It is a tranquilizer of the benzodiazepine class. It is taken by mouth. It begins having an effect within an hour and lasts between 6 and 12 hours.
Common side effects include sleepiness, poor coordination, and agitation. Long-term use may result in tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly. Dependence occurs in one-third of people who take clonazepam 1mg for longer than four weeks. It may increase risk of suicide in people who are depressed. If used during pregnancy it may result in harm to the baby.nIt binds to GABAA receptors and increases the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Clonazepam was initially patented in 1964 and went on sale in 1975 in the United States from Roche. It is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world is between US$0.01 and US$0.07 per pill. In the United States, the pills are about US$0.40 each. In many areas of the world it is commonly used as a recreational drug.
Clonazepam, like other benzodiazepines, while being a first-line treatment for acute seizures, is not suitable for the long-term treatment of seizures due to the development of tolerance to the anticonvulsant effects.
Clonazepam 0.5mg has been found effective in treating epilepsy in children, and the inhibition of seizure activity seemed to be achieved at low plasma levels of clonazepam. As a result, clonazepam is sometimes used for certain rare childhood epilepsies; however, it has been found to be ineffective in the control of infantile spasms. Clonazepam is mainly prescribed for the acute management of epilepsies. Clonazepam 1mg has been found to be effective in the acute control of non-convulsive status epilepticus; however, the benefits tended to be transient in many of the people, and the addition of phenytoin for lasting control was required in these patients.
It is also approved for treatment of typical and atypical absences, infantile myoclonic, myoclonic and akinetic seizures. A subgroup of people with treatment resistant epilepsy may benefit from long-term use of clonazepam; the benzodiazepine clorazepate may be an alternative due to its slow onset of tolerance.