Klonopin is a tranquilizer with sedating effects. It belongs to the benzodiazepine class of medications. These drugs have been considered harder to withdraw from than even heroin or other opiates. Klonopin is prescribed to treat the following:
In street jargon, Klonopin is referred to as “KPins”, or simply “tranks”. Klonopin is also nicknamed “K”, “Pin”, or “super Valium” when sold on the street.
The drug has become somewhat popularized not only as a sedative drug, but also for its fast acting euphoric effects, and is considered a high risk for abuse and addiction. The drug should only be taken for short-term use.
Many people have become inadvertently addicted to benzodiazepines such as Klonopin, and may even resort to obtaining them off the street in a desperate attempt to prevent drug withdrawals which can be extremely hard to tolerate.
The side effects of Klonopin can be quite severe, and can discount any perceived benefits of the drug. It should only be used short-term for anxiety, as the side effects can become more formidable over time.
Common side effects of Klonopin (clonazepam) can include:
When mixed with other CNS depressants, these effects can become more severe, requiring medical intervention to avoid a potentially life-threatening event.
Klonopin needs to be tapered carefully and gradually enough to give the body time to adjust to a decreasing dose over time. Some of the common symptoms of withdrawal include:
Klonopin belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs. These should never be discontinued abruptly, or “cold turkey”. When this drug, like other similar medications, is withdrawn too abruptly, the withdrawal symptoms can become harsh and difficult to tolerate. The result of coming off too fast is that some symptoms will linger far longer than necessary (as in protracted withdrawal) and can lead to relapse because of their intensity.
Unless directed by a hospital or physician, never abruptly stop benzodiazepines that have been in regular use, but do a gentle taper off the drug under medical supervision. Benzodiazepines can cause seizure and even death from suddenly stopping, especially if the person has acclimated to using this medication over a long duration.
When the time comes to begin the detox or tapering process, a clinic or setting that can provide close and careful medical monitoring is recommended.
Below we have collected pertinent information on Klonopin or clonazepam, and some frequently requested topics related to taking the drug, withdrawal from the drug, and other information.
At our holistic center, ATMC strives to provide alternative treatments for anxiety or other unwanted conditions where drugs may have proven ineffective, or brought with them harsh side effects which outweighed any benefits.
One important facet of our program involves testing for and removing toxins that have accumulated in the body. Neurotoxicity is linked to many symptoms and our industrialized environment is virtually a continual battering and exposure to poisons. The hundreds of thousands of various chemicals that our bodies are forced to deal with is certainly taking a toll on our hormones, neurochemistry, reproductive organs, and other innate physiology vital to our survival.
Long term success is supported by the extraction of excitotoxins. One example of a common excitotoxin is pesticides, such as Organophosphates. This type of toxic accumulation can affect acetylcholinesterase enzymes, which in turn causes an overstimulation of neuronal pathways.
Pesticides act on pests by knocking out the pest’s nervous system. There is a possible parallel in human physiology because we also have acetylcholine receptors. Because we have a liver to break down toxins, the impact may be somewhat different in humans than in a pest; however an individual whose genetics have been compromised may have a similar liability linked to accumulated toxins. Pests react with twitching muscles and other unnatural body motions, not unlike those seen in humans with a toxic-laden neurochemistry.
Even relatively common food additives such as MSG and aspartame have been linked to synaptic over-firing. These chemicals and their derivatives can stimulate receptors such as the NMDA receptor, resulting in neurotoxicity in these receptors. In contrast, after neurotoxicity is purged from the system, our clients typically report improvements in sleep, calmer mood, brighter and more energy, and other similar benefits. But that is just the beginning of sustainable wellness. The cumulative effects of environmental toxins are truly understudied.
Many medications such as Klonopin may bring with them intolerable side effects that lead to the decision to stop taking them and look for other means to address mental health issues. Each person’s situation is highly specific to them and truly needs the guidance of an experienced and trusted medical team to determine the correct strategy. This process might be challenging to one’s family or home life, and many families have had to deal with this challenge. The decision to seek inpatient care may reduce the impact on the family and also greatly ease the process for the person who needs to focus on recovering.
We can help in tapering from such medications comfortably and safely, and bridge over to alternative therapies that can bring relief of symptoms. Our aim is help our clients attain natural sustainable mental health. Please ask us for more information on the programs we offer.
Dr. Michael Loes is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pain Management and Addiction Medicine. He holds a dual license in Homeopathic and Integrative Medicine. He obtained his medical doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1978. Dr. Loes performed an externship at the National Institute of Health for Psychopharmacology. Additionally, he is a well-published author including Arthritis: The Doctor’s Cure, The Aspirin Alternative, The Healing Response, and Spirit Driven Health: The Psalmist’s Guide for Recovery. He has been awarded the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s “Excellence in Research” Award.