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Clonazepam

What is Clonazepam

Clonazepam is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Clonazepam affects chemicals in your brain that may become unbalanced and cause seizures.

Clonazepam is used to treat seizures.

Clonazepam may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about Clonazepam

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Clonazepam will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking Clonazepam. Alcohol may also increase your risk of having a seizure.

Do not stop taking Clonazepam suddenly. This could cause seizures and withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you need to stop treatment with Clonazepam.

What you should find out before taking Clonazepam

Do not take Clonazepam if you have narrow-angle glaucoma. Clonazepam may worsen this condition.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you
- have kidney disease;
- have liver disease;
- have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or another respiratory disease; or
- are depressed or have suicidal thoughts.

You may not be able to take Clonazepam, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

It is not known whether Clonazepam will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether Clonazepam passes into breast milk. Do not take Clonazepam without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you are over sixty years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from Clonazepam. You may require a lower dose of this medication.

How should take Clonazepam

Take Clonazepam exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Do not take more than is prescribed for you.

Do not stop taking Clonazepam suddenly if you have been taking it for several weeks. Stopping suddenly could cause seizures and withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you need to stop treatment with Clonazepam.

Store Clonazepam at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose:

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication. A double dose could be very dangerous.

What happens if you overdose:

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a Clonazepam overdose include sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, a slow heart beat, difficulty breathing, difficulty walking and talking, an appearance of being drunk, and unconsciousness.

Avoid while taking Clonazepam

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Clonazepam will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking Clonazepam. Alcohol may also increase your risk of having a seizure.

Avoid other sedatives, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers. They should not be used while you are taking Clonazepam unless your doctor approves.

Possible side effects of Clonazepam

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Clonazepam and seek emergency medical attention:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives);
- sores in your mouth or throat;
- yellowing of the skin or eyes;
- a rash;
- hallucinations or severe confusion; or
- changes in your vision.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Clonazepam and talk to your doctor if you experience
- drowsiness, dizziness, or clumsiness;
- depression;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation;
- difficulty urinating;
- vivid dreams;
- headache;
- dry mouth;
- decreased sex drive; or
- changes in behavior.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Clonazepam

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs:
- an antihistamine such as brompheniramine (Dimetane, Bromfed, others), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton, Teldrin, others), azatadine (Optimine), clemastine (Tavist), and many others;
- a narcotic (pain killer) such as meperidine (Demerol), morphine (MS Contin, MSIR, others), propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet), hydrocodone (Lorcet, Vicodin), oxycodone (Percocet, Percodan), fentanyl (Duragesic), or codeine (Fiorinal, Fioricet, Tylenol #3, others);
- another sedative such as phenobarbital (Solfoton, Luminal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), amobarbital (Amytal), or secobarbital (Seconal);
- a phenothiazine such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), mesoridazine (Serentil), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), or trifluoperazine (Stelazine); or
- an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).

Dangerous sedation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur if Clonazepam is taken with any of the medicines listed above.

Other seizure medications may not be as effective when you are taking Clonazepam. Discuss your seizure medications with your doctor.

Blood pressure medications may be more effective and may result in very low blood pressure. Be alert for signs of low blood pressure (weakness, dizziness, fatigue) and talk to your doctor about your medication.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Clonazepam. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

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