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Monday, October 31, 2011

Addiction to Klonopin

Rivatril-medicine. Clonazepam 0,5mg.Image via Wikipedia


Klonopin or k-pin is a benzodiazepine drug having anti convulsant, muscle relaxant, and anxiolytic properties. Clonazepam is classified as a high potency benzodiazepine and is sometimes used as a second-line treatment of epilepsy. Clonazepam, like other benzodiazepines, used primarily for treatment for acute seizures, is not suitable for the long-term treatment of seizures due to the patient developing a tolerance to the anti convulsant effects. Clonazepam is also used for the treatment of panic disorder. If you live in South Carolina and are suffering from addiction to Klonopin, see: Klonopin Addiction.

Those most prone to addiction to Klonopin tend to be the elderly. Those aged 65 years and older seem to become the most dependent on this drug. The elderly metabolize benzodiazepines at a vastly slower rate than younger individuals and are  more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. Doses for the elderly are recommended to be about half of that which is given to younger adults and given for no longer 2 to 2 1/2 weeks at the most.
Klonopin  and the elderly
Long-acting benzodiazepines such as clonazepam are not generally recommended for the elderly because of the high risk of drug accumulation. Caution in the elderly: increased risk of impairments, falls and drug accumulation. Individuals and individuals with co morbid psychiatric disorders such as multiple personality disorders, etc are especially in danger of suffering the most ill side effects. Clonazepam is generally not recommended for use in elderly people for insomnia due to its high potency relative to other benzodiazepines. Particularly important especially among the elderly is the withdrawal effects that can be dangerous. Abrupt withdrawal from clonazepam may result in the development of the benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome causing psychosis characterized by dysphoric manifestations, irritability, aggressiveness, anxiety, and hallucinations. Sudden withdrawal may also induce the potentially life threatening condition status epilepticus. Anti epileptic drugs, benzodiazepines such as clonazepam in particular, should be reduced slowly and gradually before discontinuing the drug to reduce withdrawal effects. Carbamazepine has been used in the treatment of clonazepam withdrawal and has been found to be ineffective in preventing clonazepam withdrawal status epilepticus from occurring, which is important to take into consideration. psychotic manifestations, irritability, aggressiveness, anxiety, and hallucinations. Sudden withdrawal may also induce the potentially life threatening condition status epilepticus.

Anti epileptic drugs, benzodiazepines such as clonazepam in particular, should be reduced slowly and gradually when discontinuing the drug to reduce withdrawal effects. Carbamazepine has been used in the treatment of clonazepam withdrawal and has been found to be somewhat ineffective in preventing clonazepam withdrawal  status epilepticus from occurring. Status epilepticus is a life-threatening condition in which the brain is in a state of persistent seizure. Typically it is defined as one continuous unremitting seizure lasting longer than 30 minutes. Medical attention must be sought immediately for this.

Least dangerous/benign side effects:
Dizziness
Drowsiness
Confusion
Loss of or impaired motor function
Lack of coordination and balance
These side effects are typically experienced when used in the short term.

Side effects when combined with other drugs:
Use of alcohol and other depressants intensifies the general effects of the drug.

Withdrawal dangers:
Klonopin use is especially dangerous when it is used of the drug is abruptly discontinued after long term use. Everyone who continually use Klonopin long term becomes what is known as low dose dependent. Side effects of the drug itself are generally benign, but sudden withdrawal after long-term use can cause severe, even fatal, symptoms.

Symptoms of withdrawal include:
Anxiety
Irritability
Insomnia
Panic Attacks
Tremors
DT’s (Delirium Tremens)

Long term use dangers:
Withdrawal from Klonopin can last from months to a life time. This occurs in those at high risk for dependency. This results because of brain damage which is usually irreversible. Some symptoms include:
Anxiety
Insomnia
Tinnitus
Tingling and numbness in limbs
Muscle pain and tension
Cramps
Weakness
Irritable bowel
Cognitive difficulties

If you suspect you are addicted to Klonopin, or any other drug, see: The Addicted Family for additional support and information.
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