Q. Is Clonazepam a sleeping pill?
Clonazepam belongs to a class of medicines called benzodiazepines and is used to treat anxiety, stop seizures (fits) or relax tense muscles. This can also help relieve difficulty sleeping (insomnia), and is usually prescribed for a short period of time, if used to treat sleeping problems. You should take it in the dose and duration advised by the doctor.
Q. Does Clonazepam cause sleepiness? If yes, then should I stop driving while taking Clonazepam?
Yes, Clonazepam causes drowsiness very commonly. It also causes forgetfulness and affects muscular function which may adversely affect your ability to drive. Sometimes, drowsiness persists even on the following day. So, in case Clonazepam makes you sleepy and affects your alertness, you should avoid driving.
Q. For how long should I take Clonazepam?
The duration of treatment with Clonazepam is mainly as short as possible. Your doctor will evaluate you after 4 weeks of treatment in order to assess the need for continuation of treatment, especially if you do not have any symptoms. Before taking you off this medicine, your doctor may gradually decrease your dose to prevent any withdrawal side effects. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to get the most benefit.
Q. Is it safe to take Clonazepam and alcohol together?
No, it is not at all recommended to take alcohol with Clonazepam since it can cause breathing problems, sleepiness and heart problems. Taking Clonazepam with alcohol may make you sleepy and your breathing may become so shallow that you may not wake up. This may even lead to death.
Q. Is Clonazepam addictive?
People taking Clonazepam in high doses or for a long term may become addicted to it. Also, people with a history of alcoholism and drug abuse are more likely to become addicted to Clonazepam. Therefore, Clonazepam should be taken for the shortest possible time and in the lowest effective dose.
Q. Can I stop taking Clonazepam if I start feeling better?
No, do not stop taking Clonazepam suddenly as you may experience withdrawal effects like depression, nervousness, difficulty in sleeping, irritability, sweating, upset stomach or diarrhea. Stopping it suddenly may even bring back the symptoms and make them harder to treat. You may also experience mood changes, anxiety, restlessness and changes in sleep patterns. These effects may occur even after taking low doses for a short period of time.
Q. Are there any foods we need to avoid while taking Clonazepam?
Yes, you should avoid taking foods containing caffeine such as tea, coffee, chocolates etc., while taking Clonazepam. This is because caffeine stimulates your brain and Clonazepam calms the brain. So, taking too much caffeine can affect the calming ability of this medicine and worsen your condition. Also, you should avoid taking alcohol while on treatment with Clonazepam. Alcohol can cause excessive sleepiness and make you more drowsy and inattentive. Talk to your doctor if you have any other doubts regarding your diet while taking Clonazepam.