Clonazepam (Oral)

Clonazepam is a drug taken orally that is used to help control seizure disorder and panic disorder.

Overview

Clonazepam is a medication that works to balance chemicals in the brain. It is a benzodiazepine and is used to control seizures in both adults and children. This medication is also used to help patients with anxiety disorder. Clonazepam has a variety of interactions and side effect risks to be aware of before taking this course of treatment. It is important to discuss your medical history with your doctor before you begin taking this drug. Inform your healthcare professional about all of your prescription medications you are currently taking, as well as herbal and vitamin supplements. It is important to use this medication with caution, because it can be habit-forming and is not recommended for use in patients who have liver disease or narrow-angle com/health/coma/">glaucoma. If you do have pre-existing conditions you may require close monitoring and regular testing to track your progress and help prevent serious medical problems related to taking clonazepam. Do not take this medication with alcohol, because it can cause severe impairment, especially if you are operating heavy machinery or driving. Do not leave this medication where others can gain access to it. Keep this drug out of the reach of children and pets.

This medication also poses the risk of suicidal thoughts in some patients. You may want to pursue other treatment options if you have a mental illness, psychosis, or have a predisposition to addiction to drugs and alcohol. Do not stop or start taking this drug unless you have the consent of your doctor. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant or nursing. Clonazepam is not intended for use in patients who are under the age of 18 for panic disorder. Children over the age of 10 years normally take an adult dose of clonazepam for treating seizure disorder.

The normal amount of time individuals take this drug for is nine weeks. Do not take this drug for longer than nine weeks without the consent of your physician or healthcare provider. Take this medication with a full glass of water. Do not take more than one dose of this medication at one time. If you miss your dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, take only one dose. There is a risk of overdose with this medication which is why you should never take more than one dose of your medication at one time. It is important to not stop taking this drug suddenly or begin taking it without permission from your doctor. When ceasing to take clonazepam, you must decrease your dosage slowly as direct to avoid serious medical emergencies, withdrawals, and complications related to using clonazepam.

In cases where you may be required to take this medication for an extended period of time, your doctor will need to regularly order tests to monitor your health. Take your medication on schedule as directed by your doctor. Do not change your schedule or dose without your doctor or healthcare provider's knowledge. Do not share your medication with anyone - this is against the law. Monitor the number of pills you take closely from each prescription to help you determine if someone is taking your medication without your knowledge. If you suspect you have overdosed on this medication, you should contact emergency medical services and wait for them to arrive so they can administer life-saving techniques.

Keep this medication in the bottle in which you received it, especially when traveling. Do not flush this medication down the toilet; take it to a community take-back program, or follow the FDA's guidelines for proper medication disposal. Do not keep this medication where children or pets have access to it.

Condition treated

  • Seizure disorder
  • Panic disorder

Type of medicine

  • Benzodiazepine

Side Effects

This medication is known to carry the risk of side effects. If you have any side effects, especially if they are severe, you should either consult with your healthcare provider, or if they are life-threatening, seek emergency medical assistance. Some side effects may happen in conjunction with other side effects. Monitor your progress and report any changes. Do not take more of this medication than your doctor prescribes.

Nasal congestion

This common side effect may occur during the initial adjustment period. If it persists, you should inquire about your options to treat or relieve this side effect.

Aches and pains

Some individuals report having aches and pains associated with this medication. Monitor this side effect closely and report any severe pain or sudden changes.

Loss of coordination

A loss of coordination can be either a side effect of this drug, or it can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition that may require immediate treatment.

Runny nose

A runny nose is a common side effect of clonazepam but should be monitored in case it is a symptom of a medical condition that is developing.

Chills

If you begin to experience chills with this medication, you should seek the advice of your health care provider. You may require medical attention.

Cough

Monitor your condition closely if you develop a cough. This drug is known to cause congestions, but could also indicate a developing infection or other medical condition.

Shakiness or unsteadiness

You may experience shakiness or unsteadiness initially when taking this medication. If this condition persists, you may need to change your medication to another that is tolerated better.

Sleepiness or drowsiness

Clonazepam is known to cause sleepiness or drowsiness. Report any extreme sleepiness or fatigue to your healthcare provider.

Dizziness

Dizziness during the adjustment period can occur. If your dizziness continues you may not tolerate this medication well.

Difficulty breathing

Any difficulty breathing can indicate an allergic reaction or an overdose which require immediate emergency medical attention.

Discouragement

If you begin to feel discouraged during your treatment, you should tell your doctor who may arrange for you to seek professional mental health counseling.

Sneezing

Sneezing is a minor side effect that some individuals who take clonazepam can experience from time to time.

Ear congestion

Along with other types of congestions, this medication may cause ear congestions. There may be some over the counter treatments you can take to help alleviate this side effect.

Sore throat

A sore throat could be a side effect of this medication due to congestion, or it could be a sign of a developing infection or medical condition.

Trouble concentrating

Some individuals who take clonazepam report having trouble concentrating when taking this medication.

Trembling or lack of muscle control

If the trembling or lack of muscle control continues past the initial adjustment phase of taking this drug, you should ask about alternative treatments.

Weakness or tiredness

Tiredness and weakness is a common side effect of this medication and should be monitored closely and reported to your healthcare professional.

Feeling empty or sad

If you experience feelings of sadness or emptiness when taking this medication, you should let your doctor know and they may possibly refer you to a mental health professional to help deal with this side effect.

Headache

People who take this medication commonly experienced headaches. If the headaches are severe or prolonged, you should seek medical attention.

Fever

A fever could be a sign of a secondary infection or an underlying medical condition and may require medical assistance.

Irritability

Irritability may be a side effect for some who do not tolerate this medication well.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite is a common side effect of this medication.

Loss of pleasure or interest

A loss of interest in certain activities or pleasure can be an uncommon side effect. If this happens, you should ask your doctor what steps you can take to counteract this side effect.

Loss of voice

If you lose your voice, you should consult your healthcare provider about finding another course of treatment for your conditions.

Uncommon:

Forgetfulness

Although forgetfulness is an uncommon side effect, it is generally mild. If you continue to experience forgetfulness you should ask about alternative treatment options.

Bladder pain

Bladder pain may be a symptom of renal dysfunction and should be addressed immediately.

Cloudy or bloody urine

Bloody or cloudy urine is a serious side effect and requires medical attention.

Speech changes

Speech changes can be a sign of medication intolerance and should be addressed.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea may be an issue initially, but if this side effect doesn't subside you may require medical attention.

Painful or burning urination

Burning or painful urination can be a sign of renal distress and should be attended to by your healthcare provider.

Joint pain

If you experience severe joint pain, you should inquire about another treatment option.

Frequent urination

Frequent urination is an uncommon, but mild, side effect.

Discomfort or feeling ill

If you experience feelings of discomfort or an ill feeling, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction, overdose, or side effects from intolerance to clonazepam.

Mood changes

This medication is known to produce mood changes in some individuals. Seeking alternative treatment may help relieve this side effect.

Shivering

Shivering should be considered a severe side effect and may also be the sign of an underlying medical condition.

Decreased urine amounts

Monitor your urine output and seek assistance if you think the amount is not reflecting the amount of fluid intake.

Nausea

Nausea can be a sign of intolerance or an overdose. Seek the advice of your healthcare provider or seek medical treatment.

Nervousness

This medication may cause nervousness in some individuals. You should ask about other treatment options if this occurs.

Aches and pains in muscles

If you experience aches and muscle pain when taking clonazepam, you may consider a dose adjustment or change of medication.

Speech slurred

Slurred speech is a sign of overdose that requires emergency medical attention.

Sweating

Sweating is an uncommon, but mild, side effect.

Trouble speaking

If you experience trouble speaking, you should seek emergency medical assistance.

Vomiting

Vomiting is an unusual and serious side effect that may be caused by overdose or an allergic reaction.

Rare:

If you experience any of these rare side effects, you should seek medical attention immediately because they are either life-threatening, or can be a sign of a developing, life-threatening condition.

  • Crawling, burning, or pins and needles sensation on skin
  • Skin color change
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Stiff muscles
  • Tight muscles
  • Nightmares
  • Cold sweats
  • Confusion
  • Slight or partial paralysis
  • Detached feeling
  • Scaling
  • Excessive dreaming
  • Hoarseness or a cough
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness or faintness when standing up suddenly
  • Skin rash
  • Lack of feeling or emotion
  • Mad feelings
  • Vision change
  • Uncaring
  • Feeling of unreality
  • Fast or irregular pulse
  • Excitement
  • Falling
  • Swelling near eyes
  • Swelling of the face, foot, ankle, or knees

Dosage

The normal adult dose recommended for seizures is 1.5 mg orally each day, divided into three doses. Over the course of treatment, this dose can be increased by 0.5 to 1.0 mg every three days until the symptoms and seizures are easily controlled. The maximum recommended dose for adults is 20 mg per day orally. Close monitoring of individuals who take more than one anti-seizure medication is highly recommended because they can cause marked depression.

The adult dose to help control panic disorder is 0.25 mg twice per day and after the adjustment phase, it can be increased to 1 mg orally to a maximum of 4 mg orally per day. A 1.0 mg dose increase may occur every three days until the therapeutic range is attained. When withdrawing from this course of treatment, it should be done in increments of 0.125 mg twice per day and then every three days until the drug had been completely withdrawn.

The pediatric dose for seizures is 0.01 mg per day to .05 mg per day divided into two to three doses per day. Children over the age of 10 years should follow the adult dose schedule. Do not allow children to administer their dose themselves, and dosing should be closely monitored by an adult or guardian.

Interactions

There are a total of 917 drugs which interact with clonazepam. Of those 917 drugs, 131 carry a major interaction risk, 688 carry a moderate interaction risk, and 98 present a minor interaction risk. The most common drugs that interact with clonazepam include Norse, Prozac, Abilify, Ambien, Seroquel, Cymbalta, Lamictal, Zoloft, Zyrtec, Lexapro, and Lyrica.

Food/Lifestyle interaction

There is two lifestyle/food interaction associated with this drug. Do not drink alcohol with this medication because it increases the chances of developing a side effect and can severely impair your motor function. Individuals who are obese are at risk of overdose from this drug because the drug half-life is prolonged.

Disease interactions:

  • Seizures
  • Paradoxical reactions
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Suicidal tendancy
  • Acute alcohol intoxication

Warnings

Do not take this medication if you have liver disease or renal impairment. This medication can pose a high interaction risk as well as being noted for causing a variety of side effects. Monitor your condition closely when taking this medication and report any side effects or change in your medical condition. Discuss all of your pre-existing medical conditions with your healthcare provider before you begin treatment with this drug. It can interact with a variety of diseases and the medication used to treat these medical conditions. You should also tell your doctor about any herbal supplements you are taking including vitamins. Do not suddenly stop or start taking this medication unless you have permission from your doctor.

This drug is known to be habit-forming and should not be taken for longer than a period of 9 weeks. If you must take this drug for longer than 9 weeks, you should be under the close supervision of your doctor or health care provider and may require frequent testing to monitor your medical condition. If you decide to stop taking clonazepam, you should ask your doctor about the proper way to begin decreasing your dose gradually to help prevent withdrawals. If you begin to have suicidal thoughts you should tell your doctor right away. Do not take this medication if you are pregnant without the consent of your doctor. Do not breastfeed while taking this drug because it can be transmitted to a child through breast milk. If you feel you are having an allergic reaction or are developing an intolerance to clonazepam, you should seek emergency medical treatment immediately. If you have a history of addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may want to seek another form of treatment for your condition. This drug is known to create dependency for individuals who are susceptible to addiction. Consult your doctor about alternative options before you begin treatment with clonazepam if you struggle with addiction.

Storage

Keep this medication in the original bottle it was dispensed in, especially if you plan to travel. Keep this drug out of the reach of children or pets because it carries a high risk of overdose. Do not leave your medication within the reach of others. Do not store near heat or light and keep away from areas that may have excessive moisture such as the bathroom. Do not flush this drug down the toilet, but rather, take it to your local community take-back program. If you do not have a community take-back program, you should follow the FDA's guidelines regarding proper medication disposal. Do not store other medications in the same container as clonazepam. Monitor your medication and take note of the number of pills present in your prescription to help prevent someone from taking this drug without your knowledge.

Summary

Clonazepam is a drug that is used for treating seizure disorder in children and adults, but can also be administered to treat panic disorder in adults. This medication works by balancing the chemicals in the brain and therefore helps prevent seizures and feelings of anxiety. This medication is known to become addictive, and should not be taken for longer than 9 weeks unless under the strict supervision of your doctor or healthcare professional. If you take this medication for longer than a 9 week period, you will need to be monitored and tested regularly by your doctor to monitor your health. This drug is known to create addiction and therefore, should be handled and taken responsibly. Do not share your medication with others. Keep this medication out of the reach of others and monitor your supply closely to help you determine if anyone is taking it without your knowledge. Keep this medication out of the reach of children and pets. Do not take more of this medication than is prescribed. If you miss a dose you should take it as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose you should only take one rather than two doses. If you feel that you may have overdosed, you should seek emergency medical help immediately. This drug is also known to have a variety of interaction and side effects. Before you begin taking this medication, you should tell your doctor about your complete medical history and let them know about all of the medications that you are currently taking. This includes herbal supplements and vitamin supplements. If your medication expires you should not take it. If you require a refill you should discuss this matter with your healthcare provider.