What Meds

Psychiatric Medications

Brand Name: Klonopin

Klonopin is the brand name for Clonazepam, an anxiolytic and anticonvulsant. Klonopin is a member of the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, and this drug causes sedation. Klonopin binds to a receptor in the brain (GABA) that helps make neurons less excitable.

Klonopin's effects can sometimes be felt right away, but its full benefits are typically reached in 3 to 4 weeks.

Why is this drug prescribed?
Klonopin is FDA-labeled in adults for treatment of panic disorder and seizures and is FDA-labeled in children up to 10 years age or 30kg for seizures.

Klonopin is also used to treat:

How much of this drug is typically used?
Tablet: 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg
Tablet, orally disintegrating: 0.125 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg

Warnings and Precautions
Klonopin is very habit forming (addictive) and may become so in only 2-4 weeks of use, causing psychological and physical dependence. It is possible to build up a tolerance for this drug and a dosage increase may be required.

Klonopin should not be discontinued abruptly, or it could cause withdrawal symptoms including abdominal and muscle cramps, behavior disorders, convulsions, depressed feeling, hallucinations, restlessness, sleeping difficulties, and tremors.

Klonopin's effects on children, including possible long-term effects, have not been thoroughly studied. When Klonopin is given to children, dosage should be determined by weight. Side effects of Klonopin and other benzodiazepines are more likely to occur in children than in adults.

For Pregnant or Nursing Mothers: Klonopin may cause birth defects, especially during the first trimester. After that, the fetus may still be affected, and may experience withdrawal symptoms as a newborn. Klonopin passes into breast milk, and may cause sedation and other problems in the infant. Klonopin should not be taken by pregnant or nursing mothers, however in some cases of severe seizure disorder, the risk that seizures pose to both mother and child may be considerable.

Klonopin should not be used for people with the following medical conditions:

Klonopin may be used with caution in people with the following conditions:

Adverse Reactions
Klonopin's side effects may be different depending on the disorder it is being used to treat. Klonopin may cause the following reactions:


Interactions with Drugs and Other Substances
Drugs or substances that may interact with Klonopin include:

Research Studies and Use in Child Psychiatry
A small study with 4 adolescents showed benefit in treatment of frequency of panic attacks and baseline anxiety using Clonazepam 0.5 mg twice daily. (Kutcher & MacKenzie, 1988). In another small study, 0.5 to 3 milligrams clonazepam daily was used successfully in the treatment of severe anxiety disorders with panic-like symptoms in 3 prepubertal children (8 to 11 years of age) (Biederman, 1987). There is a small study of children and adolescents with tic disorder and concomitant ADHD in which adjunctive treatment of clonazepam to clonidine decreased tic frequency and severity without affecting coexisting ADHD symptoms. It is not commonly used for younger children due to the possibility of paradoxical worsening of behavior.  Also, like other benzodiazepines, this may have a higher addictive potential, making it not useful for people with substance abuse problems and usually avoided in adolescents if possible.

Off-label use includes restless legs syndrome, sleep walking disorders, and social phobia in adults.

Investigational studies are underway as adjunctive therapy for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia


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