Understanding the Side Effects of Klonopin: What to Expect from Vista Taos Drug & Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Klonopin is a prescription medication for treating various disorders. However, it’s important to know the side effects of Klonopin so as to use it wisely. 

What is Klonopin?

side effects of klonopin

Klonopin is a prescription medication that belongs to the class of drugs called benzodiazepines.1 This medication can treat seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety disorders.2 

While using Klonopin as directed by a physician is safe and effective, it can cause specific side effects.

Klonopin, also known as clonazepam, can cause side effects in some patients. Some are more severe than others. As a patient, it is important to know the side effects of Klonopin and be able to discuss them with a physician.

Who is Most At Risk From the Side Effects of Klonopin?

The side effects of Klonopin range from the common to the severe. It is vital that patients consult carefully these side effects with their physician before considering Klonopin an option. 

Those of greatest concern are women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant, as well as patients who are older, children, those who are prone to suicidal thoughts, alcohol consumption, or who are taking other prescription or over-the-counter medications.

The Common Side Effects of Klonopin

The common side effects of Klonopin include:


Drowsiness is one of the common side effects of Klonopin. Patients may experience a feeling of sleepiness or tiredness. Depending on the patient and the dosage, drowsiness can range from mild to pronounced.

Sometimes, drowsiness can improve over time as your body adjusts to the medication. Consult with your physician if drowsiness persists or becomes bothersome. They may suggest changing the dosage to minimize the side effects of Klonopin.


Dizziness is another common side effect of Klonopin (clonazepam). Patients may experience lightheadedness or unsteadiness while taking this medication. 

This can manifest as a feeling of spinning (vertigo) or a general sense of imbalance, especially when you change positions quickly.

Coordination Problems

Coordination problems are among the possible side effects of Klonopin. This medication can affect motor skills and impair coordination in some individuals. 

These coordination problems can manifest as difficulties with motor tasks or reduced dexterity.


Fatigue is a common side effect of Klonopin. Patients may experience lack of energy, or general fatigue. The degree of fatigue can vary among individuals. 

Factors such as dosage and the patient’s sensitivity to the drug can influence it.

Memory and Concentration Issues

Memory and concentration issues can be potential side effects of Klonopin. Patients may experience difficulties with memory, such as forgetfulness or difficulty recalling information.

Additionally, Klonopin can affect concentration and the ability to focus on tasks. These cognitive effects can vary in severity and impact individuals to different degrees.

Other Common Side Effects of Klonopin

Other common side effects of Klonopin include:

Depression or Mood Changes

Depression can occur as a side effect of Klonopin, although uncommon.3 While Klonopin can treat anxiety, it can lead to changes in mood and depression.

Slurred Speech

Klonopin may affect speech patterns, leading to slurred or slow speech. Patients experience difficulty articulating words, resulting in a slowed or unclear speech pattern. 

This effect is more likely to occur when Klonopin is taken in higher doses or for an extended period.

Muscle Weakness

Klonopin belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs known to have muscle-relaxing effects. This muscle relaxation can sometimes lead to a feeling of weakness or fatigue in the muscles.

The extent and severity of muscle weakness can vary, depending on the dosage, duration of use, and individual susceptibility.

Increased Saliva Production

Some individuals may experience excessive salivation or drooling while taking Klonopin. While it is not very common, it is reported in some individuals taking this medication.

Changes in Appetite

Klonopin affects the brain’s central nervous system and neurotransmitters. These effects influence appetite regulation, leading to changes in hunger and food intake. 

The effects on appetite can vary among individuals, and different outcomes are possible.

Will I Experience All of These Side Effects?

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects of Klonopin. 

The severity and frequency of side effects can vary among patients. Discuss potential side effects of Klonopin with your physician if you are concerned.

What are the Dangerous Side Effects of Klonopin?

Patients should be aware of severe side effects of Klonopin. While these side effects are rare, they can occur. Note that this is not an exhaustive list; if you have any concerns, it’s best to consult your physician.

The dangerous side effects include:

Allergic Reactions

Some patients may experience allergic reactions to Klonopin. This is often characterized by rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, and difficulty breathing.

Respiratory Depression

Klonopin, like other benzodiazepines, can suppress the respiratory system at high doses. This can also occur when combined with other medications that have a similar effect. 

This can lead to slowed or shallow breathing, which can be life-threatening.

Severe Drowsiness or Sedation

Klonopin causes drowsiness when taken in higher doses or combined with other sedatives. This can impair coordination and reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents.

Memory and Cognitive Problems

Klonopin may cause memory impairment, confusion, and difficulties with thinking or concentration. This can affect daily functioning and require adjustment of the medication regimen.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Abruptly stopping Klonopin after prolonged use can lead to withdrawal symptoms. This can include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, tremors, sweating, and in severe cases, seizures. 

It is beneficial to reduce the dosage under medical supervision when discontinuing Klonopin.

Increased Risk of Suicidal Thoughts or Behavior

Klonopin, like other benzodiazepines, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior. This is especially true in individuals with a history of depression or psychiatric disorders. 

Close monitoring by a healthcare professional is vital during treatment with Klonopin.

The Individuals Susceptible to Experiencing Specific Side Effects of Klonopin

Certain individuals may be more susceptible to experiencing specific side effects of Klonopin. They may be more vulnerable to the effects of the medication in general. Here are some examples:

Elderly Individuals

Older adults may be more sensitive to Klonopin’s sedative and cognitive effects. They may experience increased drowsiness, confusion, and impaired coordination. 

Lower initial doses or dosage adjustments may be necessary for elderly individuals.


Klonopin is generally not for children under 18 except for treating seizure disorders. 

Children may be more sensitive to the medication’s sedative effects. This may impact their cognition and development needs.

Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

Klonopin can cross the placenta and pass to the developing fetus. They can also be excreted in breast milk. Using Klonopin during pregnancy or breastfeeding can lead to congenital disabilities.

Individuals with Respiratory Conditions

Klonopin, like other benzodiazepines, can cause respiratory depression, particularly at higher doses. Patients with respiratory problems are susceptible to the respiratory depressant effects of Klonopin.

Individuals with a History of Substance Misuse or Addiction

Benzodiazepines, including Klonopin, have the potential for misuse and dependence. Patients with a history of substance use disorder may be at a higher risk of misusing Klonopin. 

Close monitoring and cautious use of the medication are necessary in this population.

The Potential Long-Term Effects of Klonopin

Long-term use of Klonopin can have several potential effects. It’s important to note that individual responses and experiences may vary. Here are some possible long-term consequences to consider:


With prolonged use, the body may tolerate the effects of Klonopin. Higher doses may be needed over time to achieve the same therapeutic effect.

Dependence and Withdrawal

Long-term use of Klonopin can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Withdrawal symptoms can occur when the medication is abruptly stopped or reduced. 

These symptoms may include anxiety, insomnia, tremors, sweating, and in severe cases, seizures.

Cognitive Effects

Long-term use of Klonopin may impact cognitive function. Some individuals may experience difficulties with memory, attention, concentration, and other cognitive abilities.

Emotional Blunting

Patients may report a dampening of emotions with long-term use of Klonopin. This can result in reduced emotional responsiveness or feeling “numb.” 

However, note that emotional experiences can vary among individuals.

Interference with Daily Functioning

Long-term use of Klonopin may affect daily functioning, coordination, or mental clarity. This can impact driving, operating machinery, or engaging in complex cognitive tasks.

Increased Risk of Falls and Accidents

Klonopin, like other benzodiazepines, can cause sedation, drowsiness, and impaired coordination. Long-term medication use may increase the risk of falls, accidents, or injuries.

It’s essential to weigh Klonopin’s potential long-term effects against its benefits. Your physician will assess the need for Klonopin and manage any long-term effects.

The Side Effects of Klonopin That May Persist After Discontinuation

After stopping Klonopin, some individuals may experience persistent side effects. 

These effects can vary in duration and intensity depending on certain factors, including the duration of use, dosage, and individual sensitivity.

Here are some potential side effects that may persist after discontinuation:

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can occur after discontinuing Klonopin, mainly if used for an extended period or at higher doses. 

Common withdrawal symptoms may include irritability, insomnia, muscle stiffness, tremors, headache, and nausea.

Rebound Symptoms

Rebound symptoms refer to the return or worsening of the symptoms the medication was initially prescribed to treat.

For example, if your physician prescribed Klonopin for anxiety, discontinuation may result in anxiety symptoms re-emerging. 

Rebound symptoms can occur temporarily as the body adjusts to the absence of the medication.

Psychological Effects

Some individuals may experience psychological effects after discontinuing Klonopin, including mood swings, depression, or changes in cognition and perception. These effects can be transient and resolve over time.

Other Persistent Side Effects of Klonopin After Discontinuation

Other physical side effects of Klonopin may be persistent after discontinuation. These may include:

Sleep Disturbances

Discontinuing Klonopin may lead to sleep disturbances, such as insomnia. 

Some individuals may experience difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or having vivid dreams. These effects are usually temporary and improve as the body adjusts.

Sensory Disturbances

Patients may sometimes report sensory disturbances during or after discontinuing Klonopin, including sensitivity to light, sound, or touch, and changes in taste or smell. These effects are generally temporary and fade over time.

Note that not everyone will experience persistent side effects after discontinuing Klonopin. The likelihood and duration of such effects can vary.

How Do I Best Discontinue Using Klonopin?

To reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, decrease the dosage under medical supervision. This allows the body to adjust and may help mitigate the intensity of withdrawal effects.

If you are considering discontinuing Klonopin, consult your physician. They can guide the appropriate tapering schedule and track your progress.

How to Manage the Side Effects of Klonopin

Suppose you are experiencing side effects from Klonopin but still wish to enjoy its therapeutic effects. In that case, here are several steps you can take to manage and reduce these side effects:

Open Communication with Your Physician

Discuss your concerns and side effects with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice and adjust your treatment plan.

Emotional Blunting

In some cases, adjusting the dosage of Klonopin may help manage side effects. Your doctor may lower the dose to reduce the intensity of specific side effects. 

They can also increase it if the therapeutic benefits outweigh the adverse effects


If you consider discontinuing Klonopin, decrease the use of it under medical guidance. Abruptly stopping Klonopin can lead to severe withdrawal effects.

Lifestyle Modifications

Certain lifestyle modifications may help manage or ease the side effects. This includes good sleep, hygiene, physical exercise, and a balanced diet.

Supportive Therapies

Your healthcare provider may suggest complementary therapies or interventions to manage side effects.

This could include cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and stress reduction strategies. These approaches, combined with Klonopin, can be a comprehensive treatment plan.

Regular Monitoring

Regular monitoring with your physician will help check your response to Klonopin. 

It helps to track any side effects and make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. They can help assess the balance between therapeutic benefits and side effects.

Alternative Medications When Experiencing Intolerable Side Effects of Klonopin

If you are experiencing intolerable side effects from Klonopin, there are alternative medications to explore. The specific alternatives will depend on the condition treated and your individual needs. 

Here are some possibilities to consider:

Other Benzodiazepines

Are you experiencing side effects from Klonopin? Then switching to a different benzodiazepine is an option.

Different benzodiazepines have varying profiles regarding potency, duration, and side effects. Your physician can determine if another benzodiazepine might be better suited for you.

Other Anti-Anxiety Medications

There are non-benzodiazepine medications used to treat anxiety disorders. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and buspirone.

These medications work differently from benzodiazepines and may have different side effect profiles. Your healthcare provider can help determine whether one of these alternatives is appropriate.


Certain antidepressants are prescribed for anxiety disorders and can help manage anxiety symptoms. 

They are an alternative if Klonopin is causing intolerable side effects or is not preferred for long-term treatment.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT focuses on identifying and modifying negative thought patterns and anxiety-related behaviors.4 It can be an effective alternative to medication for managing anxiety disorders. 

CBT techniques can help you develop coping techniques and address the cause of anxiety.

Other Non-Pharmacological Interventions

Various non-pharmacological interventions can help manage anxiety. This includes relaxation techniques, mindfulness-based approaches, stress management techniques, and lifestyle modifications.
side effects of klonopin

How Can Vista Taos Help Treat Klonopin Substance Use Disorder?

Vista Taos provides a structured and supportive environment where patients can receive holistic treatment tailored to their needs. 

At Vista Taos, we offer supervised medical detoxification and help manage the side effects of Klonopin.

Vista Taos offers inpatient and intensive outpatient programs. We provide 24/7 care in a residential setting, intensive therapy, medical support, and support services.

Contact Us Today

At Vista Taos, we pride ourselves on our safe and welcoming environment where patients can receive the necessary care, develop coping skills and build a foundation for long-term recovery. Let our experienced and compassionate staff at Vista Taos help you on your journey to living a fulfilling life. Your success is our success and we will help you get there. Contact Vista Taos today to embark on your healing journey.
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