Klonopin, a benzodiazepine, is available as scored tablets with a K-shaped perforation containing 0.5 mg of clonazepam and unscored tablets with a K-shaped perforation containing 1 mg or 2 mg of clonazepam. Each tablet also contains lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and corn starch, with the following colorants: 0.5 mg—FD&C Yellow No. 6 Lake; 1 mg—FD&C Blue No. 1 Lake and FD&C Blue No. 2 Lake.
Klonopin is also available as an orally disintegrating tablet containing 0.125 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg or 2 mg clonazepam. Each orally disintegrating tablet also contains gelatin, mannitol, methylparaben sodium, propylparaben sodium and xanthan gum.
Chemically, clonazepam is 5-(2-chlorophenyl)-1,3-dihydro-7-nitro-2#-1,4- benzodiazepin-2-one. It is a light yellow crystalline powder. It has a molecular weight of 315.72 and the following structural formula:
What are the possible side effects of clonazepam (Klonopin, Klonopin Wafer)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, irritable, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or...
Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Klonopin »
What are the precautions when taking clonazepam (Klonopin)?
Before taking clonazepam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (such as diazepam, lorazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: a certain type of eye problem (narrow angle glaucoma), liver disease, kidney disease, lung/breathing problems, mental/mood problems (such as depression, thoughts of suicide), regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol/other substances.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you...
How should this medicine be used?
Clonazepam comes as a tablet and an orally disintegrating tablet (tablet that dissolves quickly in the mouth) to take by mouth. It usually is taken one to three times a day with or without food. Take clonazepam at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
Do not try to push the orally disintegrating tablet through the foil. Instead, use dry hands to peel back the foil packaging. Immediately take out the tablet and place it in your mouth. The tablet will quickly dissolve and can be swallowed with or without liquid.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of clonazepam and gradually increase your dose, not more often than once every 3 days.
Clonazepam can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time or in a different way than prescribed by your doctor. Take clonazepam exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Clonazepam may help control your condition, but will not cure it. It may take a few weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of clonazepam. Continue to take clonazepam even if you feel well. Do not stop taking clonazepam without talking to your doctor, even if you experience side effects such as unusual changes in behavior or mood, If you suddenly stop taking clonazepam, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as new or worsening seizures, hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist), changes in behavior, sweating, uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body, stomach or muscle cramps, anxiety, or difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually
Other uses for this medicine
Return to top
Clonazepam is also used to treat symptoms of akathisia (restlessness and a need for constant movement) that may occur as a side effect of treatment with antipsychotic medications (medications for mental illness) and to treat acute catatonic reactions (state in which a person does not move or speak at all or moves or speaks abnormally). Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Return to top
Before taking clonazepam,
talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this medication if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should receive low doses of clonazepam because higher doses may not work better and may cause serious side effects.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to clonazepam, other benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium, in Limbitrol), clorazepate (Gen-Xene, Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), estazolam, flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), oxazepam, temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); certain antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac), erythromycin (Erythrocin, E-mycin), and troleandomycin (TAO) (not available in the US); antidepressants; certain antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral); antihistamines; certain calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others) and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan); cimetidine (Tagamet); HIV protease inhibitors including indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); medications for anxiety, colds or allergies, mental illness, or pain; other medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), phenytoin (Dilantin), or valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote); muscle relaxants; nefazodone; rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); sedatives; certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluvoxamine (Luvox); other sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye that may cause vision loss) or liver disease. Your doctor may tell you not to take clonazepam.
- tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, use or have ever used street drugs or have overused prescription medications. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had lung or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Clonazepam may harm the fetus. If you become pregnant while taking clonazepam, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking clonazepam.
- you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- talk to your doctor about the safe use of alcohol during your treatment with clonazepam.
- you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways, and you may become suicidal ( thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so) while you are taking clonazepam for the treatment of epilepsy, mental illness, or other conditions. A small number of adults and children 5 years of age and older (about 1 in 500 people) who took anticonvulsants such as clonazepam to treat various conditions during clinical studies became suicidal during their treatment. Some of these people developed suicidal thoughts and behavior as early as one week after they started taking the medication. There is a risk that you may experience changes in your mental health if you take an anticonvulsant medication such as clonazepam, but there may also be a risk that you will experience changes in your mental health if your condition is not treated. You and your doctor will decide whether the risks of taking an anticonvulsant medication are greater than the risks of not taking the medication. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: panic attacks; agitation or restlessness; new or worsening irritability, anxiety, or depression; acting on dangerous impulses; difficulty falling or staying asleep; aggressive, angry, or violent behavior; mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood), talking or thinking about wanting to hurt yourself or end your life, withdrawing from friends and family; preoccupation with death and dying, giving away prized possessions, or any other unusual changes in behavior or mood. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.