What are the Klonopin side effects?
Short-term, they can include drowsiness, apathy, loss of muscle coordination, memory impairments and confusion. They do not recommend it for long term use. In addition, Klonopin side effects can result in cognitive impairments, emotionlessness, and mood changes. Some long-term users experience these side effects even after discontinuing use. Medication changes should be managed by a physician.
Klonopin is a powerful, long lasting benzodiazepine (BZD). Currently, the brand name is clonazepam. In the 1970’s, they first marketed it as an anti-seizure drug. This was because it helped decrease the frequency and duration of petit mal seizures. Doctors still use it for this purpose. Actually, they often use it for calming the symptoms related certain conditions. They are anxiety disorders and panic disorders. Unfortunately, as with any drugs, unwanted out comes can occur. As a result, long term users can suffer from Klonopin side effects.
Anxiety and panic symptoms
Some of the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders are physiological. Furthermore, they involve a disruption in the body’s stress response. Specifically, it activates the stress response at a low level. It happens all the time as in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. On the other hand, it may activate in other ways such as Social Anxiety Disorder. Lastly, it may activate while on high alert with panic attacks. Sometimes, it may overly activate the central nervous system at inopportune times. As a result, it will interfere with CNS functioning. Then, we can diagnose various anxiety disorders.
Physical anxiety and panic symptoms include:
- Feeling restless, edgy, can’t sit still or relax
- Easily irritated, sometimes with angry outbursts
- Muscle tension
- Fast heart beat
- Difficulty breathing
- Inability to sleep or disrupted sleep
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is the neurotransmitter that acts as the CNS’s calming agent. Of course, describing the exact mechanism of action of GABA is beyond the scope of this article. However, for people who suffer from anxiety and panic, they need GABA to calm down. Drugs like Klonopin magnify the effects of GABA by assisting the brain’s ability to accept more GABA. Usually, all BZD’s operate similarly. The different types tend to do something a little different when you compare to the others. The exact mechanisms of action are still unknown. Otherwise, Klonopin® seems to have the most effectiveness for small seizures. Therefore, they are good at reducing panic attacks.
What are These Klonopin Side Effects?
While calming the electrical activity in the brain can be helpful, Klonopin® can slow it down too much. You will notice these Klonopin side effects will within 1-3 days. Incidentally, they also include some allergic reactions.
Other short terms negative effects
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Paradoxical or unexpected excitement
- Diminished alertness
- Memory impairments and confusion
Currently, there is a more preferred non-habit forming class of antianxiety medication. These SSRI’s, can take 2-4 weeks to achieve effectiveness. Experts recommend you should using Klonopin not for more than 4-6 weeks. In faxt, some doctors will use it as a bridge to SSRI’s. The problem with using Klonopin® long term is physical dependence sets when used as little as a month. Not long after that, the user may suffer some Klonopin side effects.
In some cases, however, it’s necessary for someone to remain on Klonopin for long periods of time. This can be dangerous and long term use side effects can include:
- State of apathy
- Can aggravate depression
- Cognitive, perceptual or mood changes
- Physical dependence
Even stopping the medication may not stop the Klonopin side effects immediately. In some cases, cognitive and mood changes have lasted. Users reported this long after the stopping the use of the medication.
If someone is going to have an extreme reaction to Klonopin, it is usually seen within the first week or so. If extreme side effects occur, see a physician immediately.
Extreme Klonopin side effects:
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Suicidal behavior or ideation
- Increase in seizure severity
It is important to seek medical attention if someone is having a negative reaction to the drug. Also, you should do that after experiencing any of the negative Klonopin side effects. Discontinuing use on one’s own can be dangerous depending upon how long you have used the medication. Physical dependence can happen quickly. In fact, when it does, you need medical intervention. This way, you can taper someone off the medication. If not, the withdrawal symptoms will be very unpleasant.
It is an effective medication used to calm seizures and CNS activation. It does it by enhancing the brain’s natural calming mechanisms. Therefore, doctors do not recommend it for long term use. The Klonopin side effects can be uncomfortable and long lasting. Do you experience any of these side effects listed above? Then, you should seek medical attention. In addition, you should report any medication changes to your doctor.