Klonopin Side Effects

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Klonopin is the brand name for Clonazepam and belongs to the class of benzodiazepines that doctors prescribe for the short-term treatment of seizures and panic attacks. As a fast-acting sedative, the drug can produce a drowsy, relaxed effect by calming down an otherwise hyperactive or overexcited central nervous system (CNS).

While Klonopin is generally safe to consume in recommended doses, its usage comes with certain side effects. In addition to triggering physical side effects, the drug is a Schedule IV drug that carries a potential for dependence and misuse. If you or someone you love is using this medication to manage a medical condition, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the most common and dangerous Klonopin side effects so that you can catch and treat them as soon as possible.

Klonopin Short-Term Side Effects

While Clonazepam, the active ingredient in Klonopin, can be beneficial, it comes with short- and long-term side effects. Mentioned below are the short-term Klonopin side effects to watch out for:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Impaired coordination
  • Poor balance

Klonopin may also lead to the following adverse effects, especially in people misusing it:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anorexia
  • Euphoria
  • Indigestion
  • Impaired memory
  • Irritability
  • Amnesia
  • Aggression
  • Impulsivity
  • Confusion
  • Poor muscle control
  • Anxiety
  • Blurry vision
  • Dizziness and disorientation
  • Muscle pain
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Vertigo
  • Tremors

People who engage in polysubstance use and combine Klonopin with other substances, such as alcohol and opioids, have the risk of these side effects along with their intensity increase by several folds. Sometimes, these intense side effects may lead to respiratory death, coma, and death.

Long-Term Clonazepam Adverse Effects

Most practitioners prescribe Klonopin for short-term use as the medicine’s effectiveness beyond 9 weeks of use is not known. Moreover, continuing to use it for a long time can lead to unwanted adverse health effects, such as learning and memory problems. However, this information is only based on a limited number of patients using it in therapeutic doses.

Read Also About Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms

However, experts know that using Klonopin regularly can make an individual tolerant of it. When this happens, they require the drug in increasingly high amounts to achieve the desired effect. Additionally, an individual who keeps using this drug regularly for long periods may also develop a psychological dependence on it. Psychological dependence on the drug may force such people to experience painful withdrawal symptoms when they stop or even reduce their daily Klonopin dose. Some common symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal include the following:

  • Extreme physical cravings
  • Increase in anxiety and panic attacks
  • Rapid shifts in mood, from depression to irritability
  • Problems focusing and concentrating or experiencing confusion
  • Sleep disruption, such as the onset of severe insomnia
  • Sweating, shakes, shivers, and tremors in the body
  • Seizures or coma
  • In severe cases, death can occur

The extreme discomfort associated with these side effects along with the fear of Klonopin withdrawal, force many people to continue taking this drug despite facing addiction and side effects. Fortunately, it is possible to get off this addiction while keeping these symptoms under control; however, only professional treatment can help users achieve it. Most people continue experiencing these effects for up to 14 days, while for a few of them, mild symptoms persist for months.

Clonazepam Overdose: What Happens if You Take Too Much?

One of the most common and equally dangerous Clonazepam side effects is an overdose. The problem typically presents as oversedation leading to other symptoms, like confusion, mild to moderate drowsiness, and impaired reflexes. While oversedation may seem life-threatening, reversing this side effect through the timely administration of a prescription drug called Flumazenil is possible.

However, for someone who has mixed Klonopin with other CNS depressants, the side effects of an overdose can quickly threaten their life. In such circumstances, the side effects include respiratory depression, slow breathing, and even complete stoppage of breathing. If you suspect that you or someone around you has accidentally or intentionally overdosed on this medication, call 911 at once and remain with the victim until help arrives. If naloxone is available, administer it immediately, as the medication reverses the opioid overdose effects and does not cause any harm in the process.

Clonazepam Use During Pregnancy: Is it Safe?

Studies have indicated that the use of Klonopin or any medicine with clonazepam in it may lead to temporary withdrawal symptoms in some newborns. These withdrawal symptoms may include poor circulation, trouble breathing, and poor muscle tone. These symptoms are widespread if the baby is exposed to the drug during the last trimester of the pregnancy.

Further studies also suggest that babies with exposure to clonazepam during pregnancy are more likely to be born preterm or with low birth weight.[2] However, more studies are warranted to confirm these effects. Moreover, experts are also not sure whether these effects are due to the underlying condition for which pregnant women were taking Klonopin in the first place, such as anxiety. There is also a lack of research on the long-term side effects of using Klonopin during pregnancy.

Due to a gap in research and the uncertainty regarding the use of Klonopin during pregnancy, it is important to talk to a doctor regarding using it during pregnancy or even breastfeeding. A doctor can guide you best about the risks of using this medication, both to the mother and the developing fetus.

Treatment for Clonazepam Misuse and Addiction

If you have been suffering from Clonazepam adverse effects secondary to addiction or misuse, help is available. The definitive way to get rid of these side effects is by seeking addiction treatment in a professional facility. Treatment can occur in different settings and must include services tailored to your individual circumstances, needs, drug use history, and treatment goals.

A typical treatment plan for Klonopin addiction begins with medical detoxification. As mentioned before, the drug can easily lead to withdrawal effects that can be extremely unpleasant and even dangerous. Hence, you must never attempt to detox from Klonopin on your own. Instead, the best way is to cut back on this drug slowly and steadily under the supervision of a medical professional who can keep you comfortable and safe as the body rids itself with clonazepam.

While a medical detox can cleanse the body thoroughly, it is generally not enough to support long-term abstinence. It only serves as the first step of a comprehensive treatment plan which includes the following elements:

  • Multiple behavioral interventions to help break emotions, thoughts, and behaviors leading to addiction
  • Different services to address the mental, emotional, and physical health
  • Continued monitoring and assessment to make modifications in the treatment plan if necessary
  • Multiple coping skills to facilitate the identification of triggers, management of stressors and relapse prevention
  • Additional supportive services, such as occupational training
  • Substance use education
  • Aftercare services or follow-up care in the form of sober living arrangements or mutual-help groups

Clonazepam Warnings and Precautions Before Taking it

If you are new to Klonopin and are just about to take it for the first time, make sure to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Do not use clonazepam if you suffer from severe liver disease or narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Avoid using it if you have had allergic reactions to benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam, diazepam, Xanax, and alprazolam
  • To make sure Klonopin is safe for you, make sure you tell your doctor if you have ever had depression, breathing issues, liver or kidney problems, or porphyria.
  • Some people may experience suicidal thoughts while taking this drug. Hence, be wary of these changes in your mood and ask your family members or caregivers to keep an eye on you as well.
  • Use Klonopin exactly as mentioned on the label or directed by a healthcare professional. Do not change the daily dose; avoid using it for longer than prescribed.
  • Carefully read the directions mentioned on the prescription label and instruction sheets and stick to them.
  • Immediately inform your doctor if you need to use Klonopin more every day.
  • Do not share your medication with someone, especially with people who have a history of drug addiction or abuse. The misuse of this drug can easily lead to overdose and even death. If you have a recovering addict around you, keep your medication stock locked in a place where no one can access it.
  • Selling your Klonopin or giving it away is against the law and can cause penalization.
  • Swallow the Klonopin tablet whole with a glass of water without crushing or biting it.
  • The dose of Klonopin depends on body weight, especially in teens and children. Hence, their dose may change if they lose or gain weight.
  • Keep in touch with your doctor for follow-ups for as long as you use Klonopin.
  • Get in touch with your doctor at once if this medicine stops working for you. Do not try to alter the dose on your own
  • Never attempt to stop using Klonopin on your own without consulting a doctor, as it may lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, especially if you do it cold turkey.
  • Store Klonopin properly at room temperature while keeping it away from heat, moisture, and light.


Is Klonopin a controlled drug?

Yes, Klonopin is a controlled drug i.e., the government regulates it because of the high risk of addiction associated with it. The active chemical in its composition is Clonazepam which comes under the Schedule IV drug as ordered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that while Klonopin has acceptable medical uses, it also comes with several risks.

Is clonazepam a sleeping pill?

Clonazepam is a type of benzodiazepine primarily used for controlling anxiety and seizures. However, many experts prescribe it to address sleep-related issues as well temporarily.

What should be my Klonopin dose to reduce its risk of side effects?

The dose of Klonopin varies from one person to another depending on different factors. These factors include:

Your body weight

  • Your age
  • Your past medical history
  • The severity and duration of the condition you are taking Klonopin for

In general, a doctor will start you on a relatively lower dose and may keep adjusting it with time until they determine the right amount for you. The goal is to achieve the desired results while using the minimum possible amount of this medication. Keep in mind that a doctor’s involvement in this process is crucial, and you must never attempt to determine a dose for you on your own.

How long does Klonopin stay in the body?

Unlike some other types of benzodiazepines, Klonopin stays in the body for a longer time as the body needs some time to process it fully. Similarly, the body does not absorb it as quickly as Xanax, so its initial effects are also not too intense. For most people, it may take one to four hours to reach the peak dose of clonazepam in the bloodstream. Because of a longer half-life, many patients taking this drug do not need to take it as often as other benzodiazepines, as Klonopin’s effects are quite long-lasting. Even after the effects of this drug wear off, it may still show up on blood tests for up to five more days and in urine for up to two weeks.

Can Klonopin get you high?

Yes, by acting on the GABA neurotransmitters in the brain, Klonopin can make users feel high. The typical Klonopin high feeling is described as “tranquilizing” and “relaxing” by most people who frequently use it in high doses.


1 Basit H, Kahwaji CI. Clonazepam. [Updated 2022 Sep 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

2 Mother To Baby | Fact Sheets [Internet]. Brentwood (TN): Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS); 1994-. Clonazepam (Klonopin®) 2022 Feb. Available from:

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