What is Klonopin?
Klonopin is Roche’s trade name for Clonazepam, a benzodiazepine used as an anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and anxiolytic. Because it is a high potency benzodiazepine and has fast onset of effects, it is often used in the treatment of epilepsy, particularly those associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, atonic seizures, myoclonic seizures and absence seizures. It is not suitable for long-term treatment of seizures because tolerance is developed to its anticonvulsant effects. Klonopin is also used for panic disorder. It is one of the longest-acting benzodiazepines with a half life of up to 50 hours.
How does Klonopin work?
Like all benzodiazepines, Klonopin works by enhancing the natural calming effect of the neurotransmitter GABA through modulation of GABA receptors.
What does Klonopin look like?
Klonopin is sold as a round orange pill with 0.5 mg strength and an imprint of “Roche ½ Klopin”, a round blue pill with 1 mg strength and the imprint “Roche 1 Klonopin” and a round white pill of 2 mg strength with the imprint “Roche 2 Klonopin”. All three pills have a perforation in the shape of “K”. Klonopin is also available in disintegrating oral wafers with a strength of 0.125 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg, imprinted with ?, ¼, ½ and 1 respectively. The wafers are particularly useful for children who may have difficulty in swallowing tablets.
Klonopin dosing and administration
The standard initial dose for epilepsy in adults is 0.5 mg or less, three times a day. Your doctor may increase the dose incrementally as necessary in order to control your seizures. The maximum total daily dose should not exceed 20 mg. The starting dose for panic disorder is 0.25 mg twice daily. You doctor may increase this if necessary.
Common adverse effects from Klonopin
The most common side effects of Klonopin include drowsiness which may occur in as many as fifty percent of patients, coordination problems and behavioral problems which may effect between 25 and 30 percent of people, dizziness and upper respiratory tract infections. Less common adverse effects are aphasia, loss of libido, confusion, sinus infection, irritated or runny nose, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, painful menstrual cramps and sexual problems including erectile dysfunction and delayed ejaculation. Serious side effects which may occur occasionally are depression, balance problems, suicidal thoughts, memory problems, anxiety or agitation, hostility or rage, insomnia and hallucinations.
Klonopin warnings and precautions
Combining alcohol with Klonopin may increase your risk of side effects, particularly respiratory depression which may be life threatening. It is best to avoid alcohol while taking Klonopin. You should tell your doctor before taking Klonopin if you have glaucoma, a history of substance abuse including alcohol, depression, respiratory problems, liver or kidney disease, or any allergies. You should also inform your doctor if you are pregnant or may become pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. You should also report any other medications you are currently taking, including herbal supplements.
Interactions with Klonopin
Klonopin may interact with alcohol, anesthetics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, barbiturates and narcotics, some antibiotics and antifungals, other benzodiazepines, protease inhibitors, seizure medications and sleep medications.