Epilepsy Home > Klonopin Warnings and Precautions
Before starting a new medication, it is important to be aware of its warnings and precautions. With Klonopin, these precautions include the danger of becoming addicted to the medication, the safety of taking the medicine when pregnant or breastfeeding, and potential drug interactions with Klonopin. Warnings and precautions also extend to people who have acute narrow-angle glaucoma or severe liver disease.
Klonopin: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Klonopin® (clonazepam) if you have:
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Breathing problems
- Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Klonopin Warnings and PrecautionsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Klonopin include the following:
- Klonopin is a controlled substance, which means that it has the potential to be abused. There are special rules and regulations for prescribing and dispensing Klonopin. Klonopin is generally not recommended for people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see Klonopin Addiction).
- Klonopin can cause psychological and physical dependence and is often abused. The risk of abuse and dependence is greater for those taking high Klonopin doses for long periods of time (more than a few weeks). Because Klonopin can cause dependence, you should not suddenly stop taking Klonopin without first discussing it with your healthcare provider (see Klonopin Withdrawal).
- Klonopin can cause severe drowsiness and difficulty breathing, which may be life threatening. This risk is increased when Klonopin is combined with alcohol, narcotics, or other medications or substances that cause drowsiness and sedation (see Klonopin Drug Interactions and Klonopin and Alcohol for more information). You should not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Klonopin will affect you.
- Sometimes, Klonopin can make seizures worse. This is most common in people who have more than one type of seizure. Let your healthcare provider know if your seizures are getting worse or are changing.
- The kidneys help remove Klonopin from the body. If you have kidney disease, your body may not handle Klonopin the way it should, and you may need a lower Klonopin dosage.
- Klonopin can cause depression or make preexisting depression worse. Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you are depressed or have a history of depression before taking Klonopin.
- Seizure medications, including Klonopin, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you feel depressed or have any suicidal thoughts (see Seizure Medications and Suicide for more information).
- Klonopin can cause increased salivation. Although this is sometimes bothersome or embarrassing, it is usually not dangerous for most people. However, this can cause problems in people who have difficulty swallowing, people with lung problems, or people with decreased consciousness.
- Elderly people are more sensitive to the effects of Klonopin and may need to be started with a low Klonopin dosage. Klonopin may increase the risk of falling, which is especially dangerous in elderly people (who often have weak or brittle bones).
- Sometimes, people react to Klonopin in a way opposite of what is usually expected. That is, they may become agitated, aggressive, and restless and may have difficulty sleeping. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience any of these effects.
- Klonopin is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy (see Klonopin and Pregnancy).
- Klonopin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Klonopin and Breastfeeding).