Clonazepam – Klonopin

There are some classes of medications that are prescribed for insomnia that were not originally developed for that condition. One of the most common of these is the benzodiazepines, a class of drugs that is meant to act on the brain and nerves by enhancing the effects of naturally occurring chemicals in the brain that promote sleep.

While clonazepam has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of insomnia doctors will prescribe it off-label in certain situations. Also known as: Klonpin, Rivotril, and Rivatril.

Klonopin Use

Benzodiazepines are typically prescribed for anxiety disorders, with clonazepam (klonopin) usually used as part of the treatment for seizures related to epilepsy. It is used for sleep disturbances because it does cause drowsiness and people have found it to be beneficial for sleep disorders.

Klonopin is effective usually within 30-60 minutes after taking the medication. It has a half life of 30-40 hours, longer than many other benzodiazepines. For this reason the effect of the drug may be felt one or two days after taking the medication.

Klonopin Side Effects

  • Behavior problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of muscular coordination

In addition to these, there are a number of side effects that can be seen that are considered to be less common. Discuss the presence of any other side effects that you may have with your prescribing doctor.

Klonopin Warnings and Precautions

This sleep medicine is not meant to be started or stopped abruptly. The doctor will start with a low dosage and then move up to the clinical dosage slowly. When the medication is going to be stopped the dosage will be lowered first and then stopped completely to prevent the problems that can be experienced by stopping the medication suddenly. There is also a risk of dependency.

Clonazepam will interact adversely with a number of other medications, so it is very important that the doctor know everything else that is being taken. This should include over-the-counter medication, prescription medication and herbal remedies.

Essential further reading:

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