazepam 2mg xanax xr 150mg of trazadone 15mg of mirtazapine and 25mg of seraquel. I’ve been treated since I was just 13 and doctors keep adding things and I still can’t sleep much. But I barely remember things which I think from the clonazepam.
    Am I just going to fall over one day and die? I have rapid uncontrollable thoughts every night even with my meds after a few months I seem to build a tolerance. I weigh 200 but I’m 6’3 so about average. I feel sick a lot and have bad digestive problems if anyone can tell me anything I don’t already know about what I’m doing and what I need to do differently… I just don’t even know what to do and I am afraid to even withdraw from one since I still can’t get sleep with all. And does anyone know if any of the drugs I take are having a cancel out effect on the others… I just thought I didn’t need to know much since I see doctors but I know that is wrong now… it’s like they just want me drugged up so I shut up but that’s not even working.

  14. merlinaut
    Reply

    The first time I took it (and we are all different), it was a slightly daunting but also delicious feeling-I mean the first time for me was strong. I felt like Hal being gently shut down in the Stanley Kubrick movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (but I was definitely not singing). Awesome. Slept like a baby.
    My doctor said to take only as needed though, as he thought it might be more ideal if I did not get addicted.
    I’ve stayed on 1mg forever and if I do not take it I usually cannot sleep. For me(and spouse) the real question is:
    If I feel very tired, enough not to take it, then at what time of the night do I finally say, “Ok, I’m not sleeping.
    I need to take this or I won’t get to sleep.” but not too late or you will be groggy the next day (for driving, work, etc).
    As for the health effects, I’m not up on it but I do understand it can cause fuzzy math. Good Luck, everybody.
    Seriously though, you know how people let their kids run around on a hill or exercise to tire them out? It is just like that with Klonopin. Work hard enough, exercise or do enough manual labor, travel: and then you don’t need it.

  15. Belinda
    Reply

    I just got this prescribed to me for sleepwalking. I am supposed to take 1 MG before bed.
    Last night was the first night I took it, and while I generally wake up after 4 hours, go to the bathroom, struggle to fall back asleep, and then get up and walk… I took this pill and felt a bit “high” for 20 minutes, fell asleep, and woke up 10 hours later feeling completely rested and I did NOT walk in my sleep.
    Maybe this pill will FINALLY help me to sleep again!!
    I used to be on Celexa for 2 years for panic attacks, but they seemed to make me even MORE anxious, and I gained a lot of weight. I forced myself to get over my anxieties (by facing them), after stopping Celexa cold turkey.
    Now I have no more anxiety problems.. just the sleepwalking problems.
    But maybe this pill will change that!

  16. SH
    Reply

    I have taken clonazepam for 6 years, started with Teva, worked great, then my pharmacy switched it to activis (these are different generic forms of clonazepam) it was changed to some brand called ACCO ??? couldn’t find this on the web any where, I have been taking it for 2 weeks & have started to experience restless sleeping, nerve twitching mainly my eyelids, agitation & clumsiness. Teva & Mylan seem to the best generics of this drug my Dr puts a specification for either one of these brands on my prescription, your pharmacy may have to order it special for you. If they don’t, switch to another one… My doc is a firm believer of the fact that some generics don’t work the same as others, not all Drs are like that though, I hope this helps, & you start to feel better.
    I know how miserable it can get, I take for bipolar disorder, When you don’t find the right combo of meds, this is horrible to deal with, you can be prescribed a drug that would otherwise work well for you, but you get a cheap generic & think it’s not right for you, this is a shame, and I feel your pain..smh..also, try to find out where your brand is manufactured & stay away from India, try to stick with Europe, it’s just the insurance companies using the cheapest generic available

  17. jack
    Reply

    I take clonazepam .5 once a day at night. My sex drive increased, but I don’t ejaculate as much.

  18. mgb
    Reply

    Just started taken .5 Clonazepam and making my breast hurt.

  19. ppp
    Reply

    I too was on Mirepx for rls, which worked great, then I got melanoma and found out that was one of the side effects if you have parkinson so even though I don’t have that I got off and searched everywhere to find a replacement, I found out that tramadol works great for me along with magnet ankle bracelets that I wear 24/7 after seeing them at a craft show, I know that sound crazy but all I know is that I can now take a nap in the afternoon where as before my rls wouldn’t allow me to at all.
    Then the tramidol I take at night only and haven’t had any problem with my legs at all, my problem is I have rim sleep disorder so they put me on clonazepam .05mg at night to help me get into a sleep pattern but now the bigger problem is it has killed my sex life and I mean killed it. I need to find something else to help me get into my rem sleep without that side effect and get my sex drive back if anybody has any suggestions please let me knw

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