Klonopin (clonazepam) is commonly used to treat panic disorder, anxiety, and certain types of seizures. If you take enough drugs over time, you may become physically dependent on Klonopin.It is for this reason that the medication should be prescribed carefully, and the dosage will be gradually reduced once the treatment is no longer needed.
If you have taken Klonopin, you should take time to let yourself know about possible side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and symptoms of overdose. Rivotril is another brand name for clonazepam used in some other countries.
Klonopin belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. It comes in pill form and dissolvable tablet form. It has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of certain types of epilepsy in adults and children and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (fear of open space).
Klonopin can also be used to treat alcohol withdrawal, sleep difficulties, and anxiety related to bipolar disorder or other mood disorders.
When used in combination with opioids or alcohol, benzodiazepines can cause serious side effects. These include extreme sedation, difficulty breathing, coma, and even death. To avoid serious complications, you should let your doctor know about all over-the-counter, prescription, traditional, natural remedies, nutritional or homeopathic medicines you may be taking.
When used in combination with opioids or alcohol, benzodiazepines can cause serious side effects.
There may be some side effects when using Klonopin for the first time, many of which will resolve on their own as your body adjusts to the treatment.
If any of these common side effects is severe or does not go away, you should call your doctor:
- Changes in libido or sexual function
- Difficulty thinking or remembering
- Coordination problem
- Vision changes
Rarely, Klonopin can cause the following side effects:
- Chest tightness
- Tongue coating
- Dry mouth
- Hair loss
- Heart palpitations
- Hirsutism (excessive hair growth)
- Lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes)
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Gum pain
If you experience these or any other unusual side effects, call your doctor immediately.
When to call 911
In rare cases, side effects can develop rapidly and can be life-threatening. If you experience any of the following symptoms, please call 911 or seek emergency care:
- Skin rash or hives
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat
- hard to swallow
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
- lose the way
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Nausea or vomiting
- A feeling that doom is coming
This may be a symptom of a severe systemic allergic reaction, called an allergic reaction. If left untreated, allergic reactions can lead to respiratory distress, seizures, coma, respiratory or heart failure, and death.
You should never stop taking Klonopin suddenly without your doctor’s approval, especially if you have been treated for a while or are using it to control seizures. If you do need to stop treatment, your doctor will usually tell you to stop treatment.
Some of the more common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping
These symptoms are relatively controllable and will eventually subside as the daily dose is reduced. However, sometimes withdrawal symptoms persist for a long time or longer.
When to call your doctor
If you experience any of the following more severe withdrawal symptoms, please call your doctor immediately:
- Abdominal cramps
- Increased sensitivity to touch or pain
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Paranoid or unusual thoughts
- Sound sensitivity
- Tingling, burning, or tingling sensation
If you think someone has overdose of Klonopin, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. You can also call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 or visit the Poison Control website for immediate advice and help.
Call 911 for symptoms of overdose
Symptoms of Klonopin overdose include:
- Clammy skin
- Dilated pupils
- Extremely sedated
- Impaired coordination
- Difficulty breathing
- Weak and fast pulse
Treatment may include gastric lavage (emptying the stomach), intravenous fluids, mechanical ventilation, Romazicon (flumenazil) to reverse sedation, and drugs such as Levarterenol (norepinephrine) to treat dangerous blood pressure drops (if present).