Klonopin Dosage: The Definite Guide to Safe and Effective Amount

Last Updated: June 4, 2020

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

Clonazepam, better known by its brand name Klonopin, is a drug which belongs to the group of medications called benzodiazepines. These drugs are known to be useful in the treatment of panic attacks and anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD). Klonopin works by reducing abnormal electrical activity in the brain – it can be helpful in controlling anxiety and prevention of panic attacks. Klonopin dosage will depend on several factors including the patient’s age and medical condition. Therefore, one’s average Klonopin dose varies significantly, according to these influencing factors. This article will outline the correct dosage of Klonopin and its safest and most effective practices.

About Klonopin Dosing

Medicine pills or capsules in hand, palm or fingers.
Klonopin most often comes in a tablet form. Regular tablets are to be taken orally with water while disintegrating ones (wafers) can be swallowed without water. The prescribed dose is usually taken one to three times daily, on a full or empty stomach. Interestingly enough, higher doses don’t necessarily mean better efficiency. In fact, higher doses are associated with more adverse side effects.
However, that is not to say titration is out of the question. Some patients may benefit from an exponential increase of their Klonopin dosage. The recommended amount for adults is 0.25 mg twice a day, with the dosage usually jumping to 1mg per day after three days of usage. This is considered a safe amount. In patients who undergo titration, the dosage may be increased by 0.125mg to 0.25mg twice a day, every three days until the symptoms of the patient’s condition are under control or until intolerance appears.
Maintaining one’s dosage properly is essential for a sustainable treatment. Going ‘cold turkey’ and deciding to get off clonazepam, or any other benzodiazepine, in fact, should never be an option. Doing so could lead to severe Klonopin withdrawal symptoms and potentially harmful adverse effects. Instead, stopping the usage should be achieved by a controlled, gradual decrease in Klonopin dosing, instructed by one’s doctor.

Lowest, Average and Highest Klonopin Dose

To medicate with Klonopin safely, one should be taking the smallest effective quantity of the drug consistently. This, together with good patient management, will ensure the user has the lowest chances of developing dependence or overdosing on the drug.

  • The lowest dose of Klonopin is 0.25mg twice daily. This is also the amount which is advised at the beginning of one’s treatment.
  • The normal amount then increases to 1.5mg per day, divided into three doses.
  • The highest dose of Klonopin should never exceed 20mg per day when it comes to treating seizures. In geriatric and pediatric cases (elderly and children) the dose should be lower.

The joined effects of alcohol and other depressants slow down brain activity which could lead to dangerous outcomes if one performs a task which requires mental alertness. Apart from external dangers, this combination may lead to respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, or even death. That is why there is no time to wait for Klonopin addiction treatment.

The Dosage of Klonopin by Age and Condition

Young woman taking pill at home.
Children, infants, in particular, should never take more than 0.2mg per one kilogram of their body mass for seizures. It’s also worth mentioning safe and effective use hasn’t been fully established when it comes to panic disorders people from these age groups experience.
The average Klonopin dose for adults 1.5mg a day unless the seizures are adequately controlled. It is important that the dosage is increased in small increments (0.5 – 1mg) every three days until the symptoms fade away, or the adverse effects worsen. Either way, the highest dose of Klonopin should never exceed 20mg.
For seizure patients who are 65 years of age or older, there is no set average dose. Patients from this age group should be observed and start on low doses of the drug.
As for panic disorders, adults should medicate with lower amounts. The lowest dose of Klonopin is 0.25mg and an increase to the target dose of 1mg per day may be made three days later. Again, it is still uncertain what the safety measure is for elderly and children with panic disorders.

Occasional and Preventative Use

Some people may choose to tackle their seizures or anxiety disorders as they appear. This occasional use may help better manage their symptoms. However, it is important to keep in mind that this way of usage comes with side effects, too.
Withdrawal symptoms can be quite harsh and are different for everyone. Some people reported side effects appearing months after taking the medication. To limit dangers of adverse effects and addiction the Klonopin recreational dose is 0.25-0.5mg three times daily. The highest dose of Klonopin for anxiety should never exceed 20mg per day, in three increments.
There is not one, universal Klonopin dosage. The best results this drug can offer depend on several factors, including one’s age, condition, and medical history. It is important to go above the minimum amount to feel the effects. Equally, it is important not to exceed the maximum quantity which could lead to severe health complications.
One’s doctor will determine the patient’s correct dosage. Thus, he or she will ensure the patient has the lowest chances of developing a dependency to the drug or overdosing on it. Some practices are ubiquitous; for example, one should never stop taking the drug out of the blue. Similarly, a patient shouldn’t miss or increase the prescribed dose before first talking to the doctor. The key to a safe and effective Klonopin dosage is in respecting and following the doctor’s instructions.

Page Sources

  1. https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/brain-nervous-system/a7485/clonazepam/

Published on: May 7th, 2018

Updated on: June 4th, 2020

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.


Leave a comment

  • john doe
    I take .5 mg when I have very high anxiety. I feel relief within 1/2 hour. I try not to take a second dose unless absolutely necessary. Can I do this indefinitely without addiction. ?
    • Joe Loopy
      John Doe, this is John Smith. I have been advised the same as you towards a dose and I try to not take (3) .5 doses a day. With one .5 tablet, I get relief within 1/2 hr. It has been the most effective med I have ever taken for anxiety.
    • Andy
      This is what I have done for years, and have had no problem with addiction. I was told by my Psychiatrist that the danger arises when you need to take it multiple times per day, several days in a row. At that point you should probably call your Psychiatrist. If you are only having to take it 2-3 times per week you should be fine. I go through months like that, then the anxiety gets a little better and I have no problem “getting off” of it.
    • robert
      I have been taking this for 6 years now, on an as needed basis (1mg). It takes away most of my anxiety and helps with my breathing becoming natural. For me, this has been the best medicine I’ve ever taken for anxiety, it’s like magic. I remember driving on the highway and I thought I was gonna pass out, this med saved me.
  • nat
    how long may it take until my body gets used to klonopin, and deems in ineffective?
  • JK
    I take it everyday for anxiety and now I’m afraid to miss a day. It gives me more anxiety! I feel like because I’ve been on it for years that if I skip a day I’ll have a seizure or something really bad will happen. I usually only take 1/2 of a 0.5mg tablet a day, so.sometimes I take the full tablet. Anyone else does this way and have problems missing a day?
  • Scott
    I’ve been prescribed 1mg twice a day ..onve in the morning and once at night by my dr for anxiety along with prozac 10 mg once per day . Is this a high dose of klonopin?
  • Stacy
    Jill, contact your doctor right away. You do not need to suffer like this. It sounds like after your insurance was cancelled you stopped cold turkey. This is VERY DANGEROUS. You doctor should be able to help you wean off the meds slowly. This is an old drug, and my experience, even without insurance it is quite affordable. Go to Walmart pharmacy for best prices. I take it for anxiety and rls and related leg movement issues. Your withdrawal symptoms echo mine when I have “run out” and not filled my next prescription. Please call your Dr. ASAP! I am looking into alternatives to clonazepam(klonopin) die to long term side effects. I have been on and off it for many years. Good luck !
  • Melissa
    Will your insurance pay now? I’d ask for generic. I too bite the insides of my cheeks until they bleed. I try to chew gum and that does help but Klonopin is the best way to decrease my anxiety. I too can’t sleep without it. I’m in kind of a half sleep where I know I’m awake but can’t move. If I take it I can actually sleep and have dreams. Anxiety s**ks!
  • Rae
    I believe the manufacturer is Maylan. I too notice a difference in the different manufacturers. Sandov was my favorite which was blue vs. Green and different people different effects.
  • Mhmyers
    I have spastic legs and kick throughout the night. The doctor decided on Klonopin and it worked math 4.5 mg tablets before going to bed. Over the course of a couple years that became 6.5 milligram tablets before going to bed. Now I’m taking eight .5 mg tablets before going to bed. If the maximum dose is 20 per day in three doses 4 million mg is still not the maximum dose but it seems like a lot and it also seems like maybe I should be taking larger those pills since .5 is not the largest dosage pill that they make.
  • Robert DiAngelo
    I was prescribed klonopin .5mg for insomnia. I only take half of that (.25) maybe once a week if I can’t sleep. I don’t typically have an addictive personality. Was able to quite drinking when I was young just because. Anyways, Am i safe from addiction or withdrawals at this dose and frequency?
  • JMN
    Weight loss may affect usage.
  • janice miller
    I have been on a small dose .5 3x aday for years. A year ago I weaned myself over a period of months to 1 mg/day…even at this small dose, If I am in a long hallway , mall or anywhere I cant see the door out, I literally fall in a heap and cry, and I am 68 years old. I would rather go without then have the foggy memory that makes me constantly think I have dementia…People help me when I crumble to the floor as in airports etc. but it only lasts a few minutes compared to losing my memory . It has also been known to increase the risk of dementia because it is fooling with your brain so much. I am going to take it down by .25 for a few weeks. At my age, memory is more important to me and my children than all the panic attacks that I have learned to ride the wave. good luck to anyone going through this .
  • Kat
    I take .25 twice a day for 1 month now. I want to quit. I want to sleep without it. It decreases my energy and I feel low functionality. I want to be on zero medications.
  • Donna Leone
    Yes, don’t stop cold turkey. You will have extremely bad withdrawal symptoms. After I found my sister dead in her apt. (3 days) a doctor placed me on Klonopin 6 Mg/day! It took me 8 years to taper off to 1.5 mg a day. I should have known better…being an R.N. and doing hospital work for 32 years. Thank the Lord I wasn’t working during this time.
    • Forrest
      I need your help been on 6mg a day foe 14 years. now my Doctor is sending to a civilian doctor I don’t do VA Jesus help us. Have PSTD,GAD,MDD,Panic Disorder. Now weening off and down to 3.5 the side effects are killing me. love to here your advice. Thanks, FKR EMC USCG Ret.
  • Gwen
    I think they just brought Teva back
  • Chris Brandt
    I am on 1.25 Mgs. .75 grams in the evening for insomnia and .5 grams in the morning for anxiety. How do I begin to reduce my dosage? I hear .25 grams per week. Is that correct?
    • Chris Brandt
      Forgot to mention that I have only been on Klonopin for 2 1/2 weeks. Started at 2 mgs and now at 1.25 mgs. So the question is how do I continue the reduction of my dosage from this point? I want off this stuff as soon as possible
  • Eric
    I’m prescribed 1mg 3x/day for the past 10 years but usually only take 1mg 2x/day. That’s usually enough to control any anxiety. I’ve had insomnia recently and taking the 3rd dose each day helps me sleep without any drowsiness the next day. Best med I’ve taken for social anxiety