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What is Clonazepam (Klonopin)?

Clonazepam (the brand name is Klonopin) is an FDA-approved prescription drug that is used to treat, prevent, and control seizure disorders The drug can also be used to treat panic attacks, insomnia, and anxiety disorders since it works by calming your brain and the central nervous system (CNS).

Klonopin is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug, and it belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines (also called "benzos' or BZs"). These drugs affect the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that the nerves release to communicate with each other.

Some common benzodiazepines include the following:

  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Versed (midazolam)
  • Halcion (triazolam)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide)

While Klonopin has many benefits, there are some risks associated with taking the drug of which you should be aware — especially if taken in higher doses. As with all prescription medications, seek medical advice and proceed with caution.

Side Effects of Clonazepam 

Like all drugs, there are some side effects of Clonazepam that range from uncomfortable to serious depending on your dosage and how long you take it. High doses and long-term use can exacerbate the common side effects. These side effects include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Poor coordination
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loss of control of bodily movements
  • Depression
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Memory impairment
  • Loss of sex drive

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Klonopin Abuse & Addiction

Klonopin can be addictive both psychologically and physically, and some people will misuse the drug because it causes feelings of relaxation and euphoria. In fact, many people abuse Klonopin to combat the anxiety that comes with other substance abuse, such as cocaine. And poly-substance abuse can lead to serious consequences, such as a potential Klonopin overdose and organ failure.

Some signs of Klonopin abuse and misuse include the following:

  • Doctor shopping for stronger and more Klonopin prescriptions
  • Using Klonopin despite negative consequences
  • Using Klonopin for reasons that are not medical
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of motivation
  • Drowsiness
  • Restlessness
  • Withdrawal from personal relationships
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Increased tolerance for Klonopin

Some adverse effects of Klonopin abuse and misuse include the following:

  • Irritability and agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Panic attacks
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sensitivity to sights and sounds
  • Increased sweating
  • Tingling sensation
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Numbness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle tension
  • Increased salivation and urination
  • Sex drive changes
  • Seizures
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Cognitive challenges
  • Cravings
  • Psychosis

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Dangers of Clonazepam Abuse

Abusing Clonazepam for its calming effects, like any substance, can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health. Physical dependence can lead to severe Klonopin withdrawal symptoms, including the following:

  • Seizures
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Dysphoric manifestations
  • Panic disorder
  • Tremors
  • Irritability and aggressiveness
  • Status epilepticus (a life-threatening brain condition characterized by a constant state of seizure activity)

Clonazepam Addiction Treatment 

Fortunately, there is clonazepam addiction treatment available to anyone who needs it. Treatment options include the following:

  • Rehab centers
  • Detox programs
  • Traditional therapy

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Klonopin or drug use of another kind, contact a medical professional immediately. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious, and it is best to fight addiction with professional help rather than going cold turkey.

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Resources

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“Clonazepam (Klonopin).” NAMI, www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Clonazepam-(Klonopin)

“Clonazepam (Klonopin): Side Effects, Dosages, Treatment, Interactions, Warnings.” RxList, RxList, 25 Apr. 2017, www.rxlist.com/consumer_clonazepam_klonopin/drugs-condition.htm

“Klonopin: Abuse, Side Effects, Detox, Withdrawal and Treatment.” Nova Recovery Center Near Austin Texas, 18 Aug. 2020, novarecoverycenter.com/drugs/klonopin/.

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