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Brand names and manufacturer:

klonopin, Klonopin Wafe


Prescription drug


klonazepam (kloe NAZ e pam)

What is clonazepam?

Clonazepam is an anti anxiety and anti seizure drug. It belongs to a group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. It controls panic attacks and convulsions by calming down the brain and activity of nerves.


Main: Clonazepam is primarily used to control and prevent different types of seizures. It may be used alone or as an adjuvant

Others: The drug is also used in treatment of panic disorders with symptoms like extreme anxiety, agorophobia, insomnia, etc.

What should I know before taking this drug

How to use clonazepam

You should take clonazepam exactly as prescribed by your doctor and not more or less by your own will. Read and follow the instructions given on the prescription label.

Clonazepam is available as a tablet and an orally disintegrating tablet (wafer). Make sure your hands and clean and dry before touching the tablet or the wafer.

You can swallow the whole tablet with a glass of water.

If you are using the wafer then make sure you take the pill out when you are ready to consume. Peel the foil in the blister from behind and do not push the tablet through the foil as it might break. Take out the tablet and place on your tongue- it will start disintegrating. Do not chew or swallow whole. Once it has disintegrated you can swallow with or without water. But swallow several times to receive the complete dosage.

Adverse reactions/side effects

The most common side effect of clonazepam administered to patients with seizures is depression. Other neurological side effects include confusion, drowsiness, vertigo, unusual movement of eyes and slurry speech.

Respiratory side effects include chest congestion and shortness of breath. Patients also report of muscle spasms, palpitations, change in bowels, dry mouth, increased appetite, while taking this drug.

Urinary problems like increased urination at night, inability to control urine and urinary retention are some other noted side effects of clonazepam.

Patients are also familiar with dermatological side effects including like hair loss and rashes on skin

Some patients also experience hallucinations and exhibit unusual behaviour like suicidal tendency, aggressive and violent behaviour, etc. Insomnia, anxiety and sleep problems might also be encountered by patients taking clonazepam. Such serious side effects if experienced by patients must be reported to doctor.


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What are the precautions I should follow for clonazepam?


Clonazepam can be used in children after considering the risk and benefits. It’s important to discuss the long term effect of the drug on physical and mental development of kids. Clonazepam is not used in children or infants with panic disorder as its effectiveness is not established

Old people:

It is important to consider the side effects of drugs on the functioning of heart, liver, bladder, kidneys, etc., especially for those above 65 years of age.

Pregnant women:

Clonazepam belongs pregnancy category D. There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks. This means that there is a positive evidence of risk to unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Lactating women:

Mothers taking clonazepam should not breastfeed their babies.


Clonazepam tends to get addictive and it is usually given for short term i.e. not longer than 9 weeks. So make sure you consult your doctor before stopping or continuing the drug further.

What should I do if

I miss dose(s):

If you are on a scheduled medication and you miss the dose, then take the dose as soon as you remember. However, if it’s time for the next dose then skip the current dose and take the next dose. Never double dose clonazepam.

I take over dose:

Overdose symptoms might include confusion, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, and fainting. If you think you have overdosed on clonazepam and experiencing any abnormality then call your doctor or emergency help immediately because overdose of clonazepam could be fatal.

Dosage form:

Clonazepam is available as a tablet and an orally disintegrating tablet (wafer). It can be taken with or without food.


Adults: The recommended starting dose with seizure should not exceed 1.5 mg/day and is divided into three doses. Once the seizures are controlled, doctors decide a maintenance dose which differs from one patient to another.

The initial dose for adults with panic disorder is 0.25 mg/day. Your doctor may increase the dose to 1 mg /day after three days

Children: In children <= 10 years of age or < 30 kg of body weight the initial dose is between 0.01 and 0.03 mg/kg/day (should not exceed 0.05 mg/kg/day) administered in 2 or 3 divided doses to reduce drowsiness.

In children >10 years and >30 kg of body weight the initial dose should not exceed 1.5 mg/day, taken thrice a day.


Store the medicine in room temperature, away from moisture, sunlight and reach of children. Do not keep the box/bottle inside refrigerator and never flush. Check with your doctor how to dispose unused or expired medicine.

Additional information if any

It is important to tell your doctor if you have medical conditions like liver disease, kidney disease, lung or respiratory problem, history of depression or alcohol addiction, glaucoma, heart problem etc. Patients with serious liver disease are not given clonazepam.

Your doctor would ask you to avoid alcohol and tobacco while taking the medicines. Special instructions would be given to you if you have addiction problem.

You must tell your doctor if you have allergy to benzodiazepines, including clonazepam or any other form of allergy.

Information regarding any drug (like Alfentanil, Butabarbital, morphine, etc.), herbal or vitamin supplements must be conveyed to doctor before consuming the drug.

You must tell your doctor if you are planning for pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding before taking the drug. Old people tend to feel sleepy and drowsy while taking the medicine so they must take care of personal safety to avoid accidents and falls.

Patients taking clonazepam have to undergo blood tests as scheduled by doctor to determine the efficacy of the medicine.

Written by: team

Date last updated: January 20, 2015