Klonopin Drug Class | Is Clonazepam A Benzodiazepine?

Klonopin is classified as a benzodiazepine, schedule IV controlled substance because it has medicinal uses as well as a fairly high abuse potential.

Clonazepam (brand name Klonopin) is a benzodiazepine prescription drug used to treat those with anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia). The medication can also treat seizure disorders and can be used as an anticonvulsant.

Klonopin is a Schedule IV controlled substance according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Schedule IV controlled substances have the potential for abuse.

What Are Benzodiazepines?

A benzodiazepine drug can be useful in treating panic attacks brought on by various anxiety disorders. Benzodiazepines can also be used to help treat certain types of seizures. More specifically, Klonopin is used in the treatment of panic disorder.

Klonopin is offered in various disintegrating mg tablets. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system (CNS) depressants that work by enhancing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.

In addition to Klonopin, other benzodiazepines include lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and diazepam (Valium). The use of benzodiazepines can lead to a number of serious side effects.

Side Effects Of Klonopin

Since benzodiazepines are CNS depressants, a number of side effects can occur when the drug is taken.

Short-Term Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects of clonazepam that occur in the short-term may include:

  • sedation
  • drowsiness
  • blurred vision
  • sleepiness
  • general impairment with coordination
  • memory problems
  • muscle pain
  • frequent urination

Those who develop changes in mental health such as suicidal thoughts should contact their primary doctor immediately.

Long-Term Side Effects

Long-term use of Klonopin can lead to physical dependence. This long-term side effect can lead to potential withdrawal symptoms for those who cease the medication abruptly.

Those who take high-doses of Klonopin can experience seizures if the medication is suddenly stopped. Quitting Klonopin, or any benzodiazepine, is not encouraged as it can lead to serious side effects.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Benzodiazepines can cause serious side effects when not taken properly. Those who have participated in benzodiazepine abuse or take the medication long-term can experience a number of withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped “cold turkey.”

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some of these symptoms may include:

  • psychosis
  • convulsions
  • hallucinations
  • muscle cramps
  • tremors
  • depression

Klonopin Warnings

There are a number of warnings you should be aware of when taking Klonopin.

For instance, speaking with your healthcare provider regarding your medical history, your family’s medical history, and the current medications you take is an important part of being responsible before taking this benzodiazepine.

Drug Interactions

A number of drug interactions may take place if Klonopin or other benzodiazepines are combined with other drugs.

For instance, some of the medications to avoid while taking benzodiazepines include:

  • certain antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • antihistamines
  • opioids
  • alcohol
  • antipsychotic drugs
  • muscle relaxants
  • certain supplements or vitamins
  • other seizure medications such as phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) or carbamazepine (Epitol, Tegretol, Teril)
  • anti epileptic medications

Combining certain medications may cause allergic reactions and adverse effects, worsening the side effects. This can lead to serious sedation.

Certain Medical Conditions

Those who have or had certain medical conditions should avoid Klonopin as serious life-threatening health problems can occur.

Some of these include:

  • eye problems such as narrow angle glaucoma
  • liver disease
  • a blood disorder such as porphyria
  • chronic respiratory diseases such chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which can lead to respiratory depression
  • mental health conditions such as mood disorders

In addition to these medical conditions, women who become pregnant should notify their doctor immediately before taking any benzodiazepine.

Women who are breastfeeding may pass the drug to their child through breast milk. This can lead to potential malformations and other problems for the baby.

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Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

©2024 Northeast Addition Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

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