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Brand Name: Klonopin
Generic Name: Clonazepam

Klonopin (Clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine used to treat panic disorder and seizures. Usage, dosage, side effects of Klonopin.

Outside U.S., Brand Names also known as: Clonex; Iktorivil; Landsen; Lonazep; Paxam; Rivotril

Contents:

Description
Pharmacology
Indications and Usage
Contraindications
Warnings
Precautions
Drug Interactions
Adverse Reactions
Overdose
Dosage
Supplied

Klonopin patient information (in plain English)

Description

Klonopin is a benzodiazepine used to treat panic disorder and seizures. It may also be used to treat certain emotional disorders or other conditions as determined by your doctor.

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Pharmacology

In humans it is capable of suppressing the spike and wave discharge in absence seizures (petit mal) and decreasing the frequency, amplitude, duration and spread of discharge in minor motor seizures.

Single oral dose administration of clonazepam to humans gave maximum blood levels of drug, in most cases, within one to two hours.

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Indications and Usage

Clonazepam (Klonopin) is useful alone or as an adjunct in the treatment of the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (petit mal variant), akinetic and myoclonic seizures. In patients with absence seizures (petit mal) who have failed to respond to succinimides, clonazepam may be useful.

In some studies, up to 30% of patients have shown a loss of anticonvulsant activity, often within three months of administration. In some cases, dosage adjustment may reestablish efficacy.

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Contraindications

Clonazepam should not be used in patients with a history of sensitivity to benzodiazepines, nor in patients with clinical or biochemical evidence of significant liver disease. It may be used in patients with open angle glaucoma who are receiving appropriate therapy, but is contraindicated in acute narrow angle glaucoma.

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Warnings

Interference with Cognitive or Motor Performance: Since clonazepam produces CNS depression, patients receiving this drug should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations requiring mental alertness, such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. They should also be warned about the concomitant use of alcohol or other CNS-depressant drugs during clonazepam therapy.

Pregnancy and Withdrawl: The effects of clonazepam in human pregnancy and nursing infants are unknown.

Use of clonazepam in women of childbearing potential should be considered only when the clinical situation warrants the risk. Mothers receiving clonazepam should not breast feed their infants.

Recent reports suggest an association between the use of anticonvulsant drugs by women with epilepsy and an elevated incidence of birth defects in children born to these women. Data are more extensive with respect to diphenylhydantoin and phenobarbital, but these are also the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsants; less systematic or anecdotal reports suggest a possible similar association with the use of all known anticonvulsant drugs.

Usage in Children:: Because of the possibility that adverse effects on physical or mental development could become apparent only after many years, a benefit-risk consideration of the long-term use of clonazepam is important in pediatric patients.

Dependency and Withdrawl:

Withdrawal symptoms of the barbiturate type have occurred after the discontinuation of benzodiazepines.

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Precautions

Seizures: When used in patients in whom several different types of seizure disorders coexist, clonazepam may increase the incidence or precipitate the onset of generalized tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal). This may require the addition of appropriate anticonvulsants or an increase in their dosages. The concomitant use of valproic acid and clonazepam may produce absence status.

The abrupt withdrawal of clonazepam, particularly in those patients on long-term, high-dose therapy, may precipitate status epilepticus. Therefore, when discontinuing clonazepam, gradual withdrawal is essential. While clonazepam is being gradually withdrawn, the simultaneous substitution of another anticonvulsant may be indicated. Metabolites of clonazepam are excreted by the kidneys; to avoid their excess accumulation, caution should be exercised in the administration of the drug to patients with impaired renal function.

Clonazepam may produce an increase in salivation. This should be considered before giving the drug to patients who have difficulty handling secretions. Because of this and the possibility of respiratory depression, clonazepam should be used with caution in patients with chronic respiratory diseases.

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Drug Interactions

The CNS-depressant action of the benzodiazepine class of drugs may be potentiated by alcohol, narcotics, barbiturates, nonbarbiturate hypnotics, antianxiety agents, the phenothiazines, thioxanthene and butyrophenone classes of antipsychotic agents, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and the tricyclic antidepressants, and by other anticonvulsant drugs.

BEFORE USING THIS MEDICINE: INFORM YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. This includes clozapine, disulfiram, omeprazole, and valproic acid. Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions, allergies, pregnancy, or breast-feeding.

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Adverse Reactions

The most frequently occurring side effects of clonazepam are referable to CNS depression. Experience to date has shown that drowsiness has occurred in approximately 50% of patients and ataxia in approximately 30%. In some cases, these may diminish with time; behavior problems have been noted in approximately 25% of patients. Others, listed by system are:

Neurologic: Abnormal eye movements, aphonia, choreiform movements, coma, diplopia, dysarthria, dysdiadochokinesis, "glassy-eyed" appearance, headache, hemiparesis, hypotonia, nystagmus, respiratory depression, slurred speech, tremor, vertigo.

Psychiatric: Confusion, depression, amnesia, hallucinations, hysteria, increased libido, insomnia, psychosis, suicidal attempt (the behavior effects are more likely to occur in patients with a history of psychiatric disturbances).

Respiratory: Chest congestion, rhinorrhea, shortness of breath, hypersecretion in upper respiratory passages.

Cardiovascular: Palpitations.

Dermatologic: Hair loss, hirsutism, skin rash, ankle and facial edema.

Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, coated tongue, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, encopresis, gastritis, hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, sore gums.

Genitourinary: Dysuria, enuresis, nocturia, urinary retention.

Musculoskeletal: Muscle weakness, pains.

Miscellaneous: Dehydration, general deterioration, fever, lymphadenopathy, weight loss or gain.

Hematopoietic: Anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia.

Hepatic:: Transient elevations of serum transaminases and alkaline phosphatase.

Drug Abuse and Dependence: Withdrawal symptoms, similar in character to those noted with barbiturates and alcohol (e.g., convulsions, psychosis, hallucinations, behavioral disorder, tremor, abdominal and muscle cramps) have occurred following abrupt discontinuance of clonazepam. The more severe withdrawal symptoms have usually been limited to those patients who received excessive doses over an extended period of time. Generally milder withdrawal symptoms (e.g., dysphoria and insomnia) have been reported following abrupt discontinuance of benzodiazepines taken continuously at therapeutic levels for several months. Consequently, after extended therapy, abrupt discontinuation should generally be avoided and a gradual dosage tapering schedule followed. Addiction-prone individuals (such as drug addicts or alcoholics) should be under careful surveillance when receiving clonazepam or other psychotropic agents because of the predisposition of such patients to habituation and dependence.

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Overdose

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of clonazepam overdosage, like those produced by other CNS depressants, include somnolence, confusion, coma and diminished reflexes.

Treatment

If you or someone you know may have used more than the recommended dose of this medicine, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Treatment includes monitoring of respiration, pulse and blood pressure, general supportive measures and immediate gastric lavage. Intravenous fluids should be administered and an adequate airway maintained. Hypotension may be combated by the use of levarterenol or metaraminol. Methylphenidate or caffeine and sodium benzoate may be given to combat CNS depression. Dialysis is of no known value.

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Dosage

Do not exceed the recommended dosage or take this medicine for longer than prescribed. Exceeding the recommended dose or taking this medicine for longer than prescribed may be habit forming.

  • Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor.
  • Store this medicine at room temperature, away from heat and light.
  • Take this medicine everyday at evenly spaced intervals.
  • If you miss a dose of this medicine and you are using it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
  • This medicine may be taken with food if it upsets your stomach.

Additional Information:: Do not share this medicine with others for whom it was not prescribed. Do not use this medicine for other health conditions. Keep this medicine out of the reach of children.

Adults: The initial dose for adults should not exceed 1.5 mg/day divided into three doses. Dosage may be increased in increments of 0.5 to 1 mg every three days until seizures are adequately controlled or until side effects preclude any further increase. Maintenance dosage must be individualized for each patient depending upon response. Maximum recommended daily dose is 20 mg.

The use of multiple anticonvulsants may result in an increase of depressant adverse effects. This should be considered before adding clonazepam to an existing anticonvulsant regimen.

Children: Clonazepam is administered orally. In order to minimize drowsiness, the initial dose for infants and children (up to 10 years of age or 30 kg of body weight) should be between 0.01 and 0.03 mg/kg/day but not to exceed 0.05 mg/kg/day given in two or three divided doses. Dosage should be increased by no more than 0.25 to 0.5 mg every third day until a daily maintenance dose of 0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg of body weight has been reached unless seizures are controlled or side effects preclude further increase. Whenever possible, the daily dose should be divided into three equal doses. If doses are not equally divided, the largest dose should be given before retiring.

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How Supplied

Klonopin is available as scored tablets containing 0.5 mg, 1 mg or 2 mg clonazepam.

Klonopin patient information (in plain English)

Detailed Info on Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Treatments of Anxiety Disorder

The information in this monograph is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects. This information is generalized and is not intended as specific medical advice. If you have questions about the medicines you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse. Last updated 3/03.

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