Clonazepam

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Information about Clonazepam

Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine used predominantly as an anticonvulsant as adjunctive therapy in management of epilepsy. 

Liver safety of Clonazepam

Therapy with clonazepam is not associated with serum aminotransferase elevations, and clinically apparent liver injury from clonazepam, if it occurs at all, must be exceedingly rare.

Mechanism of action of Clonazepam

Clonazepam (kloe naz' e pam) is a benzodiazepine with particularly potent activity against spread of seizure activity in several animal models.  The antiseizure activity of the benzodiazepines is mediated by their ability to enhance gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) mediated inhibition of synaptic transmission through binding to the GABA A receptor. 

FDA approval information for Clonazepam

Clonazepam was approved in the United States for treatment of epilepsy in 1997 and currently more than 20 million prescriptions are filled yearly. 

Clinical use of Clonazepam

Clonazepam is currently indicated for management of absence seizures and myoclonic seizures in children as well as generalized seizure disorders in both adults and children.  Clonazepam is effective in status epilepticus, but diazepam and lorazepam are preferable because of their longer half lives.  Clonazepam is also used for restless leg syndrome, dysarthria, tic disorders, panic disorder and acute mania. 

Dosage and administration for Clonazepam

Clonazepam is available in generic forms and under the brand name Klonopin in tablets of 0.5, 1.0 and 2 mg as well as in orally disintegrating tablets for pediatric use.  The recommended initial dose for adults is 1.5 mg daily in three divided doses, increasing as needed to a maximum dose of 20 mg daily. 

Side effects of Clonazepam

The most common side effects of clonazepam are dose related and include drowsiness, lethargy, ataxia, dysarthria and dizziness.  Tolerance develops to these side effects, but tolerance may also develop to the antiseizure effects.


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