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Drugs Information Healthline

Clonazepam Oral Tablet: Risks and Benefits

Highlights for Clonazepam

  1. Clonazepam oral tablet is available as a generic drug and a brand-name drug, Klonopin.
  2. Clonazepam comes as both an oral tablet and an oral disintegrating (dissolving) tablet.
  3. Clonazepam is used to treat panic disorder and seizures.

What is Clonazepam?

Clonazepam oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s available as the brand-name drug Klonopin. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.
Clonazepam comes as both an oral tablet and an oral disintegrating (dissolving) tablet.
Clonazepam is a controlled substance.

Why it’s used

Clonazepam is used to treat panic disorder. It’s also used to stop seizures.
Clonazepam may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means a person may need to take it with other medications.

How it works

Clonazepam belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Clonazepam works by increasing the activity of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). This is a chemical that sends signals throughout a person’s nervous system. If a person does not have enough GABA, their body may be in an excited state. This may cause them to have panic attacks or seizures. When a person takes this drug, they will have more GABA in their body. This will help them have fewer panic attacks and seizures.

Clonazepam side effects

Clonazepam can cause mild or serious side effects. The following list contains some of the key side effects that may occur while taking clonazepam. This list does not include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of clonazepam, or tips on how to deal with a troubling side effect, a person should talk with their doctor or pharmacist.

Common side effects

The more common side effects of clonazepam oral tablet can include:

  • drowsiness
  • problems with walking and coordination
  • dizziness
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • problems with memory

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, a person should talk to their doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

A person should call their doctor right away if they have serious side effects. They should call 911 if their symptoms feel life-threatening or if they think they are having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • depressed mood or thoughts of suicide (harming themself)
  • seizures (these are more likely to happen if a person stops taking this drug too quickly, or if they already have a seizure disorder)

How to take clonazepam

The clonazepam dosage a doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
  • the type and severity of the condition the person is using clonazepam to treat
  • the person’s age
  • the form of clonazepam they take
  • other medical conditions they may have
Typically, a doctor will start a person on a low dosage and adjust it over time to reach the dosage that’s right for them. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, a person should be sure to take the dosage the doctor prescribes for them.
A doctor will determine the best dosage to suit a person’s needs.
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