Clonazepam is a commonly used drug forthe treatment of epilepsy and similar neurological conditions.However, due to its high potency and long half-life, it can result inserious anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and hypnoticeffects.
Therefore, one should take this drugwith caution, since a person can easily become addicted to it,risking suffering from withdrawal effects once the dose is skipped.Read on in order to find out more about this effect of clonazepam.
Clonazepam Drug Properties
Basically, clonazepam is abenzodiazepine drug. Even though this drug is low in toxicity and canbe taken in higher doses, it leads to serious withdrawal effectswhich can include drowsiness, cognitive impairment and paradoxicaleffects.
Apart from being used as a part of thetreatment for epilepsy, clonazepam has been involved in treatment forpanic disorders, having a pharmacological quality of enhancing theneurotransmitter GABA through the modulation of its receptor.
This medication should be avoided ifyou are suffering from any form of liver problems or if you areallergic to benzodiazepines. Some other drugs which are classified asbenzodiazepines are Xanax, librium, tranxene, Valium, Ativan orserax.
Also, you should not undergo clonazepamtherapy if you are pregnant, since this drug is known to triggerhealth problems in the newborn, mostly related to breathing andfeeding. Nevertheless, risking to suffer from epileptic seizuresduring pregnancy is a dangerous factor too, both for the health ofthe mother and for the well-being of the baby. Therefore, if you arealready on clonazepam during your pregnancy, do not stop the therapy.Rather, consult with your doctor or health provider regarding thematter.
Some of the unwanted effects of thisdrug can be suicidal tendencies. Therefore, while hospitalized,patients who are on clonazepam need to be frequently visited by theirdoctors. Also, you will likely need to attend regular scheduledappointments if you are treated at home. Nevertheless, seek medicalassistance if you start experiencing mood swings, depression, anxietyor any form of strange and reasonless agitation, hostile behavior,restlessness, hyperactivity or any other form of aggressiveness.
Furthermore, bear in mind thatalcoholic beverages and clonazepam do not go together, since themedication can further boost the effects of alcohol on your body andmind. Additionally, due to its addictive nature, the drug should beused strictly as prescribed and should not be shared with others.
Some other situations where clonazepammay be dangerous for you is if you are a glaucoma patient, or yousuffer from a liver or kidney disease. Also, asthma, emphysema,bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder patients shouldnot take this drug and neither should those who have a history ofalcohol abuse or drug addiction and those who have suffered fromdepression or have tried killing themselves in the past.
Finally, do not breastfeed the babywhile on clonazepam, since the drug may be transferred to the infantthrough this procedure, leading to health problems.
Withdrawal Process for Clonazepam
Statistically, 1/3 of all people whotake benzodiazepines get addicted, provided they use them over aperiod longer than four weeks. Therefore, there are great chancesthat every person affected by this drug will be exposed to withdrawaleffects if he/she stops taking it abruptly.
The withdrawal period may manifestthrough seizures and psychosis. Additionally, even insomnia andanxiety can appear. Thus, it is important to get off the drug slowly,reducing the dosage gradually, rather that stopping completely atonce. Furthermore, taking into consideration the side-effects thatclonazepam has, it is best not to use it as a long-term solution forpreventing epileptic attacks.
In time, most patients will need higherdosages for managing their condition, due to the fact that thetolerance for the drug increases gradually. However, even though theincrease of dosage can do away with the effects of tolerance, thisstate of affairs can lead to even more side-effects. All in all,short-term treatments with clonazepam are much more effective thanthose which take place in the long run.
Some other dangerous adverse effectsthat clonazepam withdrawal can have are the appearance of thelife-threatening condition called epilepticus.
Subsequently, a safe dosage of thisdrug should not exceed 20mg a day. However, initial doses may rangefrom maximal 1.5mg a day for treating bipolar disorder to 0.25mg aday for dealing with panic disorder. In fact, the panic disordertreatment should not last for longer than 3 days.
To conclude, clonazepam is an effectivebenzodiazepine drug, used for preventing epileptic seizures and manyother effects of various neurological disorders. However, in order toavoid the dangerous withdrawal effects of this medication, you areadvised to follow your doctor's instructions religiously and not usehigher doses than those recommended, ending the therapy gradually andon time.
Should you experience any of the abovementioned adverse effects, you are advised to contact your healthpractitioner and seek medical assistance.