Clonazepam, sold under the brand name Klonopin, is a prescription drug used to prevent and control seizures and panic disorder. It can also be prescribed to treat withdrawal from alcohol, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Despite its medical use, Klonopin is classified as a Schedule IV substance due to its high potential for abuse. This guide contains detailed information on Klonopin, along with its short- and long-term side-effects. It explores Klonopin withdrawal and overdose, Klonopin addiction, as well as the best course of treatment.
Klonopin, also known by its generic name clonazepam, is a prescription drug used for treating the symptoms of seizures and panic disorder. It works by slowing down brain activity, creating feelings of relaxation.
The drug is often prescribed to treat other conditions, including withdrawal from alcohol, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Long-term use of the drug is generally not recommended due to Klonopin’s addictive potential.
Clonazepam or Klonopin belongs to a class of central nervous depressants known as benzodiazepines. These drugs are also called sedatives and tranquilizers due to their sedating and calming effects.
Klonopin (clonazepam) is classified as a Schedule IV substance. Even though it has a low potential for abuse and addiction, it is still considered dangerous.
Some of the effects Klonopin produces, including sleepiness and relaxation, are similar to the effects produced by opioids. However, Klonopin belongs to the class of drugs called benzodiazepines, and its use and side effects are different from narcotics.
Klonopin is often prescribed to treat panic attacks and other symptoms of a panic disorder. It affects the GABA receptors and slows down the central nervous system (CNS), leading to decreased nervousness, agitation, and feelings of relaxation.
The effectiveness of Klonopin in the treatment of panic disorder was confirmed in two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. Klonopin was shown to be significantly more effective
than a placebo in treating panic disorder.1
The CNS-depressant action of Klonopin makes the drug an effective medication for the treatment of anxiety.
One study found that clonazepam is as effective as other benzodiazepines in treating various anxiety disorders. Also, it was found to be a safer drug than other benzodiazepines in the group.2
Clonazepam has been proven to be highly effective in treating REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). It is effective in nearly 90% of cases.3
Klonopin is an effective treatment for certain types of seizures due to its anticonvulsant properties, meaning it can suppress neurons’ excessive rapid-firing during seizures.4
Oral benzodiazepines are considered the most effective drugs for treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome, especially the risk of seizures and delirium.5
Klonopin and other benzodiazepines work in identical ways and are often prescribed to treat anxiety, seizures, and panic disorders.
Klonopin and Xanax are two central nervous system (CNS) depressants that belong to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Both drugs can be prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders, including panic attacks. Klonopin also treats seizures in children and adults. The effects of Klonopin typically last longer than Xanax.
Klonopin and Ativan are benzodiazepines that can treat anxiety and panic attacks. Both drugs are also sometimes prescribed for the treatment of seizures.
Klonopin and Valium are benzodiazepines used for the treatment of anxiety and seizures. Both drugs are sometimes used to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Klonopin is also used to treat panic disorders.
Klonopin has several slang names, including k-pins, tranks, downers, and benzos.
Clonazepam, or Klonopin, is generally prescribed for short-term use. However, some people may start abusing the drug due to its sedative effects. Drug abuse happens through misusing their prescribed medication, taking other people’s, or buying it on the street. Abusing clonazepam may lead to physical dependence and, ultimately, addiction.
A Klonopin high is similar to the high you get from drinking alcohol, smoking weed, or taking sedatives. There are extreme feelings of calm, relaxation, and soothing.
Both Klonopin and alcohol are central nervous system depressants (CNS). When taken together, the side effects of both drugs become more pronounced and even be life-threatening. Some of the side effects include decreased breathing and heart rate, a loss of coordination, memory and cognitive problems, and slurred speech.
Though Klonopin abuse happens orally, some people crush the tablet into a powder and snort it. Snorting Klonopin produces a faster onset of the effects than when the drug is taken orally. More severe risks of snorting Klonopin include loss of smell, collapsed nasal passages, and blocked nasal airways.
Some possible short-term Klonopin side effects include:
Due to its addictive properties, clonazepam is not recommended for long-term use. Some of the long-term Klonopin side-effects include:
Taking Klonopin in higher doses than prescribed, more frequently, and for a longer time can lead to overdose. Due to the drug’s depressant effects, many of the clonazepam overdose symptoms include slowed bodily functions.
The most common effects of a Klonopin overdose are:
Taking Klonopin in combination with other substances can increase the symptoms’ intensity and the risk of a fatal overdose.
Klonopin can lead to physical dependence in a matter of two weeks. Withdrawal symptoms will likely occur if Klonopin use stops or if the dosage is reduced suddenly.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms are short-term and last for a few days. Others are more severe and can last for weeks and sometimes even longer. The first withdrawal symptoms appear within hours of the previous use. The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of Klonopin taken, how long ago it was taken, and whether it was mixed with other substances.
Some of the most common physical withdrawal symptoms include:
Possible psychological withdrawal symptoms include:
The Klonopin effects develop within one to four hours after administration.
Klonopin has a long half-life of 19-60 hours.6 The long half-life means that a person taking the drug can expect next-day sedation, especially if they had been taking the medication for several nights in a row. The half-life depends on factors such as the amount taken, a person’s age, body mass, and metabolic rate.
The effects of Klonopin can last for up to 12 hours.
Due to its long half-life, Klonopin stays in the system for a longer time than other drugs with shorter half-lives. The long half-life of Klonopin means that it would take around five to 15 days for the drug to leave the system, depending on your age, metabolic health, and body mass.
Klonopin and its metabolite 7-amino-clonazepam can be detected in a urine test up to a month after the last use.6
The success of a Klonopin withdrawal depends on a successful taper. Tapering involves slowly lowering the dosage over time to avoid negative side effects.
There is no universally accepted tapering rate. However, research has found that slower tapers are more successful.7
A slow taper usually means reducing the dose every two or three weeks. Anyone taking high doses of the drug may start with a quicker taper and transition to a slower taper once a lower dose is achieved.
Withdrawal symptoms can appear even after successful tapering off Klonopin. Due to Klonopin’s life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, it’s frequently recommended to undergo a medically-supervised detoxification process.
The detox length depends on several factors such as dose, length of use, and whether other substances were taken in combination with Klonopin.
During detox, 24-hour supervision is provided. In some cases, medications to help control the more difficult withdrawal symptoms may be prescribed. The most commonly used medicines in Klonopin detox include other long-acting benzodiazepines such as Valium and phenobarbital, valproate, and propranolol.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used therapies for treating addiction’s mental aspects.
This type of therapy has two main components, including:
This type of therapy aims to help identify and correct negative thinking patterns and learn how to deal with temptation and stress in healthy and positive ways.
CBT is offered in both individual therapy and group therapy settings.
This information should not replace a visit to a doctor or treatment center. If you are concerned that you or a loved one struggles with a Klonopin addiction, ask for professional help today.