Generic Name: clonazepam (kloe NAZ e pam)
Brand Names: Klonopin, Klonopin Wafer
What is Klonopin?
Klonopin (clonazepam) is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peens). Clonazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.
Klonopin is used to treat seizure disorders or panic disorder.
Klonopin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Klonopin if you have severe liver disease, of if you are allergic to clonazepam or to other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax). Clonazepam may cause harm to an unborn baby, and may cause breathing or feeding problems in a newborn. But having seizures during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Do not start or stop taking this medicine during pregnancy without medical advice.
You may have thoughts about suicide while taking Klonopin. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits. Do not miss any scheduled appointments. Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, irritable, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Before you take Klonopin, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, glaucoma, any breathing problems, or a history of depression, suicidal thoughts, or addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Klonopin. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. Clonazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Klonopin if you have severe liver disease or narrow-angle glaucoma, or if you are allergic to clonazepam or other benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax).
To make sure you can safely take Klonopin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
kidney or liver disease;
asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
FDA pregnancy category D. Klonopin may cause harm to an unborn baby, and may cause breathing or feeding problems in a newborn. But having seizures during pregnancy could harm both mother and baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Do not start or stop taking clonazepam during pregnancy without medical advice. If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of clonazepam on the baby. Clonazepam may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed a baby while taking this medication.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
The sedative effects of Klonopin may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking this medicine. Clonazepam may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
How should I take Klonopin?
Take Klonopin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Swallow the regular tablet whole, with a full glass of water. Klonopin should be used for only a short time. Do not take this medication for longer than 9 weeks without your doctor's advice.
To take the orally disintegrating tablet (wafer):
Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take it. Open the package and peel back the foil from the tablet blister. Do not push a tablet through the foil or you may damage the tablet.
Using dry hands, remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away.
Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
To be sure Klonopin is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Do not stop using Klonopin without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine. You may have increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop using this medicine suddenly. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this medicine.
You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Your doctor may also prescribe another seizure medication for you to start while you are stopping Klonopin.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Klonopin is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Klonopin can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, muscle weakness, and fainting.
What should I avoid?
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Klonopin. This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Klonopin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Klonopin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, irritable, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect while taking Klonopin such as:
confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
unusual risk-taking behavior, no fear of danger;
weak or shallow breathing;
unusual or involuntary eye movements;
pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
painful or difficult urination, urinating less than usual;
pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding; or
new or worsening seizures.
Less serious Klonopin side effects may include:
drowsiness, dizziness, problems with thinking or memory;
tired feeling, muscle weakness, loss of balance or coordination;
slurred speech, drooling or dry mouth, sore gums;
runny or stuffy nose;
loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, constipation;
sleep problems (insomnia);
skin rash; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Klonopin?
Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by Klonopin. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these medicines, or any other seizure medications or benzodiazepines.
Also tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), or telithromycin (Ketek);
an antifungal medicine such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or voriconazole (Vfend);
an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), doxepin (Sinequan), nefazodone, nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others;
a barbiturate such as butabarbital (Butisol), secobarbital (Seconal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate); or
medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), droperidol (Inapsine), haloperidol (Haldol), mesoridazine (Serentil), pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or thiothixene (Navane).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Klonopin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More about Klonopin (clonazepam)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Klonopin.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Klonopin only for the indication prescribed.
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Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 3/11/2011 9:36:07 AM.