It is once again time for another installment of Medication Monday, the weekly series that offers a brief introduction to various mental health medications. This week we are talking about Klonopin (Clonazepam).
Klonopin belongs to a class of medications known as benzodiazepines. It is used to treat seizure disorders, but because it acts by calming the brain and nerves, it is also often used to treat panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Because of the calming effects it has, Klonopin can also be used to treat insomnia.
Unlike other mental health medications, Klonopin works within a couple days of starting (as opposed to a couple weeks) and is typically used for shorter periods of time. Part of the concern of Klonopin is that it could produce physical or emotional dependence, even when used correctly. However, users should not stop Klonopin suddenly, as doing so may cause a range of possible withdrawal symptoms including irritability, nausea, tremor, dizziness, blood pressure changes, rapid heart rate, and seizures.
Klonopin, like most medications, also has a variety of side effects that users should know about. Potential side effects of Klonopin are drowsiness, dizziness, loss of coordination, or increased saliva production. Users should also be on the lookout for signs of worsening depression, an increase in suicidal thoughts, or other unusual changes in mood or behavior.
Users who have concerns about potential side effects or about the risk of dependency should talk to their doctor. Medication Monday is not meant as a substitute for medical advice, and should not be treated as such. Rather, as I said before, it is simply a brief introduction to the various mental health medications out there. Hopefully, these guides help users be more informed when talking to their doctors while also destigmatizing the use of mental health medication.
So check back tomorrow for another new post, and next week for another new Medication Monday. And until then, be well.