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By Kajal Jain

M. Pharm

06 December 2022
Medically reviewed by
Sumayya Salam
Pharm D
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Table of Contents

Klonopin (Clonazepam) is a well-known benzodiazepine medication for Anxiety disorders like social Anxiety, generalized Anxiety disorder, and panic attacks. It also is used in other conditions, such as seizures, sleep problems, and muscle spasms. When Klonopin is prescribed to an individual, just like other medications, it is essential to know the answers to critical questions. Understanding more about Klonopin can improve your experience taking it.

Knowing the benefits, risks, adverse effects, and possible withdrawal symptoms of Klonopin will help you determine if it is the best choice for your needs.

Wondering how long Klonopin can stick around in your body after the last time it was taken? Here's what you want to be familiar with how long it lasts in your system.

What is Klonopin?

Klonopin, a prescription-only benzodiazepine drug, is available under the brand name Clonazepam and is known for its tranquilizer and sedative effects. Klonopin is an effective treatment for Anxiety that co-occurs with bipolar disorder and epilepsy.

Klonopin is a controlled substance (Schedule IV drug) and is likely to cause physical or psychological dependence if misused. Possessing or consuming this drug is not legal if you do not have a valid prescription. It should only be used as directed.
Klonopin may also be prescribed to individuals who experience fidgeting, persistent restlessness, or other involuntary movements. 

How Does Klonopin Work?

Klonopin reduces overactivity in the CNS, which is associated with Anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms, insomnia, and other disorders. As a benzodiazepine, Klonopin enhances the natural brain chemical GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which calms down the central nervous system. This, in turn, helps lessen our Anxiety.

Depending on your health condition, this medication can relieve Anxiety, stop seizures and convulsions or relax tense muscles. This can also help ease muscle spasms, other involuntary movements, or symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

How Long Does Klonopin Stay In Your System?

Klonopin reaches its peak effectiveness within one to four hours. Currently, approximately 90% of the Clonazepam will already be broken by the body.

Klonopin has a half-life (time taken by the drug's active constituent in your body to reduce by half) of 30 to 40 hours and can stay in the biological system for up to 12 hours after administration of the last dose. People should abstain from activities like driving during this time.

Like other benzodiazepine medications, Klonopin can be detected through a standard drug test. If you have to take a test and are taking Klonopin as directed by your physician, make sure to get a doctor's note with you at that time.
Following are the estimates of how long Klonopin can be detected in different parts of the body-

  • Blood – 5-6 days
  • Saliva – 5-6 days
  • Sweat – a few hours
  • Hair – three months (90 days)
  • Urine – 4-6 days or more

(In chronic users, Klonopin can be identified in the urine for up to a month).

What Is The Half-life Of Klonopin?

Many individuals thinking about getting sober wonder how long Klonopin will stay in their biological system. Before answering this, it is essential to consider the half-life of Klonopin's active ingredient, Clonazepam.

The elimination half-life of a medicine is the time taken by a drug's active substance to reduce to its half in your body. This depends on how the body processes and flush out this drug from the body. It usually varies from a few hours to weeks.

No matter what dosage of a drug you are on or how long you have been taking it, its half-life remains the same.

Clonazepam has a long elimination half-life that ranges from 30 to 40 hours. This implies that it will take 1 - 2 days for just 50% of Klonopin to leave your biological system. A drug can take roughly 5 half-lives to leave your body altogether.

What Factors Does Klonopin Depend on to Stay in Your System?

A drug's half-life indicates the time required for its 50% to be metabolized and eliminated from your body. It usually takes 30 - 40 hours for half of the Klonopin you administer to leave your bloodstream.

Every individual is different, and several factors affect how long Klonopin (Clonazepam) remains in your system. Medical conditions can likewise affect how long a drug stays in your body, implying that these factors determine how long Clonazepam is detectable by a drug test.

These factors include-

  • Age
  • Weight
  • urine concentration
  • Liver function
  • Dosage of Klonopin you have been taking (low vs. high)
  • Frequency and duration of use
  • Use of other medications

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

Clonazepam is an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine. Its withdrawal timeline varies with the individual, but below is a rough outline of what you can anticipate:

1-4 days: Withdrawal symptoms might start after the last use of the drug. Short-lived "rebound" Anxiety and insomnia are the most common symptoms during this time. Rebound refers to the restoration of symptoms that were reduced by drug use.
10-14 days: The totality of withdrawal syndrome usually lasts for this period.

15+ days: The Anxiety symptoms might return until users access some treatment.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict precisely how Klonopin withdrawal will affect you. The severity of Clonazepam withdrawal symptoms depends on the amount of Klonopin you currently take, how long you have taken it, and whether you are combining it with alcohol or other drugs. 

These symptoms can be divided into two general categories, i.e., those relating to your physical and mental health.

Physical Symptoms Mental Health Symptoms
Muscle Spasms Irritability and agitation
Hyperventilation Restlessness
Weight loss Anxiety
Tremors Depression
Headache Strange body sensations
Difficulty sleeping Confusion
Blurred vision Auditory or visual hallucinations
Tinnitus Difficulty memorizing things
Extreme sensitivity to light Difficulty concentrating

Since Klonopin has such a long half-life, generally, withdrawal symptoms might not last for up to a week. Peak symptoms usually occur in the second week and begin to subside after the third or fourth week. Due to the long withdrawal timeline, detox is encouraged under professional guidance.

How Should You Detox Klonopin From Your System Safe?

Klonopin (Clonazepam) is a Schedule IV controlled substance with some potential for dependence and abuse. Physiological dependence can develop even if the drug is taken as directed, while physical dependence may develop after a regular intake for just two weeks.
Clonazepam should not be discontinued abruptly without consulting your doctor because of the chances of developing.

Dosage: How Much Should You Consume?

It is essential to take Klonopin precisely as directed by your doctor. An individual usually starts on a lower dose and gradually increases over 2 to 4 weeks until your medical practitioner thinks it is the right one.

Your doctor will guide you if you need to take Klonopin in single or split doses so you take it thrice daily. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if you need help carrying it.

The usual dose for:

Panic disorder – 1mg to 2mg daily

Involuntary muscle spasms (adults) – initial dose is 1mg to be taken at night; gradually increasing to 4 - 8mg over 2 to 4 weeks

Restless legs syndrome – 500 mcg to 2mg daily

Epilepsy (in adults) – the initial dose is 1mg to be taken at night (gradually increasing to 4 - 8mg over 2 to 4 weeks)

Epilepsy (in children) – the dose varies with the child's age. 

Your doctor may recommend a lower dose if you are older than 65 or have hepatic, renal, or severe breathing problems.
You can take Klonopin tablets or solutions with or without food.

If you miss any dose of Clonazepam, take the missed dose immediately as you remember it unless it's nearly time for your next dose. Never take double doses at the same time. Also, never take an extra dose to compensate for the missed one.

What If You Overdose On Klonopin?

Any individual who takes excess Clonazepam or takes it too frequently is at risk of Clonazepam overdose. Although it is not easy to fatally overdose on Clonazepam when used by itself, if it is used with other nervous system depressants, such as alcohol or opioids, the depressant effects of all ingested substances are compounded and can be life-threatening.

Various risk factors increase the likelihood of overdose, including addiction to drugs, using multiple drugs, or other psychiatric illnesses. Taking excess Klonopin can cause harmful physical effects, including

  • Confusion
  • Somnolence
  • Diminished reflexes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Trouble speaking
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Coma

What Are The Side Effects?

The prolonged usage of Clonazepam, especially at high doses, increases the occurrence and severity of side effects. The appearance of any of these side effects may be a result of Klonopin addiction. 

Common Side Effects Severe Side Effects
Drowsiness Lack of coordination
Cognitive impairment Hallucinations
Euphoria Reduced sex drive
Dizziness Memory loss
Irritability Poor sleep
Vomiting Depression

Is Klonopin Addictive?

Drug addiction is a disease, and benzodiazepine addiction causes a severe medical condition requiring professional treatment. Though there may be less Abuse potential than drugs such as cocaine, opioids, or methamphetamine, people may develop an addiction to Klonopin if they regularly consume them. Clonazepam produces a powerful addiction, and withdrawal symptoms can be severe, making it very difficult to quit using. Most people abuse this medication in combination with other medicines. 

Individuals who become dependent on Klonopin might require the supervision of a medical detox program. There are various options available for addiction treatment, including in and outpatient programs. These programs include addiction Education, individual and group therapy, skill-building sessions, care plans, and medical services.

Effective programs recognize that no therapy will work for everyone, and treatment plans should be individually monitored and regularly reviewed and updated. Treatment for substance addiction must also address the use of any co-occurring substance or mental health disorders to prevent relapse. 

Klonopin Precautions

Sometimes, your doctor might not prescribe Klonopin due to the risk of harm. This is known as a contraindication. The contraindications of Klonopin include

  • Having acute closed-angle glaucoma
  • Having severe liver disease
  • Having an allergic reaction to Klonopin or any of its ingredients

Speak to your doctor if you ever had-

  • Breathing problems
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Porphyria 
  • Mood problems, depression, suicidal thoughts, or behavior

Drug Interactions

Before starting Klonopin, inform your pharmacist or medical practitioner about other medications you are taking. This information could help prevent interactions. If you have further queries regarding Klonopin drug interactions, a medical practitioner is the best to look for.

Here's a list of medicines that may interact with Klonopin-

  • Opioids such as morphine, oxycodone, tramadol, hydrocodone
  • Stimulants such as methylphenidate, amphetamine, and dextroamphetamine
  • Antidepressants such as selegiline and isocarboxazid (MAOIs) and amitriptyline and imipramine (TCAs)
  • Antifungals such as fluconazole
  • ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril and enalapril
  • Muscle relaxants such as baclofen or tizanidine
  • Calcium channel blockers such as Amlodipine
  • Diuretics such as bendroflumethiazide and indapamide
  • Other medicines such as Cimetidine, rifampicin

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Klonopin, a benzodiazepine drug, helps us improve physical health by reducing Anxiety and allowing us to be more productive. This medication appears on drug screenings, including saliva, sweat, or hair follicle tests. The time taken for Klonopin medicine to last and its symptoms depend on various factors after taking it, such as age, weight, and overall health.

There is a greater chance of getting addicted to Klonopin if taken for an extended period. Knowing the answers to your questions makes you feel more confident about the medicine you will be consuming.

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