What is Klonopin?

Klonopin is a medication known as a benzodiazepine. The mediation is used to treat seizures, panic attacks, and anxiety. Sometimes the medication is used as a secondary medication to treat symptoms of mania in people with bipolar disorder.


When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication?

Clonazepam, the generic version of Klonopin, was first approved by the FDA in 1998.


Is there a generic version of Klonopin?

Yes, the generic version is known as clonazepam and is sold in the U.S.


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Are there any major differences between Klonopin and other medications used to treat bipolar disorder?

Anti-anxiety drugs like Klonopin are sometimes prescribed to treat severe manic symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, but Klonopin is not a primary medication used to treat bipolar disorder. Klonopin is often prescribed in combination with other medications to treat symptoms. Benzodiazepines like Klonopin can be habit-forming, so persons with bipolar disorder who have a history of substance dependence may do better with other medications. The drug comes in tablet and orally disintegrating form.


Can children take Klonopin?

Children can be prescribed Klonopin to treat seizure disorder, but the drug’s safety and effectiveness have not been studied for those with panic disorder or bipolar disorder. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of the medication.


Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Klonopin and any other drugs?

There are hundreds of drugs which are known to interact with Klonopin in major, moderate, or mild ways, so let your doctor know what other medications you are taking before you begin taking the medication. Taking some medications with Klonopin increases the risk of breathing problems or coma, so talk to your doctor if you take codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, meperidine, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and tramadol. If you take these medications and experience dizziness, sleepiness, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, or unresponsiveness, seek emergency medical care immediately.


Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Klonopin therapy?

Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take Klonopin, such as glaucoma and liver disease. Also tell your doctor if you have a history of substance use problems or suicidal thoughts.


What is the typical dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Klonopin?

Dosage will vary depending on the age of the patient and the condition being treated.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

Take the dose of Klonopin when you remember, but skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose. You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses.


What side effects can Klonopin cause?

Common side effects can include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • trouble with coordination
  • memory problems
  • muscle or joint pain
  • blurred vision
  • increased saliva
  • frequent urination
  • changes in sex drive

It also is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is also recommended that people avoid alcohol and illegal drugs while on the medication, as they can worsen adverse effects. Report side effects to your doctor immediately. Serious side effects can include rash, hives, hoarseness, trouble breathing, swelling, or difficulty breathing or swallowing. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.


What are the potential psychological side effects of taking Klonopin?

Klonopin may cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors in a small percentage of people who take the medication. Seek medical help if you experience these thoughts or other changes in your behavior or mood.


Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take Klonopin?

Klonopin can cause birth defects and fetal harm when taken during pregnancy. The drug may be transferred via breast milk and potentially harm a baby. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing before you take Klonopin.


Can symptoms occur if Klonopin is discontinued?

It’s important not to discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor. Withdrawal symptoms of Klonopin can include seizure, hallucinations, shaking, sweating, cramps, sleeping problems, changes in behavior, and anxiety.


What should I do if I overdose on Klonopin?

An overdose of Klonopin could be fatal, so seek immediate help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose. Overdose symptoms can include confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, or coma.


Is Klonopin habit-forming?

Klonopin can be habit-forming, so it’s important to take the medication exactly as directed. If you have a history of substance use problems, talk to your doctor about the risks of taking the medication.


How much does Klonopin cost?

According to goodrx.com, 60 tablets of 0.5 mg Klonopin cost approximately $160. 60 tablets of 0.5 mg generic clonazepam cost approximately $60.


Are there any disadvantages to Klonopin?

The biggest disadvantages of Klonopin are potential side effects and its habit-forming potential. Pregnant women are also typically advised not to take the medication.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other healthcare providers.  This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2018