Clonazepam (marketed by Roche under the trade-name Klonopin® in the United States and Rivotril® in Canada and Europe) is a anticonvulsant sedative-hypnotic anxiolytic (anti-anxiety drug), and a member of the benzodiazepine class of drugs. As other benzodiazepines, clonazepam is believed to act by simulating the action of GABA on the central nervous system.
Clonazepam was approved in the United States as a generic medication in 1997 and is now manufactured and marketed by several companies.
Clonazepam is used as a treatment, but not a cure for the conditions below.
* seizure, epilepsy
* anxiety, panic disorder
* Restless Leg syndrome (RLS)
Because Clonazepam can impair both mental and motor function, those taking it are typically advised to use caution when operating machinery, motor vehicles, or engaging in hazardous occupations requiring mental alertness.
* impaired motor function / coordination
* impaired balance
Use of alcohol or other tranqulizing medication while taking Clonazepam is known to intensify its effects.
According to the FDA product insert, Clonazepam should not be taken by persons with established sensitivity to benzodiazepines or those with significant liver disease. It is also contraindicated for those with acute narrow angle glaucoma.
Clonazepam may cause both psychological and physical dependence. As a result, persons with a history of substance abuse are advised to discuss this with the prescribing physician prior to starting the medication.
People who have been taking Clonazepam for longer than 1-2 weeks may experience withdrawal symptoms which are similar to those experienced when barbiturates are stopped. For persons taking Clonazepam longer than 1-2 weeks, discontinuation should be done under the supervision of a medical professional. To minimize withdrawal effects, the dose may be gradually lowered over time.
A person who has consumed too much Clonazepam will have the following symptoms: difficulty staying awake, mental confusion, coma, and diminished reflexes. Overdose of Clonazepam constitutes a medical emergency and requires the immediate attention of emergency medical personnel. Its antidote is flumazenil.
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