Klonopin is the brand name of the FDA-approved prescription drug, Clonazepam. Doctors prescribe it to treat, prevent, and control seizure disorders, panic attacks, insomnia, and anxiety disorders. By calming down your central nervous system (CNS), it can help you to get through some sudden attacks and generalized anxiety.
Klonopin is considered an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug, which belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines (also called benzos, BZD, or BDZ). These drugs affect the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals that the nerves release to communicate.
Other common benzodiazepines include the following:
While Klonopin can treat various problems, as with all prescription drugs, there are some risks associated with taking it, of which you should be aware. This is especially true if you take Klonopin in higher doses. As with all medications, you should seek medical advice about your prescription and proceed with caution.
The side effects of Klonopin may range from uncomfortable to dangerous depending on your dosage and how long you take the drug. High doses of Klonopin and long-term use of the drug can exacerbate the common side effects associated with it. These side effects include, but are not limited to, the following:
For some people, Klonopin can be addictive both psychologically and physically because it causes feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Some people abuse Klonopin to combat the anxiety that comes with other substance abuse. But 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:
Some adverse side effects of Klonopin abuse and misuse include the following:
If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of Klonopin abuse, reach out for help immediately. Because Klonopin can be addictive, Klonopin use can quickly spiral out of control and lead to overdose and even death.
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With many prescription medications, mixing alcohol while taking the medication can decrease the benefits of your prescription and increase the adverse side effects of the medication, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea. Depending on the prescription drug, alcohol can make the medication less effective, render it completely useless, or even make the medication harmful to your body.
It is not considered safe to mix prescription medications like Klonopin with alcohol (both are CNS depressants). When Klonopin is combined with alcohol or otherwise abused, the medication can be deadly. You should avoid consuming alcohol while taking Klonopin.
The Klonopin half life is about 30 to 40 hours. It’s important to consult your doctor about consuming alcohol before, during, or for some time after taking any prescription medication, including Klonopin. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you a different, less-harmful medication or recommend alternative forms of treatment for your problem.
People with mental health disorders and those who struggle with alcohol abuse or drug abuse are at higher risks of abusing alcohol and Klonopin together. Studies also show that young people (under the age of 25) and single people are at a higher risk of abusing prescription drugs and alcohol.
If you or someone you know is at a higher risk of developing a Klonopin addiction or abusing the substance, talk to your doctor about your questions and concerns before starting your prescription.
Drinking alcohol while taking Klonopin (like other drug interactions) can increase certain side effects associated with both the use of alcohol and the medication. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Mixing Klonopin and alcohol can also be fatal. If you or someone you know is experiencing any side effects from taking Klonopin with alcohol use, contact your healthcare provider for medical help immediately.
Drinking alcohol while taking Klonopin is dangerous to your health. In some cases, it can even risk your life. Because central nervous system depressants like Klonopin and alcohol increase drowsiness and slow your breathing and heart rate, combining Klonopin and alcohol can intensify these effects. This can be dangerous since it can lead you to not getting enough oxygen, falling, or seriously injuring yourself.
Yes, you can overdose on Klonopin and alcohol. It’s easier to have a Klonopin overdose while drinking alcohol because of your impaired judgment. The combination of alcohol can also make certain drugs toxic to your body, which can cause severe adverse reactions.
Overdosing can lead to serious harm, including permanent disabilities, and it can kill you.
Fortunately, there is alcohol addiction and substance abuse treatment available for those who may need it. Treatment options include the following:
If you or a loved one struggles with an addiction to Klonopin, alcohol, or both, contact a medical professional immediately. Substance and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and it is better to fight addiction with professional help than alone.
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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.
“Is Mixing Klonopin and Alcohol Dangerous? Risks and Treatment Options.” Addiction Rehabilitation at Windward Way Recovery Center, windwardway.com/alcoholism/mixing-klonopin/.
“Klonopin: Abuse, Side Effects, Detox, Withdrawal and Treatment.” Nova Recovery Center Near Austin Texas, 18 Aug. 2020, novarecoverycenter.com/drugs/klonopin/.