The information below is presented as a generalized and educational overview. The specific details of treatment protocols mentioned in this article may not reflect the protocols utilized by A Mission for Michael.
If you would like to learn more about AMFM’s individualized programs to aid those struggling with mental health disorders, please reach out.
We look forward to hearing from you: (844) 993-2217
WHAT IS KLONOPIN?
Klonopin, also known as clonazepam, is a benzodiazepine used to treat panic and anxiety disorders. Like other benzodiazepines, Klonopin is a sedative. In addition to clonazepam, Klonopin is also marketed as Rivotril.1 Klonopin for anxiety can help someone overcome debilitating anxiety symptoms and gain back control of their life.
How Long Does Klonopin Last?
The effects of Klonopin peak around four hours after ingestion, but it can take a few hours more before it entirely wears off. It is typically taken three times a day to soothe feelings of anxiety or panic.2
What is Klonopin Used For?
As an anxiety medication, Klonopin is primarily used to treat the symptoms of anxiety disorders, a mental illness that hinders over forty million people annually in the U.S.3 There are many more people with untreated and undiagnosed anxiety. Like other mental illnesses, anxiety can impact every face of life, which is why getting help to treat it is paramount.
FDA-APPROVED KLONOPIN USES
The FDA approves Klonopin for three uses.
Anxiety is a mood disorder characterized by persistent feelings of nervousness, unease, and stress. Social phobia is one of the most common anxiety disorders.4A social phobia can make it hard to make new relationships both personally and professionally. Klonopin for anxiety helps reduce the effects of social phobia.
The term panic disorder is often used interchangeably with anxiety. However, panic disorders can cause additional side effects. The most well-known side effect of panic disorders is hyperventilation brought up by intense feelings of panic or fear. Typically, a panic attack lasts four to five minutes, but the fear of having a panic attack impacts the quality of life.6
Prescription Klonopin for anxiety is the most common use, but it is also prescribed to treat various other psychiatric disorders. In some cases, Klonopin is used in lieu of other antidepressants.7
HOW FAST DOES KLONOPIN WORK FOR ANXIETY?
Klonopin is an SSRI that can take up to four hours to become effective. Klonopin anxiety pills work by boosting the levels of GABA and serotonin in the brain.8 GABA transmitters slow down excited neurons resulting in relaxation and calmness. In addition, as a sedative, Klonopin slows down the heart rate and breathing which counteracts the increased heart rate that comes with anxiety.
Klonopin Dosage for Anxiety
Klonopin for anxiety is often seen as a short-term solution. It’s prescribed, on average, for a month or less.8 It is taken up to three times a day with a maximum Klonopin dosage for anxiety of two milligrams in twenty-four hours. If you miss a dose, do not panic. Just be sure to take the next one.
Klonopin Interactions with Other Drugs
Klonopin should never be mixed with other pain medication, antihistamines, antidepressants, and any other form of sedative. The combination of these drugs with Klonopin can result in labored breathing, seizure, and hospitalization.
In addition, certain foods, when taken in excess, may cause negative effects with Klonopin. Speak with your doctor about any other medication, no matter how minor, you may be on to avoid a bad drug interaction.
SIDE EFFECTS OF KLONOPIN
Klonopin side effects and other anxiety medication may be more intense initially and subside over time as the body adjusts. The intensity of Klonopin side effects will vary based on age, gender, and individual health history. Here are the most common.
As a sedative, clonazepam impairs long-term memory by disrupting memory transfer to the anterior cortex. Memory loss can worsen over time should Klonopin continue to be taken.9
Klonopin side effects include lightheadedness. Like other seizure medications and antidepressants, clonazepam can cause dizziness and vertigo.10
Dizziness can lead to accidental bodily harm and is one of the main reasons it’s best not to operate machinery while on Klonopin.
Klonopin can cause frequent urination when taken over time, especially in elders.11
Changes in Sex Drive
Clonazepam can greatly reduce sex drive, even in individuals with a higher-than-average libido.12 This effect is another reason that Klonopin for anxiety is a short-term solution.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I STOP TAKING KLONOPIN?
Like most anxiety medication, Klonopin should not be stopped cold turkey. A doctor will typically prescribe a lower and lower Klonopin dosage for anxiety to help wean a person off of the drug. Otherwise, they experience symptoms of withdrawal. The same can be said for antidepressants.
Signs of anxiety medication and Klonopin withdrawal include headaches, irritability, shakiness, confusion, weight changes, worsening mental health, and more.13 The same is true for any benzodiazepine, which is why they are typically short-term solutions.
Should long-term prescriptions be required, then a doctor may meet with their patient more frequently to check in on the efficacy of the dose. Klonopin withdrawal is rarely, if ever, fatal, but it can drastically reduce the quality of life. Compared to other anxiety medications, Klonopin’s side effects and risks are more or less normal.
OTHER TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ANXIETY
There are other options for individuals who can’t or prefer not to take antidepressants, anxiety injection medicine, or Klonopin for anxiety. These are the most common.
Psychotherapy is designed to reduce the symptoms of mental illness and PTSD. There’s a focus on teaching coping mechanisms that can give a person more control of their more intense symptoms. Psychotherapy is a highly specialized treatment that varies based on psychological method and patient.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, comprises a variety of methods all tailored to help change a person’s point of view. Often mental illnesses such as anxiety lead to anxious thoughts and patterns.
A person who has undergone CBT is more aware of their thoughts and the negative spirals that certain thoughts can cause. The benefit of being aware of negative thoughts is that it gives a person a chance to change and refocus on more positive, helpful events.
Family Therapy helps create stable support systems to combat feelings of isolation. It is also a helpful tool to educate immediate family members about the mental illness affecting their loved ones. Like the methods mentioned above, family therapy takes time and patience to become effective. Instead of family therapy, group therapy is an alternative option.
There are other options for those of us who are unable or unwilling to seek medical treatment or anti-anxiety medication. Take note that during or even after professional treatment, the methods outlined below help reduce the symptoms of anxieties and other mental illnesses. As such, it is best to add them to your routine anyway. Using every available resource increases the odds of overcoming anxiety.
Regular exercise improves cardiovascular performance, sleep, and provides a constant dose of feel-good chemicals in the brain. Additionally, the physical benefits of exercise can boost confidence and counteract social phobia.
Yoga and Tai Chi
Yoga and Tai Chi are great forms of low impact, high reward exercise. Over time, both workouts can improve blood flow, flexibility, and core strength. However, even more importantly, Tai Chi and yoga give time for mindfulness and inner reflection.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness can be achieved outside of exercise. Taking the time to practice meditation and mindfulness can be done in small increments. Even five minutes a day, when done consistently, can show results. Meditation and mindfulness can open up new neural pathways, allowing a person to better cope with symptoms of anxiety disorders.
The first step towards recovery is the most important one. Accepting that you need help to manage the symptoms of anxiety starts you on a course of recovery. Anxiety reduces the quality of millions of lives per year. However, with the right education, training, and resources, a person can feel more like themselves again.
It is essential to note that for many, anxiety can be a long-term, if not life-long, condition. Our team of professionals at A Mission for Michael has dedicated ourselves to helping individuals with mental illness take that first step and every step thereafter.