What Is Clonazepam Used For?
Clonazepam is used for treating certain types of epileptic seizures and panic disorder. While the drug is approved for controlling seizures in children with epilepsy, it is not approved to treat children who have panic disorder. Some "off-label" clonazepam uses include the treatment of restless leg syndrome and alcohol withdrawal.
Clonazepam (Klonopin®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat panic disorder and certain types of epileptic seizures.
Epilepsy is a brain condition involving sudden, brief changes in the electrical system of the brain. These brain activity changes can lead to seizures (see Epilepsy Symptoms). Depending on which part of the brain is affected, seizures may affect the person's consciousness, body movements, emotions, or senses.
In over half of all cases, the cause of epilepsy is not known. When the cause of epilepsy is known, it may be one of the following:
- Other medical conditions, such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease
- Head trauma
- A brain tumor or brain infection, such as meningitis
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Genetics (see Genes and Epilepsy).
There are over 30 different types of seizures a person with epilepsy may experience. Clonazepam is used to treat the following types of seizures:
- Seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy)
- Akinetic seizures (also known as atonic seizures), which are characterized by a sudden loss of muscle tone, causing "drop attacks"
- Myoclonic seizures, which are characterized by sudden, brief muscle jerks
- Absence seizures, which are characterized by brief periods of decreased awareness or "spacing out."