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Clobazam

Generic Name: clobazam (KLOE ba zam)
Brand Name: Onfi

Medically reviewed on August 6, 2018

What is clobazam?

Clobazam is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen). Clobazam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.

Clobazam is used in combination with other medications to treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a severe form of childhood epilepsy that also causes developmental and behavior problems.

Clobazam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking clobazam. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use clobazam with opioid medicine, alcohol, or other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take clobazam if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • any type of breathing problem or lung disease;

  • depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior;

  • a drug or alcohol addiction; or

  • if you use a narcotic (opioid) medication.

Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking clobazam. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Clobazam may harm an unborn baby, or problems in a newborn. Your baby could also become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

Clobazam can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using a non-hormone method of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy while taking clobazam, and for at least 28 days after your last dose.

Clobazam can pass into breast milk and may cause drowsiness and feeding problems in a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Clobazam should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old.

How should I take clobazam?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Clobazam may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Selling or giving away clobazam is against the law.

You may crush the clobazam tablet and mix the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Do not stop using clobazam suddenly, even if you feel fine. Stopping suddenly may cause increased seizures or unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Contact your doctor if your seizures get worse or you have them more often while taking clobazam.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of your medicine. Clobazam is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of clobazam can be fatal.

What should I avoid while taking clobazam?

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects could occur.

Clobazam side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • confusion, hallucinations;

  • fever, chills, cough with yellow or green mucus, feeling short of breath;

  • severe drowsiness, feeling like you might pass out;

  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • pain or burning when you urinate; or

  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

The sedative effects of clobazam 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 clobazam.

Common side effects may include:

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 clobazam?

Taking clobazam with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Other drugs may affect clobazam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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