Klonopin (Clonazepam) Withdrawal
Klonopin, the brand name of the generic drug clonazepam, is a type of drug known as a benzodiazepine and is prescribed to treat seizures and panic disorders.1
On this page, you can learn more about Klonopin withdrawal symptoms, the timeline of Klonopin withdrawal, and where to find help for Klonopin misuse, such as detox programs and continued addiction treatment.
When a person takes Klonopin, even as prescribed by a doctor, there is a chance they will develop dependence. Dependence is the body’s response to repeated use of a drug. Over time, a person physiologically adapts to the presence of the drug and requires it to feel and function normally.1
When dependence has developed, a person has become so used to the effects of Klonopin that suddenly stopping its use or reducing the dosage taken results in a characteristic benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome that includes a number of different symptoms in response to the absence or reduced amount of the substance.2
It should be noted that dependence is not the same as addiction, but experiencing withdrawal symptoms after misusing a substance is one of several used to diagnose a substance use disorder. Severe substance use disorders are often referred to as an addiction.3
Dependence can also contribute to the development and continued presence and worsening of addiction, as a person may continue using Klonopin to avoid undesirable withdrawal symptoms.2
Generally, acute withdrawal starts within the first few days or weeks after stopping the use of Klonopin and lasts around 3 weeks, but some people may experience certain prolonged withdrawal symptoms lasting for many weeks or even months.1
In severe cases, Klonopin withdrawal can result in life-threatening complications and may even be fatal.1
Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms
Klonopin withdrawal symptoms will range from mild to moderate to severe, depending on a person’s duration, frequency, and dosage of drug used.4 Severe withdrawal symptoms after stopping the use of Klonopin are more likely to occur in people who have taken higher doses regularly or have taken Klonopin for longer periods.1,5
The acute phase of withdrawal usually ends after 3-4 weeks, and the most common Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can include:1,5
In certain cases, people have more serious acute withdrawal symptoms, including but not limited to hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, psychosis, or seizures.1,5
When people experience protracted withdrawal, the symptoms can last for weeks or months beyond the initial 4- to 6-week timeline of withdrawal and may include:1
- Cognitive issues.
- Muscle weakness and/or tremors.
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Some of the symptoms experienced in protracted withdrawal might be new symptoms but they can also be a reemergence of symptoms that a person was taking Klonopin to manage, such as anxiety or panic attacks.1
Seizures From Klonopin Withdrawal
Abruptly stopping the use of Klonopin or significantly reducing the dosage following regular, high dose use increases the risk of having serious, life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures and delirium.4
The course of withdrawal from any benzodiazepine can be unpredictable, and seizures can occur suddenly with little warning signs.4
Consequently, it is not recommended that anyone try to detox from any type of benzodiazepine without appropriate medical supervision or guidance.4
How Long Does Klonopin Withdrawal Last?
Klonopin withdrawal timelines will vary from one person to another due to numerous factors that influence the length and severity of withdrawal symptoms, such as:4,5
- How long a person has been taking Klonopin.
- The dosage of Klonopin that has been used.
- Use of other substances, such as alcohol, opioids, or other medications that depress the central nervous system (CNS).
- Having a co-occurring mental health issue, such as panic disorder.
While the timeline does vary based on these factors, the approximate timeline for Klonopin withdrawal is:5
- Week 1: A person will start to show symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal.
- Week 2: The symptoms of withdrawal will peak in intensity.
- Weeks 3-4: Klonopin withdrawal symptoms decrease significantly.
Klonopin Detox and Addiction Treatment Options
As mentioned, withdrawal symptoms from Klonopin and other benzodiazepines can be severe and life-threatening.4 Therefore, a medically supervised detox program might be beneficial to help safely manage symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal prior to entering drug rehab treatment.4
Detox involves a series of interventions that help get Klonopin out of your body and keep you as safe and comfortable as possible.4 Oftentimes, medications are a part of detox and may be used to ease or prevent withdrawal symptoms.4
It is important to understand that while detox can be a very important component of treating a substance use disorder, detox may only be a first step in preparing a person for further treatment.4 Ongoing rehab in a treatment program can help a person struggling with addiction learn the necessary skills to avoid relapse and maintain long-term recovery.2,4
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