Klonopin is a drug belonging to the benzodiazepine group, which has an anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxing, sedative, mood-stabilizing and hypnotic effect. The drug is used to suppress epilepsy attacks, panic attacks and severe anxiety. Potentially life-threatening side effects include respiratory and cardiac arrest.
Areas of application and effect
Benzodiazepines have an anti-anxiety and soothing effect: fear, anxiety and motor anxiety disappear after applying it. Therefore, the main medical indications for the use of Klonopin are anxiety disorders, psychomotor agitation and panic attacks, as well as psychotic symptoms that occur in schizophrenia.
Benzodiazepines are also used as a sedative before surgery, for epileptic seizures, tetanus, febrile seizures and other conditions with increased muscle tone.
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Klonopin is an allosteric GABA receptor agonist that reduces the excitability of nerve cells. The anti-anxiety effect is achieved by inhibiting the release of excitatory neurotransmitters in the limbic system, which is responsible for controlling emotional behavior.
Klonopin prolongs the slow sleep phase and reduces the duration of rem sleep, but is rarely used as a sleeping pill due to the long half-life. Klonopin is rapidly absorbed after application through the gastrointestinal tract. The maximum concentration in the blood and the effect are achieved after 2-3 hours. It is popular among drug addicts because of its ability to quickly relieve panic attacks or anxiety that occur while taking LSD, psilocybins and other psychedelic drugs.
Main side effects include:
• difficulty concentrating
• memory lapses
Movement coordination disorders, dizziness and muscle weakness increase the risk of falling. Other side effects include slow or slurred speech, blurred vision, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, increased appetite, slowed breathing and decreased blood pressure.
Due to reduced reactivity, the ability to drive decreases, which increases the risk of accidents when driving vehicles. Side effects depend on the dose. In some diseases — lung and respiratory disorders (for example, asthma) or muscle weakness — benzodiazepines should not be taken.
Possible long-term consequences:
• dulling of emotions
• problems with concentration and memory
• physical exhaustion
• decreased mental activity
It is important to remember that Klonopin, like any other benzodiazepine, is recommended to be taken only for short periods of time (a maximum of 2 to 4 weeks) due to the risk of developing tolerance and physical dependence.
Also sometimes Klonopin weakens the respiratory center and cardiac activity. Infants and preschool children have increased salivation and mucus production in the respiratory tract.
In very high doses, in people with low tolerance, the drug causes severe amnesia, which is accompanied by behavioral disinhibition. Overdose can cause amnesia for several days. Overdose death is almost impossible; only when used with other medications is the risk of death more significant.
Simultaneous administration of Klonopin with other sedatives – alcohol, barbiturates or opiates – as well as with some antidepressants or antihistamines enhances the depressant effect of clonazepam. As a result, the risk of respiratory and cardiac arrest increases.
Klonopin and its metabolites pass through the placenta to the embryo – this leads to the “flexible baby syndrome”, which is characterized by sluggish muscles, difficulty breathing and impaired sucking reflex. Therefore, benzodiazepines should be used during pregnancy only if the doctor considers it necessary. Since Klonopin enters breast milk, lactation is an absolute contraindication to the use of the drug.