You may have been prescribed Klonopin by your doctor for anxiety or panic attack treatment. If you often take the medication, discontinuing it may be hard for you because of common and intense withdrawal symptoms associated with Klonopin. You are not the only victim of this drug. SAMHSA reports, more than 75,000 people were admitted to emergency rooms due to Klonopin-related side effects.
If you are ready, we can help you safely withdraw from Klonopin. With ChoicePoint’s expertise in benzo drug detoxes, you will learn everything you need to know about Klonopin withdrawal symptoms, duration, timeline, and treatment.
Table of Contents
What Is Klonopin Withdrawal?
Let’s start by learning what Klonopin is. The chemical and generic name of Klonopin is Clonazepam. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, often called “benzos”. It is an anti-seizure and anti-anxiety medicine.
Like all benzodiazepines, Klonopin has inhibitory effects on your central nervous system. It increases the release of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that suppresses and delays the messages traveling between your brain and body. This is the reason why you feel calm and relaxed after consuming this drug.
But, if you consume more than the recommended dose of Klonopin, or you use this medicine for a prolonged period, your body will develop a dependence on it. Your brain will stop producing GABA neurotransmitters on its own and will start depending on Klonopin for GABA production. This will disturb the average output and balance of neurotransmitters.
When you stop taking this medication, your body will take time to function correctly and produce neurotransmitters of its own. During this time, you may experience some discomfort, known as Klonopin withdrawal.
Symptoms of Klonopin Abuse
Klonopin (Clonazepam) Withdrawal Symptoms
Though Klonopin is exceptionally effective in treating anxiety disorders, some people pay a terrible price for abusing it. One of the major withdrawal symptoms is suicidal thoughts. The FDA even made a point to add a warning label ‘increased suicidal thoughts’ as a side effect of Klonopin abuse in 2009.
Common Klonopin withdrawal symptoms:
Insomnia and sleep-related disorders
Tremors and Seizures
Short-term memory loss
Nausea and vomiting
Irregular heartbeat and increased blood pressure
Other than these, you can also expect some psychological symptoms:
Anxiety and depression
Hallucinations and nightmares
Difficulty in concentrating
Klonopin is a long-acting benzodiazepine.This means it is metabolized slowly and takes longer to leave our bodies. It has a long half-life of about 30-40 hours. So, you can expect Klonopin withdrawal symptoms to begin after 2-7 days of quitting this drug, sometimes sooner. During this time, please do not attempt to quit Klonopin on your own because quitting Klonopin cold turkey has been linked with worsening seizures and panic attacks.
ChoicePoint offers outpatient detox programs and medical and clinical treatment plans, we aim to minimize the risk of Klonopin withdrawal while maximizing the chances of recovery.
Klonopin Withdrawal Treatment Strategies That Delivers Results
Before moving to treatment and management techniques for Klonopin withdrawal, you must remember that recovery is not a one-night process. You have to keep your eye on the ultimate goal, i.e., reducing dependence on Klonopin for a better, healthy, productive, and peaceful lifestyle. During this process, you may be tempted to try some home remedies or resort to a friend for advice. But remember, only professional help can manage withdrawal symptoms.
a) Medical Detox
Medical detox is the best way to manage Klonopin withdrawal symptoms. During medical detox, the doctors will use a technique known as ‘tapering off’ medications to help you manage the symptoms. It is the most effective treatment for Klonopin abuse.
During this process, your doctor will gradually reduce the dose until your body normally starts to function without Klonopin and the dependence is reduced. Scientific studies show that reducing 0.25mg/week is recommended. However, it may be different depending on your condition.
Additionally, some people may benefit from additional medications such as::
Antidepressants – to cope with psychological withdrawal symptoms
Fluoxetine (Prozac) – to help improve mood, appetite, and sleep pattern
Anticonvulsants such as Tegretol – to reduce seizures
Serotonin hormone therapy – to improve sleep pattern
ChoicePoint’s alcohol and drug detox programs along with in-person or virtual clinical therapy provide high-quality treatment administered by certified clinicians. We believe in credibility, authenticity, and confidentiality. To learn how our personalized Klonopin detox program can help overcome drug abuse, please reach out to us at 844.445.2563.
Why Is Medical Detox Important?
You might be wondering, “Why a medical detox?” Well, medical detox is important because of the risks associated with withdrawal symptoms. Usually, when people realize they have developed an addiction to Klonopin, they attempt to quit this drug ‘cold turkey,’ i.e., they immediately stop taking the drug without consulting their doctor.
We hope that you are not tempted to do the same. Why? Because quitting cold turkey leads to several complications. There are several types of research that link it to the worsening of seizures. Other risks of quitting Klonopin without medical assistance include:
Development of Grand Mal Seizures
Chances of respiratory depression
Complications may arise during pregnancy, such as low birth weight and left cleft palate
Complications such as liver impairment, tremors, and seizures if used with alcohol or opioids
Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline
Now that we hope you have made up your mind to start the treatment, you might be thinking about how long do Klonopin withdrawal symptoms last? There is no set duration; it usually depends on:
How long have you been using Klonopin?
The dose of Klonopin used?
How frequent have you been using this medication?
Whether they are taking it with other drugs such as opioids or alcohol?
Phases of Withdrawal From Klonopin
However, to give you an estimate of the duration of Klonopin withdrawal, let’s discuss the Klonopin withdrawal stages.
Phase 1: Acute Withdrawal
Acute withdrawal occurs within 1-4 days after the use of benzodiazepines. Since Klonopin has a longer half-life, you may begin to feel withdrawal symptoms between 2-7 days.
During this stage, you may experience symptoms such as:
Psychological symptoms: anxiety, depression, or panic attacks
Cardiac symptoms: increased heart rate and blood pressure
Risk of seizures
Phase 2: Protracted Withdrawal
Protracted withdrawal symptoms usually appear in people who have abused Klonopin for a longer duration of time. These symptoms do not appear in every individual. These are the symptoms that persist after the acute withdrawal phase. This phase usually lasts for 2-4 weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction.
Phase 3: Rebound Symptoms
These are the symptoms that were being suppressed by Klonopin. If you were prescribed Klonopin for anxiety, then this symptom may reappear after some time. But there is no need to be concerned; if you withdraw from Klonopin in a medical setting, the clinician considers all these phases and risks. Then, they formulate a unique and personalized treatment plan to minimize discomfort associated with withdrawal symptoms.
Treatments After Detox
Detox is the first step towards recovery; it is not complete recovery. After detox, your medical professionals may recommend medication-assisted treatment or a therapy program to reduce dependency on Klonopin and treat withdrawal symptoms such as stress and anxiety.
ChoicePoint offers virtual and in-person behavioral therapy to help you overcome Klonopin withdrawal symptoms and sustain your recovery.
a) Individual Therapy
One-on-one therapy sessions are carried out in a safe and confidential setting. During individual therapy, a licensed therapist will diagnose and treat psychological and behavioral symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal or addiction and address the cause of Klonopin abuse.
b) Group Therapy
It is best for group support and motivation. In a group setting, you get to learn about the experiences of other peers and that can help you open up about yourself.
c) Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
One of the side-effects of Klonopin abuse is suicidal and negative thoughts. CBT helps to improve cognitive behavior and prevent negative thoughts.
You will be spending time and money on professional help. Now, you might be wondering what’s in it for you? What would be the outcome of all the hard work and effort you have put in to get better? Well, if you have followed the treatment plan your doctor has laid out for you, then you can expect the following results:
Improved cognitive behavior
Better stress management
Less mental issues during and after withdrawal
Better physical health
What You Can Do At Your End
The dangers associated with Klonopin withdrawal are real! But, you can make this process easier by following these regimes along with your medical treatment.
a) Take a Well-balanced Nutritious Diet
During withdrawal symptoms, you may not feel at your best. But, a healthy, nutritious meal will make you feel better. Studies show that food rich in vitamin D can help you cope with depression and anxiety. Furthermore, a diet rich in calcium can regulate the sleep cycle by stimulating serotonin hormone, a key hormone to regulate sleep patterns.
b) Exercise Regularly
Exercising regularly has proven to be beneficial for the management of withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, and stress. Routine exercise can also help in decreasing anxiety symptoms by 65% and boosts energy by 20%. Furthermore, exercise also helps to improve the sleep cycle and improves appetite and immunity.
c) Indulge In Productive Activities
Recreational activities can help to reduce frequent cravings as our body produces endorphins to promote feelings of pleasure, joy, and calmness. It is advised to adopt productive hobbies that you enjoy. Some productive activities that can help include painting, reading, and joining support groups, etc.
d) Communicate With Your Doctor
It is very important to talk to your doctor about your physical and mental health. If you feel any discomfort associated with withdrawal symptoms, inform your doctor, and he can help you out. Similarly, do not withhold any information. Inform your doctor about your abuse history. Even if you experience a relapse, do not be scared to tell your clinician.
Though Klonopin withdrawal may be difficult, it is not impossible. With medical assistance, you can safely withdraw from Klonopin within days. If you are confused about where to start your treatment, then look no further. ChoicePoint virtual addiction treatment programs can help you safe withdrawal in an outpatient setting, where you can return to the comfort of your home.
Our core values are built around ethics, compassion, individuality, and inclusivity. Connect with a consultant today to learn more about our outpatient and telehealth addiction treatment programs.
ChoicePoint aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use disorder and mental health issues. Our team of licensed medical professionals research, edit and review the content before publishing. However, this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical advice please consult your physicians or ChoicePoint's qualified staff.