Klonopin (clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen). It is thought that benzodiazepines work by enhancing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
Klonopin is used to treat certain seizure disorders (including absence seizures or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome) in adults and children.
Klonopin can slow or stop your breathing, especially if you have recently used an opioid medication, alcohol, or other drugs that can slow your breathing.
MISUSE OF CLONAZEPAM CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Never share Klonopin with another person. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Klonopin. Tell your doctor right away if you have any sudden changes in mood or behavior, or thoughts about suicide.
Get medical help right away if you stop using Klonopin and have symptoms such as unusual muscle movements, being more active or talkative, sudden and severe changes in mood or behavior, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, or thoughts about suicide.
Do not stop using Klonopin without asking your doctor. You may have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the medicine suddenly after long-term use. Some withdrawal symptoms may last up to 12 months or longer.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take Klonopin if you have:
- narrow-angle glaucoma;
- severe liver disease; or
- a history of allergic reaction to any benzodiazepine (clonazepam, alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam, Valium, Xanax, Versed, and others).
To make sure Klonopin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- kidney or liver disease;
- breathing problems;
- depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or
- porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).
Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking Klonopin. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your family or caregivers should also watch for sudden changes in your behavior.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you use Klonopin during pregnancy, your baby could be born with life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and may need medical treatment for several weeks.
Do not start or stop seizure medication during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice. Clonazepam may harm an unborn baby, but having a seizure during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Preventing seizures may outweigh these risks. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using this medicine.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Klonopin is not approved to treat panic disorder in anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take Klonopin?
Take Klonopin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Never use Klonopin in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.
Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Swallow the tablet whole, with a full glass of water.
Clonazepam doses are based on the weight in children and teenagers. Your child’s dose may change if the child gains or loses weight.
Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis.
Call your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your seizures or panic attacks.
Do not stop using Klonopin without asking your doctor. You may have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms if you stop using the medicine suddenly after long-term use.
Seizures are often treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor’s advice.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.