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Clonazepam – An anti-epileptic drug helpful in treating some seizure disorders

Clonazepam is a type of benzodiazepine. It works by influencing certain chemicals present in the brain that are unbalanced. It is also a medicine used to treat seizures and also known as an anti-epileptic drug.  Clonazepam is helpful in treating certain types of seizure disorders in children and adults.

Important Information

Avoid using Clonazepam if you are suffering from narrow angle glaucoma, serious liver disease, or allergic to Valium or similar drugs. Contact your doctor if you experience any worsening or new symptoms of depression, unusual changes in thoughts or behaviour, suicidal thoughts or feeling of hurting yourself.

Do not drink alcohol while you are on this medication. Clonazepam can be habit forming. Do not share Clonazepam with any other person. Store the medicine in a place where others cannot access it.

Some people get suicidal thoughts while using this seizure medication. Your doctor can advise you to come for regular checkups to monitor your progress. Your family members or caregivers should be alert to check for signs of your mood changes.

Dosing Information

Normal Adult dose for Seizure Prophylaxis

1.5mg to be taken orally per day in split of 3 doses; this can be increased in amounts of 0.5mg – 1mg every three days until seizures are controlled satisfactorily or till the side effects are prevented before they increase.

Maximum dose: 20mg to be taken orally per day

Normal dose for panic disorder

Initial dose: 0.25mg to be taken orally – 2 times/day

Maintenance dose: 1mg to be taken orally/day

Maximum dose: 4mg to be taken orally/day

In case you miss a dose of Clonazepam, take it as soon as it strikes you. Do not take the missed dose if it is the time for your next dose. Do not use extra dose to make up for the dose you missed.

Overdose

In case you observe any symptoms of overdose like fainting, muscle weakness, drowsiness or coma, call poison control centre immediately as these symptoms of overdose if not treated in time can be fatal. So do not ignore these symptoms and ask for medical help immediately.

Side effects

  • severe drowsiness
  • worsening or new seizures
  • shallow or weak breathing
  • aggression, hallucinations or confusion
  • unusual changes in behaviour or mood
  • thoughts of hurting yourself or committing suicide
  • involuntary or unusual eye movements

Common side effects are

  • feeling depressed or tired
  • dizziness, drowsiness
  • memory problems
  • problems with coordination or balance

Clonazepam and pregnancy

If you are pregnant follow the directions of your doctor for using seizure medications. Do not stop or start using this medicine without your doctor’s consent. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant. Clonazepam can cause harm to your unborn baby and can lead to feeding and breathing problems in new born baby. Seizures can harm both mother and baby during pregnancy.

Clonazepam and breastfeeding

Clonazepam can secret into breast milk and harm nursing baby. Do not breastfed your baby while you are using this medication.

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