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Side Effects of Klonopin

Common side effects of Klonopin, like drowsiness or dizziness, may fade as you get used to the medication. But some people experience serious side effects, such as increased suicidal thoughts or seizures.

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Klonopin’s Risks

Clonazepam (brand name: Klonopin) is a prescription benzodiazepine medication your doctor might use to treat conditions like panic disorder and insomnia.

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Klonopin can interact with other sedating medications, including prescription painkillers and alcohol. Using these medications simultaneously is incredibly dangerous.

If you take Klonopin for a long time, you will need help to quit. People who take Klonopin can develop physical dependence, and if they quit abruptly, they can experience life-threatening seizures. 

Common Side Effects 

Your prescription medication can cause side effects. Some are common and mild, and others are very serious.

Common Klonopin side effects include the following:

  • Blurry vision 
  • Changes in sex drive 
  • Clumsiness
  • Dizziness 
  • Drowsiness
  • Frequent urination 
  • Mental fog or confusion 
  • Muscle or joint pain

Talk with your doctor if these issues don’t improve as you adjust to Klonopin. If they worsen and impact your quality of life, talk with your doctor before you quit.

Serious side effects that indicate an allergic reaction include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Hoarseness 
  • Rash or hives
  • Swollen eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat

Allergic reactions are medical emergencies. Seek help right away at a hospital or clinic. 

Klonopin Warnings: What You Should Know

Prescription medications are tested multiple times before they hit pharmacy shelves, and they’re produced in controlled laboratories. They are safe and effective therapies.

But even the most tested drug can interact with your body in an unpredictable way. Warnings help you understand if a drug is safe for you.

Known Klonopin hazards include the following:

  • Suicidal thoughts: Depression can worsen, and you may feel suicidal. Some people even plan suicide while on Klonopin. If you feel helpless or hopeless while on this medication, tell your doctor immediately. 
  • Fetal interactions: If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant while taking Klonopin, your medication could harm your developing baby.
  • Seizure risks: If you have a seizure disorder, Klonopin could make your condition worse. 
  • Increased saliva: Your medication could make your mouth water. If you struggle to swallow or you have respiratory disease, this could be a risky medication for you.

Talk with your doctor about what to do if these issues arise. You could need a different medication to ease your mental health issues. But your doctor might need to adjust your Klonopin dose rather than stopping it abruptly. 

Klonopin Drug Interactions

Benzodiazepines like Klonopin can amplify and alter the action of all sorts of other drugs, including recreational versions. Before you use anything with Klonopin, check with your doctor first.

Depressant medications, including alcohol or prescription painkillers, are particularly dangerous to mix with Klonopin. Both can slow heart rate and breathing, and put together, they can depress vital signs so significantly that you could fall into a coma. Never mix these drugs.

Klonopin can also interact with the following medications:

  • Carbamazepine 
  • Cimetidine 
  • Fluvoxamine 
  • Itraconazole 
  • Ketoconazole 
  • Nefazodone 
  • Phenobarbital 
  • Phenytoin 
  • Ritonavir

Ensure your doctor knows about all the medications you’re taking before you start using Klonopin. Better yet, fill all of your prescriptions at the same pharmacy, so your pharmacist can run checks on drug interactions too. 

Long-Term Klonopin Use: What’s the Harm?

Some people use Klonopin as a short-term solution to insomnia. But some people have long-lasting problems that Klonopin seems to ease.

In general, doctors try to give this medication for very short time periods to help you avoid two important side effects. 

Liver Damage

Klonopin is processed by your liver, and some people damage this organ while taking Klonopin. Your doctor can run periodic tests to ensure that you stay healthy, but if you have liver damage, this medication might not be right for you.

Withdrawal Seizures

Sedative drugs like Klonopin can cause a rebound effect if you quit cold turkey. Your long-sedated brain cells trade too much electrical activity when they awaken, and a seizure takes hold.

If you’ve been using Klonopin for a long time, don’t stop taking it suddenly. You will need medical help to quit use safely. It often involves a tapered approach to stopping use.

Klonopin Misuse & Abuse Complications 

Your doctor will tell you how much Klonopin to take and how to take it. Even if you follow those instructions carefully, you run the risk of addiction.

You’re abusing Klonopin if you take doses close together, crush your pills, or take too much at once. In time, you may need more Klonopin just to feel normal, and you may be unable to quit without help.

Abusing Klonopin alone is rarely life-threatening, but if you use another depressant drug (like alcohol), your overdose risks increase. Slow reflexes, confusion, and impending coma are all signs of an overdose. Without help, you could die.

If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately. Prompt medical care is needed.

If you’re abusing Klonopin, it’s time to get help. A treatment team can help you stop taking this medication safely, and you can learn how to build up habits to keep you sober for a lifetime.

In a comprehensive treatment program, you’ll have medical support as well as therapeutic guidance. You’ll also have support from peers who are dealing with the same struggles.

You’ll begin to build a new life that doesn’t rely on Klonopin or any substance of abuse. There is hope for your future in recovery. Take the first step today.

Updated January 19, 2024
Resources
  1. Clonazepam. (May 2021). National Library of Medicine.
  2. Klonopin: FDA-Approved Labeling Text. (October 2013). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  3. Klonopin: FDA-Approved Medication Guide. (October 2017). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  4. Clonazepam (Klonopin). (September 2021). National Alliance on Mental Illness.
  5. Clonazepam. (December 2021). StatPearls.
  6. A Case Report of Clonazepam Dependence. (May 2016). Medicine.
  7. Risks Associated With Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use. (August 2013). American Family Physician.
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