Clonazepam is a very popular anxiolytic, but it is not without risks. If you consume it regularly, discover all its side effects and adverse effects.
Every medicine or drug has secondary or adverse effects, which consist of unwanted effects, the vast majority of which are mild, although they can also be more serious. In the case of clonazepam, it also has certain side effects, despite being the most popular anxiolytic and consumed by many patients.
Clonazepam is a medication used to relieve and calm anxiety. In other words, it is an anxiolytic drug that contains benzodiazepine, a substance with sedative capacity, with short-term depressant effects on the central nervous system (since it is specifically a short-acting psychotropic sedative substance).
To explain its mechanism of action, we must bear in mind that gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter responsible for regulating the different levels of anxiety, acting naturally to calm nervous tension. In this sense, clonazepam helps this neurotransmitter regulate anxiety by increasing its activity, providing relaxing effects.
Therefore, it is a medicine that is usually taken to relieve anxiety and calm nervous tension. But it also tends to be used for other purposes, such as: insomnia, nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment, tachycardia, epilepsy, irritable bowel syndrome, and agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal.
Clonazepam Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Regarding the side effects of this anxiolytic, we can divide them into two groups: mild and serious. Mild ones are much more common, and can appear quite frequently. The bass, however, are not so:
- Mild Side Effects: Drowsiness (sleepiness), tiredness, weakness, dizziness, stomach or digestive upset, agitation or excitement, diarrhea, blurred vision, decreased libido, changes in sexual ability, constipation, or dry mouth.
- Serious side effects: Difficulty breathing or swallowing, irregular heartbeat, fever, severe skin rash, yellowing of the skin (jaundice), tremor and inability to sit still, and unsteady walk.
In addition, there are a number of serious side effects that tend to appear after prolonged use of the drug. For example, we can name hypersensitivity, severe respiratory failure, myasthenia (autoimmune disease that weakens muscles) or sleep apnea.
What to do if these side effects appear?
If any of these symptoms appear, it is always advisable to notify the doctor who prescribed clonazepam, since it is quite likely that you will need to readjust the dose, or try to reduce it and then replace it with another milder anxiolytic.
But if serious symptoms or side effects appear, we must quickly go to the emergency room, or call our doctor if any unusual or unusual problem occurs during the treatment period.
We must bear in mind that, in most cases, one of the side effects that most commonly appear is the feeling of tiredness and drowsiness. In other words, it is very common for the person who takes clonazepam to feel more tired and weak during the day, may have a greater sense of sleep and also reduces alertness. It is something absolutely normal, and that theoretically tends to reduce as the weeks go by after the start of treatment.
It is also common for what many specialists call “affective blunting” to arise. That is, it is common for the person to also feel apathetic, with some weakness.
However, if these common symptoms do not disappear, the most common is for the doctor to replace the drug with another anxiolytic.
Clonazepam dosage. How are the doses?
Clonazepam is taken orally in tablet form, and it is recommended that the duration of treatment be as short as possible. In this way, what is advisable from a medical point of view is that the specialist periodically reevaluates the patient’s clinical situation, thus establishing if it is necessary to continue with the treatment or if the dose can already be reduced. Until its consumption is completely eliminated.
The usual recommended dosage tends to be the following: anxiety symptoms, treatment duration of between 8 to 12 weeks is recommended. In case of insomnia, 4 weeks.
Regarding the dose, for anxiety, 1-20 mg/day divided between 2 to 3 doses is recommended. For cases of insomnia 1-4 mg/day before going to bed. In case of kidney or liver failure and in the elderly, 0.5 mg/day is recommended.