Clonazepam (Klonopin®) is a medication commonly used for the treatment of panic disorder and certain types of epileptic seizures, including myoclonic seizures and absence seizures. It is available by prescription only and comes in the form of tablets and wafers (orally disintegrating tablets).
Many people may wonder, "How does it work?" Clonazepam is part of a group of medications called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines have various effects on the body, including:
All benzodiazepines can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is being taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why clonazepam and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
(Click Clonazepam for more information on how the medicine works, to learn about its specific effects, and to find out what side effects may occur with treatment.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 19, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 19, 2007.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click