Clonazepam Side Effects

Clonazepam, a medication for treating seizures and panic disorders, has many unwanted reactions on the body. Here is some information related to the various side effects of this drug and the treatment options available for the same.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Clonazepam belongs to the class of medicines known as benzodiazepines, that act on the central nervous system and brain. This drug has the ability to calm the brain, by enhancing the effects of naturally released chemicals in the brain. Clonazepam is sold under the brand names Klonopin and Rivotril and is a popular antianxiety medication. We shall now look at the negative effects that this drug can have on the human body.
Side Effects
For Newborns
Clonazepam is harmful for the unborn baby in case the pregnant mother consumes it, as a part of medication of some anxiety related disorder. If the mother is taking clonazepam then the doctor must be aware about it. The medication passes into the breast milk and causes harm to the baby. It is advisable not to breast feed a baby during the period of consuming this drug. In case, you are taking seizure control medicines during pregnancy, then instead of stopping it on your own, do seek medical advice.
On the Nervous System
Some of the neurological clonazepam side effects include abnormal eye movements, headache, severe dizziness, nystagmus, respiratory problems like lower breathing rate, tremors in hands, and distorted speech. Many people may experience drowsiness, blurred vision, muscle pain, and even hair loss. Clonazepam, like various bipolar disorder medications is known to increase the risk of hair loss.
Drastic Weight Change
When it comes to weight gain or weight loss issues, different people have different opinions. Many people have complained, that consuming clonazepam has never caused them to gain weight, however, the anxiety disorders have forced them to eat a lot, thereby gaining weight. There are some others who have experienced weight loss after taking the drug for many months. The fact however is that the bodily constitution of every person is different and one may respond differently to the medications. So, it's not confirmed if clonazepam causes weight gain or weight loss.
Reactions with Drugs and Alcohol
The risks associated to Clonazepam become severe if the person consuming them has a history of drug abuse or alcohol abuse. It must not be taken while consuming alcohol or even some hours before or after consuming alcohol. Clonazepam side effects when consumed with alcohol include aggravation of symptoms of drug addiction like aggressive behavior or depression.
On Usage of Long Durations
Some long term side effects include, psychiatric problems like depression, confusion, amnesia, suicidal attempts, and certain behavioral problems. Clonazepam is an addictive drug and if it is not taken on proper prescription, it can lead to hostile behavior, sleep disorders, anxiety, and stress. People suffering from problems of the kidney and liver must consult a doctor before using this medication. Skin rashes and skin allergies have also been reported in many cases.
Prevention and Treatment
First of all, never share this medication with anyone as it is against the law and can lead to legal consequences. It has to be consumed only on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner. Also, never change your dose without asking your doctor. Never experiment with this drug. Just because you find it relieving, don't take an overdose. Strictly follow the prescription. Treatment consists of taking the person immediately to the doctor. The doctor will administer certain medications that will nullify the effects. Clonazepam, if taken under the supervision of an expert can be really helpful. So, make sure that this drug is always taken in prescribed doses and is kept out of the reach of others.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.