klonopin pills

Klonopin: Everything You Need to Know

Clonazepam, commonly known by the brand name Klonopin, is generally prescribed for the treatment of seizure disorders, anxiety and panic disorders.

One of the five mostly commonly prescribed of the benzodiazepine drug class, clonazepam is powerful and the risks of abuse and potential for dependence should be considered when using this medication.

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin belongs to the class of medications called benzodiazepines that work by reducing activity in the brain, calming excessive nervousness and decreasing seizures.

Klonopin enhances the effects of the brain neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. This helps to decrease the intensity of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Benzodiazepines are generally used as a sedative, muscle relaxant or for reducing anxiety. While primarily used for seizures, Klonopin, which has a calming effect on the nervous system, can also relieve panic attacks, treat acute catatonic reactions and treat symptoms of akathisia or restlessness.

Klonopin is federally classified as a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act because it is acceptable for medical use but has a potential for abuse. It is essential to take this medication only as directed by a medical practitioner, following instructions on dosage and length of treatment and understanding the risks involved.

Clonazepam is legally prescribed by medical professionals for legitimate use but is one of the most common benzodiazepines found on the illicit market. Tolerance can develop with long-term use and lead to addiction so Klonopin should only be used under the careful guidance of a healthcare provider.

What is Klonopin Used For?

Klonopin is primarily used for its anti-convulsant and anxiety-reducing properties. Due to its muscle relaxant characteristics, it is commonly prescribed for the treatment of seizure disorders, the management of anxiety disorders, muscle relaxation, alcohol withdrawal, panic disorders including agoraphobia and movement disorders known as akathisia. 

As it calms the brain and nerves, Klonopin is effective for short-term use but a careful, monitored treatment plan must be put in place by a licensed healthcare provider to avoid a negative response to the medication.

What is a Common Clonazepam Dosage?

Prescribed dosages of clonazepam vary depending on the age and health of the patient, the condition being treated and a person’s response to the medication. For seizure disorders, adult dosage is normally 0.5mg three times a day and can be increased until seizures are under control. A maintenance dose ranges from 1 to 20mg a day. For anxiety and panic disorders, the initial dose is typically 0.25mg twice daily and can be increased to a maximum daily dose of 4mg. Lower doses are recommended for elderly or debilitated patients because of the increased risk of side effects and impaired motor function.

 

What Are the Side Effects of Klonopin?

Like all benzodiazepines, Klonopin can affect the central nervous system and cause sleepiness and relaxation. The severity and occurrence of side effects can vary from person to person. Here are some of the more common and serious side effects associated with Klonopin:

Common Side Effects

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Coordination problems
  • Depression
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Decreased libido
  • Confusion
  • Memory impairment
  • Reduced alertness

Less Common Side Effects

  • Bladder and urinary issues
  • Forgetfulness
  • Change in speech
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Mood or mental changes
  • Sweating, shivering

Rare, yet serious side effects, can be seen in Klonopin use including changes in skin color, chest pain, skin numbness, irregular heartbeat, partial paralysis, skin rash, and suicidal thoughts. Reactions such as these should be immediately reported to your doctor.

What Does Klonopin Abuse Look Like?

  • Using Klonopin more frequently than prescribed
  • Taking higher doses to experience a greater effect such as increased euphoria or relaxation
  • Using Klonopin without a prescription 
  • Doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions
  • Using Klonopin in combination with other substances like alcohol or opioids

What Are Common Signs of Klonopin Addiction

Understanding the signs of addiction and seeking help are vital for the early intervention that can help lead to recovery from Klonopin addiction. Some signs of addiction are:

  • Mood swings
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Changes in appearance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, sweating, nausea, anxiety, muscle cramps
  • Increased tolerance

If you or someone you know is showing signs of Klonopin misuse, you should seek advice from a trained counselor. Addiction to benzodiazepines like Klonopin can be debilitating, but resources and treatment are available.

What is Klonopin Addiction?

Klonopin addiction occurs when the body adapts to the presence of the drug and develops a tolerance, needing more to achieve the same effect. If Klonopin use is reduced or stopped, withdrawal symptoms can occur and users can feel unable to function without it. Even when used as prescribed, long-term Klonopin use can lead to dependence and eventual addiction.

Klonopin users can develop a physical dependence as the body adapts to its presence, leading to the need for larger, more frequent doses, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Psychological reliance on Klonopin and feeling unable to function without it can also occur after long-term use, leaving users to believe they need the drug to cope with daily life.

What Does Klonopin Addiction Treatment Look Like?

Treatment for Klonopin addiction requires a comprehensive approach, addressing the physical, psychological and social aspects of dependence. Through the recovery process, intervention can include detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, counseling and support groups.

Klonopin Detox

The decision to stop using Klonopin is a brave choice and is the starting point in building a healthier life, free from dependency. Because of its effects on the nervous system, abruptly stopping the use of Klonopin can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. It is essential to follow a structured program under medical supervision which can help ease discomfort.

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

Recovery from Klonopin addiction is a process that requires careful consideration of the treatment options available. Both inpatient and outpatient treatments offer valuable resources and support for overcoming addiction, but the choice between them should be based on specific needs, the severity of the addiction, and the level of support required. It is essential to consult with recovery specialists and healthcare providers to make an informed decision and develop a treatment plan. Consider your treatment options and their benefits, features and sustainability, tailoring a program to your needs.

  • Inpatient care: This generally ranges from 30 days to several months and provides a more structured environment with 24/7 medical and therapeutic support. It allows freedom from everyday triggers and stressors. Inpatient care includes counseling, group therapy, individual counseling and, often, holistic therapies. There can also be amenities to bolster your treatment including nutrition counseling, fitness programs and relaxation techniques.
  • Outpatient care: This allows you to live at home while receiving treatment, maintaining most aspects of daily life. Outpatient care often works for those who cannot leave their job or family and can be an option for someone with mild or moderate addiction. It can also be a stepdown from inpatient care. This type of program allows people to immediately use the skills they have learned in real-world situations.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Klonopin use, know that help is always available. Please reach out to one of our compassionate admissions team members to learn about treatment options. 

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