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Clonazepam

Uses

The drug is prescribed to treat seizures (epilepsy), panic attacks, and anxiety.

IUPAC name: 5-(2-chlorophenyl)-7-nitro-1,3-dihydro-1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one

Drug class: Sedative-hypnotics, benzodiazepines

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Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

It acts by elevating GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter), at the GABA A receptor, which has a calming effect on the brain and nerves (central nervous system).

Side effects

It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, lack of coordination, increased urination, sore throat, blurred vision, fatigue, memory problems, depression, nausea, disorientation, tremors, rash/itching, and shortness of breath.

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to benzodiazepines (such as diazepam, alprazolam, or nitrazepam), or if you have other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

When you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), porphyria (blood disorder), glaucoma, mental disorders,

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

Older adults (> 60 years of age) may be more sensitive to this medication.

Use of this medication should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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