Clonazepam (By mouth)

Introduction

Clonazepam (kloe-NAZ-e-pam)

Treats seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety. This medicine is a benzodiazepine.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Klonopin

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to clonazepam or to similar medicines (such as diazepam, Valium®). You should not use this medicine if you are pregnant, or if you have severe liver disease, narrow-angle glaucoma, or untreated open-angle glaucoma.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Dissolving Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • If you are using the disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack that contains the tablet until you are ready to take it. Remove the tablet from the blister pack by peeling back the foil, then taking the tablet out. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet in your mouth. It should melt quickly. After the tablet has melted, swallow or take a drink of water.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using propantheline (Pro-Banthine®), theophylline (Theo-Dur®), or medicine to treat fungus infections (such as fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, Diflucan®, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away. Your doctor may want you to join a pregnancy registry for patients taking a seizure medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma, or breathing or lung problems. Tell your doctor if you have alcohol or drug dependence, or if you have a history of depression or mental illness.
  • Do not breastfeed while you are using this medicine.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away if you or your child start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourselves. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you, your child, or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • Taking too much of this medicine can cause death. Symptoms of an overdose include: Severe confusion, problems with memory or balance, shortness of breath, slow heartbeat, seizures, severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased sweating, and cold, clammy skin.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Feeling sad, irritable, or nervous.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Severe confusion, drowsiness, or muscle weakness.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Tremors.
  • Unusual behavior or thoughts of hurting yourself.
  • Unusual movements of the eye.
  • Worsening seizures.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision or headache.
  • Drooling or dry mouth.
  • Hangover feeling.
  • Menstrual cramps or pain.
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
  • Trouble with concentrating.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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