Also Known As: Klonopin, Clonazepam, Rivotril

Clonazepamis a benzodiazepine drug having anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, and hypnotic properties. It is marketed by Roche under the trade name Klonopin in the United States and Rivotril in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the European Union (and in countries like Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia and Montenegro). Other names such as Ravotril, Rivatril, Clonex, Paxam, or Kriadex are known throughout the rest of the world. Clonazepam has an unusually long elimination half-life of 18–50 hours, making it generally considered to be among the long-acting benzodiazepines. Clonazepam is a chlorinated derivative of nitrazepam and therefore a chloro-nitrobenzodiazepine.

Benzodiazepines such as clonazepam have a fast onset of action and high effectiveness rate and low toxicity in overdose but have drawbacks due to adverse reactions including paradoxical effects, drowsiness, and cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairments can persist for at least six months after withdrawal of clonazepam; it is unclear whether full recovery of memory functions occurs. Other long-term effects of benzodiazepines include tolerance, benzodiazepine dependence, and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, which occurs in a third of people treated with clonazepam for longer than four weeks.

Clonazepam is classified as a high potency benzodiazepine and is sometimes used as a second-line treatment of epilepsy. Clonazepam, like other benzodiazepines, while being a first-line treatment for acute seizures, is not suitable for the long-term treatment of seizures due to the development of tolerance to the anticonvulsant effects. The benzodiazepine clorazepate may be preferred over clonazepam due to a slower onset of tolerance and availability in slow-release formulation to counter fluctuations in blood levels. Clonazepam is also used for the treatment of panic disorder. The pharmacological property of clonazepam as with other benzodiazepines is the enhancement of the neurotransmitter GABA via modulation of the GABAA receptor.

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