A medication that tends to be rather underestimated by many people who aren’t used to it, Klonopin is known for its fast-acting effects. In most cases, Klonopin also referred to as Clonazepam, is utilized to help manage epilepsy.
Considering the immediate action that’s needed to handle epileptic episodes, Klonopin is the perfect solution to help mediate the situation.
Klonopin is a drug that isn’t meant for the light-hearted because it doesn’t take much to essentially immobilize you entirely. Read through this article for a comprehensive take on how the drug works and how it’s used in modern medicine.
An overview of Klonopin
Although Klonopin isn’t heavily associated with liver injury, the drug should be taken with caution as its effects can feel quite heavy. Klonopin’s mechanism of action is actually not very well understood, so researchers are still hard at work to discover the drug’s full potential.
Like many benzodiazepine drugs, it enhances the responses of gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors. When you take a look at generalized tonic-clonic or partial seizures, Klonopin hasn’t proven to be very effective in these areas.
Doctors generally prescribe Klonopin to individuals who are suffering from absence seizures, photosensitive epilepsy, and atonic or myotonic seizures. In less common circumstances, Klonopin may be prescribed to those who deal with anxiety or panic attacks.
The prescription and overall use of Klonopin can be limited depending on the severity of one's health condition. It’s also important to consider tolerance and sedation levels.
After taking Klonopin, patients generally experience a level of sedation that can feel immobilizing. To understand Klonopin further, let’s break into what is known about the drug’s mechanism of action.
How Klonopin affects the body
Less excitation of the neurons is made possible with enough chloride ions being conducted. This process also means that the potentials of neuron membranes are hyperpolarized. Klonopin binds to benzodiazepine receptors which are variations of different GABA receptors.
The binding of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA to the receptors is what increases chloride ion conduction.
This is the key to the relaxing effects that Klonopin is capable of. Moreover, benzodiazepine receptor GABA receptors can be found in the central nervous system and peripherally.
Effects like skeletal muscle relaxation, sedation, and anticonvulsant activity are facilitated by these areas.
Klonopin’s ability to inhibit neuronal activity subdues the fear circuits, which is why it’s an excellent prescription for those who deal with anxiety or panic. Many patients also appreciate that liver injury from Klonopin is exceedingly rare, which is partly why it’s so widely accepted.
Other use cases
In less common scenarios, doctors may prescribe Klonopin for patients who are going through symptoms from Akathisia. This health condition pertains to a consistent feeling of restlessness and the need to physically move.
Commonly associated with side effects from medications geared toward mental illness, Klonopin delivers the relaxation people need in the moment.
Factors to consider
Before talking with a doctor about a Klonopin prescription, there are numerous factors to consider to help you decide if it's the right choice. If you've ever encountered an allergic reaction to other benzodiazepine medications, it'd be wise to stay away from Klonopin.
Patients also want to be cognizant of other medications they’re currently taking, as Klonopin may not mix well with their compounds. You can find a brief list of medications that don’t blend with a Klonopin prescription down below.
- Calcium channel blockers
- Antifungal medications
- Muscle relaxants
There's more that fall into this category, which is why it's essential to disclose all of this information with your doctor. You'll find that there are a handful of diseases or illnesses that clash with the effectiveness and bioavailability of Klonopin.
Patients with the following health conditions should avoid taking Klonopin:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Lung disease
Organs with these complications may not be able to process Klonopin safely, which can lead to more health concerns. As with any medication, women who are pregnant should always inform their doctor before agreeing to the prescription.
Klonopin is known to have a heavy onset feeling of fatigue and relaxation, and elderly people should only take small doses of the drug. Heavy machinery should be avoided when actively taking Klonopin, and patients could see changes in regard to mental health.
If a patient's mood, anxiety, or panic attacks worsen when on Klonopin, a follow-up appointment with the doctor should be the next step.
Klonopin also requires a tapering schedule when trying to stop taking the prescription. Without doing so, patients could encounter very uncomfortable side effects such as withdrawal.
This also includes many symptoms that are associated with withdrawal.
Klonopin is a pretty straightforward drug that acts quickly, and it’s generally seen as a step up from drugs like Xanax and Valium. There’s the possibility that patients could encounter a wide range of side effects and risk factors to their health.
Understanding what the drug is capable of can ensure the patient's health stays on track throughout the entire course of their prescription.
Potential health concerns
Potential side effects from taking Klonopin shouldn't be ignored, as they can cause short and long-term health complications. As rare as they may be, Klonopin comes with a list of side effects and risk factors that people would want to avoid.
Of course, you can expect doctors to cover these points before prescribing the medication, but if they don’t, make sure to ask about them.
Some common health risks include:
- Difficulty thinking
- Problems with coordination
- Blurred vision
- Muscle or joint pain
Some of these may seem manageable, but their effects will feel much heavier than you might think. In a way, they could easily side-blind you, considering the fast-acting nature of Klonopin’s mechanism of action.
More serious health concerns could arise from the following symptoms:
- Swelling of the yes
- Difficulty breathing
The list isn't very long, but based on the patient's current health condition, and age, they could be rather detrimental. Some of these side effects can arise on their own, but they can also show up due to certain lifestyle and diet choices. There are a handful of important dos and don'ts when it comes to taking Klonopin.
What’s unfortunate about some of these side effects is that their presence may force you to stop taking Klonopin immediately. Being proactive about these issues is your best guarantee to avoiding unwarranted withdrawal symptoms on top of them.
In the event a patient accidentally leads themselves to a potential overdose, there are several signs to look for. If a patient is experiencing confusion, drowsiness, or a loss of consciousness, they should seek medical attention immediately.
Klonopin isn’t a drug that can be taken lightly. In the same vein, it has helped millions of people gain control over symptoms that feel very controlling to the body and mind. The human body is very sensitive, and it’s paramount that all of the details in this article are covered to ensure the patient’s safety.
Depending on the severity of someone's condition, a doctor may or may not prescribe Klonopin. It can be seen as overkill for some people, but for others, it's a necessity.
Before approaching Klonopin as a solution to your healthcare concerns, always look at Xanax and Valium as solutions first.
Most people don't find them to be as aggressive; they could encounter less dependency when compared to the effects of Klonopin.