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Drug

Clonazepam

Pronounced

"klo-NAY-zeh-pam"

Uses

Clonazepam is used to prevent and control seizures. This medication is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. It is also used to treat panic attacks. Clonazepam works by calming your brain and nerves. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines.

Warning

Taking clonazepam with opioid medications (such as codeine, hydrocodone) may increase your risk of very serious side effects, including death. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you take the smallest dose of clonazepam that works, and take it for the shortest possible time. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used for anxiety disorders or movement disorders (such as tremor, akathisia)

How to Use This Medication

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking clonazepam and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 or 3 times daily.

Do not remove the tablet from its pouch until you are ready to take it. Dry your hands before handling the medication. Open the pouch and peel back the foil layer. Do not push the tablet through the foil because it may get damaged. Place the dose in your mouth where it will quickly dissolve. You can then swallow it with saliva or water. You do not need to take this medication with water.

Dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. For children, the dose is also based on weight. Older adults usually start with a lower dose to decrease the risk of side effects. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer time than directed.

Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as seizures, mental/mood changes, shaking, stomach/muscle cramps). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used clonazepam for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.

When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.

Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

If you have several different types of seizure disorders, you may experience a worsening of seizures when you first start using clonazepam. Consult your doctor right away if this happens. Your doctor may need to add or adjust the dose of your other medications to control the seizures.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

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Information expires December 2020.