When it comes to the treatment of anxiety, many people are interested in knowing the answer to the simple but important question, what is clonazepam? Also available under the brand name Klonopin, clonazepam is a tranquiliser that belongs to the benzodiazepine class. This medication became available for medical use in 1975 and is often used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder.
Treatment is usually started on a low dosage, which can be increased slowly over 2-4 weeks until the most suitable clonazepam dosage is reached. For optimal results, this medication should be taken at regular times, each day. Although Klonopin is often taken on consecutive days, it can also be taken as needed. The anti-anxiety effects of this medication occur quickly, making it useful in the treatment of panic attacks. A panic attack can be described as an abrupt surge of overwhelming fear that occurs rapidly and generally lasts about 5 to 30 minutes.
The following table outlines the recommended clonazepam dosage for panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalised anxiety disorder:
|Anxiety disorder||Recommended dosage|
|Panic disorder||The starting dose for adults is 0.25 mg, three times a day. After three days, this is usually increased to 1 mg per day. A dose of 1 mg per day is often recommended as the maintenance dose. However, some patients may benefit from doses up to 4 mg per day. If this is the case, the dose should be increased in increments of 0.125 mg to 0.25 mg, every three days.|
|Social anxiety disorder||Treatment is usually started at 0.25 mg, three times a day and this is often increased to 1 mg-2.5 mg daily.|
|Generalised anxiety disorder||The starting dose is also 0.25 mg, three times a day, with a maximum daily dose of 2.5 mg.|
Clonazepam tablets can also be used to treat insomnia, which is characterised by reduced sleep quality or total sleep time, despite having the opportunity to achieve restorative sleep. It typically involves a 30-minute delay in time to sleep onset and frequent awakenings during the night or early morning. Common daytime consequences of insomnia include:
A sleep study was conducted to assess the efficacy and withdrawal of this medication in the treatment of insomnia. Altogether, 6 patients with insomnia were involved in the study. On the first 4 nights, they received an inactive placebo treatment to evaluate the symptoms of their insomnia. This was followed by 7 nights of treatment with Klonopin and placebo for the again final 5 nights (withdrawal phase).
Although patients experienced rebound insomnia on the third night of the withdrawal phase, this medication was found to be effective for the treatment of insomnia. During the 5-night treatment phase, the therapeutic significantly reduced total wake time, after sleep onset. The dose was 0.5 mg and this is generally the recommended dose for the treatment of insomnia.
Sleep specialists often recommend that patients first try to fall asleep by using healthy sleep hygiene practices. For example, maintain a consistent sleep schedule, avoid caffeine near bedtime and exercise during the daytime. If you still struggle to sleep after practicing good sleep hygiene, this medication can be taken and it is typically effective from the first night of use.
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