Klonopin Side Effects, Interactions, & Warnings

Klonopin is a benzodiazepine drug that causes side effects such as sedation and drowsiness. Additionally, Klonopin can dangerously interact with other substances, and those taking the drug are warned of the risk of withdrawal and overdose.

Clonazepam (brand name Klonopin) is a benzodiazepine prescription drug used to treat panic attacks and other symptoms of anxiety disorders and panic disorder. Klonopin may also be used as an anticonvulsant to manage certain types of seizure disorders like epilepsy or absence seizures.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Klonopin is a Schedule IV controlled substance that has potential for abuse and psychological or physical dependence. 

Klonopin works by depressing the central nervous system (CNS) and enhancing the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. Although typically meant for short-term use, Klonopin may be prescribed for long-term use and can create a wide-range of side effects.

Side Effects Of Klonopin

The side effects of clonazepam can range in severity, leaving a person to experience common to life-threatening effects.

Common Side Effects

Some of the common side effects a person may experience with Klonopin, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consist of:

  • drowsiness
  • sedation
  • lightheadedness
  • headache
  • blurred vision
  • sleepiness
  • dizziness
  • change in sex drive or urination

Serious Side Effects

More serious side effects can also occur and may include:

  • rash or hives
  • hoarseness
  • memory problems
  • breathing problems
  • worsening of mental health problems such as suicidal thoughts
  • withdrawal symptoms
  • benzodiazepine overdose

Drug Interactions With Klonopin

Those who take Klonopin should speak with their prescribing doctor before combining other medications with the drug. Some of the substances to avoid while on Klonopin include:

  • antihistamines
  • alcohol
  • opioids like codeine
  • over-the-counter pain medications
  • supplements
  • other CNS depressants
  • antidepressants

Also, other benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan) should not be combined with Klonopin.

Warnings For Those Prescribed Klonopin

There are various warnings to know before taking Klonopin. Certain allergic reactions may take place and the worsening of symptoms can occur. More specifically, those with liver disease or narrow-angle glaucoma can experience adverse effects from the drug.

In addition to this, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid Klonopin. This is due to the fact that the drug may pass from mother to child via breast milk.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Those who participate in the long-term use of Klonopin and abruptly stop the medication may experience serious withdrawal symptoms. Some of the symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal can include:

  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • sleeping problems
  • sweating
  • constipation
  • rapid heart rate
  • muscle cramps

Klonopin Overdose

A life-threatening Klonopin overdose can occur when the drug is abused, taken in large quantities, or combined with opioids or alcohol. Symptoms of overdose can include:

  • shallow breathing or respiratory depression
  • confusion
  • impaired coordination
  • cardiac arrest
  • severe drowsiness
  • loss of consciousness

If an overdose is expected, seek medical attention immediately and contact 911.

If you or a loved one live with Klonopin addiction, our healthcare professionals can help. For information on our substance abuse treatment options, please contact us today.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/benzo.pdf
  2. Food and Drug Administration https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2013/017533s053,020813s009lbl.pdf
  3. National Alliance on Mental Illness https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Clonazepam-(Klonopin)
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682279.html
  5. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556010/

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 17, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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