Klonopin treats panic disorder. Can cause drowsiness. Do not suddenly stop taking Klonopin without talking to your doctor because you may experience harmful withdrawal symptoms.

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Pharmacist Bethany Muhlstein, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Klonopin
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Pharmacist Bethany Muhlstein, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Klonopin
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Klonopin Overview


Klonopin is a prescription medication used to treat panic disorder and certain types of seizure disorders. Klonopin belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines, which help to slow down brain activity.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken usually 1 or 3 times a day, with or without food. The tablets should be taken with water.

Common side effects of Klonopin include drowsiness, walking or coordination problems, and dizziness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how Klonopin will affect you.

How was your experience with Klonopin?

First, a little about yourself

Tell us about yourself in a few words?

What tips would you provide a friend before taking Klonopin?

What are you taking Klonopin for?

Choose one
  • Other
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Dysarthria
  • Epilepsies, Myoclonic
  • Epilepsy, Absence
  • Neuralgia
  • Panic Disorder
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Schizophrenia
  • Tic Disorders

How long have you been taking it?

Choose one
  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did Klonopin work for you?

Did you experience many side effects while taking this drug?

How likely would you be to recommend Klonopin to a friend?

Klonopin Cautionary Labels


Uses of Klonopin

Klonopin is a prescription medicine used alone or with other medicines to treat:

  • certain types of seizure disorders (epilepsy) in adults and children
  • panic disorder with or without fear of open spaces (agoraphobia) in adults

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Klonopin Drug Class

Klonopin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Klonopin

Klonopin can cause serious side effects (see "Klonopin Precautions").

The most common side effects of Klonopin include:

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

These are not all the possible side effects of Klonopin. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. 

Klonopin Interactions

Tell your doctor about the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take any of the following:

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
  • certain antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) and erythromycin (Erythrocin, E-mycin),
  • antidepressants
  • certain antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • antihistamines
  • certain calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan)
  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • HIV protease inhibitors including indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra)
  • medications for anxiety, colds or allergies, mental illness, or pain
  • other medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), phenytoin (Dilantin), or valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote)
  • muscle relaxants
  • nefazodone
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
  • sedatives
  • certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • other sleeping pills
  • tranquilizers

Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.

Tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort.

Klonopin Precautions

Klonopin can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Klonopin can slow your thinking and motor skills
    • Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Klonopin affects you.
    • Do not drink alcohol or take other drugs that may make you sleepy or dizzy while taking Klonopin until you talk to your healthcare provider. When taken with alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness or dizziness, Klonopin may make your sleepiness or dizziness worse.
  • Like other antiepileptic drugs, Klonopin may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people, about 1 in 500.
    • Call a healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:
      • thoughts about suicide or dying
      • attempt to commit suicide
      • new or worse depression
      • panic attacks
      • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
      • new or worse irritability
      • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
      • acting on dangerous impulses
      • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
      • other unusual changes in behavior or mood
    • How can I watch for early symptoms of suicidal thoughts and actions?
      • Pay attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings.
      • Keep all follow-up visits with your healthcare provider as scheduled.
      • Call your healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you are worried about symptoms.
      • Suicidal thoughts or actions can be caused by things other than medicines. If you have suicidal thoughts or actions, your healthcare provider may check for other causes.
      • Do not stop Klonopin without first talking to a healthcare provider.
      • Stopping Klonopin suddenly can cause serious problems. Stopping Klonopin suddenly can cause seizures that will not stop (status epilepticus).
  • Klonopin may harm your unborn or developing baby.
    • If you take Klonopin during pregnancy, your baby is at risk for serious birth defects. These defects can happen as early as in the first month of pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnant. Birth defects may occur even in children born to women who are not taking any medicines and do not have other risk factors.
    • Children born to mothers receiving benzodiazepine medications (including Klonopin) late in pregnancy may be at some risk of experiencing breathing problems, feeding problems, hypothermia, and withdrawal symptoms.
    • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you become pregnant while taking Klonopin. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take Klonopin while you are pregnant.
    • If you become pregnant while taking Klonopin, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. You can register by calling 1-888-233-2334. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy.
    • Klonopin can pass into breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take Klonopin. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take Klonopin or breastfeed. You should not do both.
  • Klonopin can cause abuse and dependence.
    • Do not stop taking Klonopin all of a sudden. Stopping Klonopin suddenly can cause seizures that do not stop, hearing or seeing things that are not there (hallucinations), shaking, and stomach and muscle cramps.
    • Talk to your doctor about slowly stopping Klonopin to avoid getting sick with withdrawal symptoms.
    • Physical dependence is not the same as drug addiction. Your healthcare provider can tell you more about the differences between physical dependence and drug addiction.

Klonopin is a federally controlled substance (C-IV) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Klonopin in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Klonopin may harm others, and is against the law. Tell your doctor if you have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines or street drugs.

Do not take Klonopin if you:

  • are allergic to benzodiazepines
  • have significant liver disease
  • have an eye disease called acute narrow angle glaucoma

Klonopin Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Klonopin there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Klonopin.

Inform MD

Before you take Klonopin, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have liver or kidney problems
  • have lung problems (respiratory disease)
  • have or have had depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • have any other medical conditions

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Taking Klonopin with certain other medicines can cause side effects or affect how well they work. Do not start or stop other medicines without talking to your healthcare provider.


Klonopin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category D. Taking this medication while pregnant may cause harm to the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy with Klonopin. It is encouraged to enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry if you become pregnant. This registry is collecting information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. To enroll, you can call the toll free number 1-888-233-2334.

Klonopin and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. Klonopin may be excreted in human breast milk and may cause harm to your nursing baby.

Klonopin Usage

  • Take Klonopin exactly as your doctor tells you. 
  • Klonopin is available as a tablet.
  • Do not stop taking Klonopin without first talking to your doctor. Stopping Klonopin suddenly can cause serious problems.
  • Klonopin tablets should be taken with water and swallowed whole.
  • If you take too much Klonopin, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center right away.

Klonopin Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

The recommended dose of Klonopin for adults with seizure disorders should not exceed 1.5 mg/day divided into 3 doses. Maximum recommended daily dose is 20 mg.

In order to minimize drowsiness, the starting 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 2 or 3 divided doses. Whenever possible, the daily dose should be divided into 3 equal doses. If doses are not equally divided, the largest dose should be given before going to bed.


Klonopin Overdose

If you take too much this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
  • Keep Klonopin and all medicines out of the reach of children.