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Description of Clonazepam

Brand Name(s): Klonopin

Generic Name Clonazepam

What are clonazepam tablets?

CLONAZEPAM (Klonopin®) is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines belong to a group of medicines that slow down the central nervous system. Clonazepam is effective in treating certain types of seizures (convulsions) and is also used for a mental health condition called Panic Disorder. Federal law prohibits the transfer of clonazepam to any person other than the patient for whom it was prescribed. Do not share this medicine with anyone else. Generic clonazepam tablets are available.

What should my health care professional know before I take clonazepam?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • an alcohol or drug abuse problem
  • bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis or other mental health condition
  • glaucoma
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea or other breathing difficulties
  • myasthenia gravis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • seizures or a history of seizures
  • shortness of breath
  • snoring
  • suicidal thoughts
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to clonazepam, other benzodiazepines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take clonazepam tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. If clonazepam upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking or change the dose except on your prescriber's advice.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose and remember within an hour, take it as soon as you can. If it is more than an hour since you missed a dose, skip that dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with clonazepam?

  • alcohol
  • bosentan
  • caffeine
  • cimetidine
  • disulfiram
  • female hormones, including contraceptive or birth control pills
  • herbal or dietary supplements such as kava kava, melatonin, St. John's Wort or valerian
  • imatinib, STI-571
  • isoniazid
  • medicines for anxiety or sleeping problems, such as alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam or triazolam
  • medicines for depression, mental problems or psychiatric disturbances
  • medicines for fungal infections (fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
  • medicines for HIV infection or AIDS
  • nicardipine
  • prescription pain medicines
  • probenecid
  • rifampin, rifapentine, or rifabutin
  • some antibiotics (clarithromycin, erythromycin, troleandomycin)
  • some medicines for colds, hay fever or other allergies
  • some medicines for high blood pressure or heart-rhythm problems (amiodarone, diltiazem, verapamil)
  • some medicines for seizures (carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone)
  • theophylline
  • zafirlukast
  • zileuton

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking clonazepam?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • confusion
  • depression
  • double vision or abnormal eye movements
  • hallucinations (seeing and hearing things that are not really there)
  • lightheadedness or fainting spells
  • mood changes, excitability or aggressive behavior
  • movement difficulty, staggering or jerky movements
  • muscle cramps
  • restlessness
  • tremors
  • weakness or tiredness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation or diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping, nightmares
  • dizziness, drowsiness, clumsiness, or unsteadiness; a 'hangover' effect
  • headache
  • increased secretions or saliva from your mouth
  • nausea, vomiting

What should I watch for while taking clonazepam?

Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your body may become dependent on clonazepam. If you have been taking clonazepam regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may get severe side effects. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for advice before increasing or decreasing the dose. Even after you stop taking clonazepam it can still affect your body for several days.

If you suffer from several types of seizures, clonazepam may increase the chance of grand mal seizures (epilepsy). Let your prescriber or health care professional know, he or she may want to prescribe an additional medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how clonazepam affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy and fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol may increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

If you are a female patient with a newborn, it is not recommended that you breast-feed your infant while receiving clonazepam. Ask your health care professional for additional advice.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds or allergies without asking your prescriber or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking clonazepam.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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