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All about: Klonopin

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Generic Name: clonazepam (claw NAH zeh pam)
Brand Names: Klonopin, Klonopin Wafer

What is clonazepam?

Clonazepam is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Clonazepam affects chemicals in your brain that may become unbalanced and cause seizures or symptoms of panic disorder.

Clonazepam is used to treat seizures and panic disorder.

Clonazepam may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about clonazepam?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Clonazepam will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking clonazepam. Alcohol may also increase the risk of having a seizure. Clonazepam may be habit forming. Physical and/or psychological dependence can occur, and withdrawal effects are possible if the medication is stopped suddenly after prolonged or high-dose treatment. Do not stop taking clonazepam suddenly without first talking to your doctor if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the dose.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking clonazepam?

Do not take clonazepam if you have narrow-angle glaucoma. Clonazepam may worsen this condition.

Before taking this medication, talk to your doctor if you

  • have kidney disease;
  • have liver disease;
  • have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or another respiratory disease; or

  • are depressed or have suicidal thoughts.

You may not be able to take clonazepam, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Clonazepam is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that it is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take clonazepam without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Breast-feeding is not recommended during treatment with clonazepam. Do not take clonazepam without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take clonazepam?

Take clonazepam exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each regular oral tablet with a full glass of water. Swallow the tablet whole.

The clonazepam orally-disintegrating tablets (Klonopin Wafers) can be taken without water. Using dry hands, peel back the foil on blister. Do not push tablet through the foil as this may damage the tablet. Immediately upon opening the blister, remove the tablet and place it on the tongue. The tablet must be taken immediately after opening the blister and not saved for later use. The tablet will disintegrate rapidly in the mouth and can be easily swallowed with or without liquid.

It is important to take clonazepam regularly to get the most benefit.

Your doctor may want you to have blood tests or other medical evaluations during treatment with clonazepam to monitor progress and side effects.

Clonazepam may be habit forming. Physical and/or psychological dependence can occur, and withdrawal effects are possible if the medication is stopped suddenly after prolonged or high-dose treatment. Do not stop taking clonazepam suddenly without first talking to your doctor if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the dose. Store clonazepam at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a clonazepam overdose may include drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, a slow heart beat, difficulty breathing, difficulty walking and talking, an appearance of being drunk, and unconsciousness.

What should I avoid while taking clonazepam?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Clonazepam will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking clonazepam. Alcohol may also increase your risk of having a seizure.

Clonazepam may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness or dizziness, including antidepressants, alcohol, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), other seizure medicines, pain relievers, anxiety medicines, muscle relaxants, and antihistamines. Do not drink alcohol and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor while taking clonazepam.

Clonazepam side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking clonazepam and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; or hives);

  • worsening seizures;

  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;

  • hallucinations or severe confusion; or

  • changes in vision.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take clonazepam and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • drowsiness, or dizziness;

  • increased salivation (watering of the mouth);

  • poor coordination;

  • nervousness;

  • depression; or

  • constipation.

Clonazepam may be habit forming. Physical and/or psychological dependence can occur, and withdrawal effects are possible if the medication is stopped suddenly after prolonged or high-dose treatment. Do not stop taking clonazepam suddenly without first talking to your doctor if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the dose.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect clonazepam?

Clonazepam may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness or dizziness, including alcohol, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), other seizure medicines, pain relievers, antidepressants, anxiety medicines, muscle relaxants, antihistamines, and others. Do not drink alcohol and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor while taking clonazepam.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with clonazepam. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about clonazepam written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Clonazepam is available with a prescription under the brand name Klonopin. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Klonopin 0.5 mg--orange, round tablets with a "K" shaped perforation

  • Klonopin 1 mg--blue, round tablets with a "K" shaped perforation

  • Klonopin 2 mg--white, round tablets with a "K" shaped perforation

  • Klonopin Wafers 0.125 mg-white, round tablets

  • Klonopin Wafers 0.25 mg-white, round tablets

  • Klonopin Wafers 0.5 mg-white, round tablets

  • Klonopin Wafers 1 mg-white, round tablets

  • Klonopin Wafers 2 mg-white, round tablets

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.03. Revision Date: 7/29/04 12:56:17 PM.

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