Klonopin uses are primarily concerned with treating certain types of epileptic seizures and panic disorder. The medication is a type of benzodiazepine, which has several effects on the body, such as relaxing the muscles, reducing anxiety, and causing sleepiness. Klonopin has been approved to treat seizures (but not panic disorder) in children of all ages. Off-label Klonopin uses include the treatment of alcohol withdrawal, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome.
What Is Klonopin Used For?Klonopin® (clonazepam) is a prescription medication that is used to treat panic disorder and certain types of epileptic seizures.
Klonopin and EpilepsyEpilepsy is a brain condition involving sudden, brief changes in the electrical system of the brain. These brain activity changes can lead to seizures (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which part of the brain is affected, seizures may affect the person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses.
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. When the cause of epilepsy is known, it may be one of the following:
- Other medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease
- Head trauma
- A brain tumor or brain infection, such as meningitis
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Genetics (see Genes and Epilepsy).
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. Klonopin is used to treat the following types of seizures:
- Seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy)
- Akinetic seizures (also known as atonic seizures), which are characterized by a sudden loss of muscle tone, causing "drop attacks"
- Myoclonic seizures, which are characterized by sudden, brief muscle jerks
- Absence seizures, which are characterized by brief periods of decreased awareness or "spacing out."