What is Klonopin?

Klonopin is a benzodiazepine which is used to help if you suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, or even seizures. For people who suffer from bipolar disorder, Klonopin is a second-tier medication that helps to treat mania symptoms. If your insurance company only allows generic medications, you’ll take clonazepam, the generic version.

When you begin taking Klonopin, your doctor will first make sure you don’t have substance abuse issues because this medication can be habit-forming. Mixing this medication with other drugs such as hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, methadone, or fentanyl can cause major interactions and health issues. You may become sleepy, dizzy, have trouble breathing, or become completely unresponsive.

As a benzodiazepine, Klonopin can calm overactive nerves and bring you back into balance, making you feel worlds better if you usually suffer from anxiety or seizures. However, there may be a variety of reasons that your doctor may choose not to prescribe this particular medication for you.

If you have become addicted to drugs in the past, your doctor will want to prescribe a medication that is less habit-forming or addictive. If you suffer from severe liver disease or glaucoma (narrow-angle), you shouldn’t take Klonopin. If you’ve had allergic reactions to other medications in the benzodiazepine class, ask your doctor to prescribe another medication to treat your anxiety, panic disorders, or seizures.

Your doctor will also need to know if you have kidney disease, porphyria, depression, suicidal thoughts, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, emphysema, psychosis, former addictions, or if you use other medications that cause sedation (such as opioid medications). In any of these instances, they will prescribe something different.

If you are planning on becoming pregnant or if you are already pregnant, you should let your doctor know. This medication may harm your baby. Newborns who have been exposed to benzodiazepines may have feeding or breathing problems.

Common Side Effects of Klonopin

You may experience certain side effects on Klonopin.

These effects aren’t considered medical emergencies, but they may be unpleasant:

  • Balance or coordination issues
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Depression
  • Memory issues

You may experience other side effects that shouldn’t be considered emergencies either. Be sure to ask your doctor about these and ask for their advice on what they may be.

Other side effects are considered to be emergencies.

These may indicate that you are allergic to the ingredients in the medication and you should get medical help right away:


  • Mood/behavior changes
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Panic attacks
  • Aggression
  • Hostility
  • Hyperactivity (either physical or mental)
  • Irritable
  • Impulsive
  • Intense or ongoing depression
  • Feeling suicidal or want to harm yourself

The following symptoms warrant immediate medical attention:

  • Involuntary eye movements
  • New seizures or seizures getting worse
  • Heart flutters or pounding heartbeat
  • Severely drowsy
  • Shallow/weak breathing
  • Mood or behavioral changes (unusual)
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion

Interactions of Alcohol and Klonopin

Mixing any benzodiazepine with alcohol can be dangerous and have many serious side effects. If you develop alcohol poisoning, overdose on Klonopin, or do both at the same time, you will require immediate medical attention.

Both drugs are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which means they double each other’s effectiveness at slowing down your brain activity. If you have addiction issues to either drug, or any other addictive substance, it will become even harder to stop taking Klonopin.

Side effects of mixing Klonopin and alcohol:

  • Unusual behavior
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory issues
  • Coordination problems
  • Dizziness

Dangerous side effects:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Slowed breathing rate
  • Passing out/unconscious/coma
  • Death

These side effects may indicate an addiction to alcohol and Klonopin:

  • Dizziness
  • Personality changes
  • Tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat)
  • Tension
  • Heart palpitations
  • Feeling physically numb
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Panic attacks
  • Loss of memory
  • Seizures

If you are taking Klonopin, you should never take it with alcohol, either accidentally or on purpose. Alcohol multiplies the relaxant effects of Klonopin, which means functions controlled by your nervous system, such as your breathing or heart rate, will become much slower or stop entirely.

Alcohol Poisoning and Klonopin Overdose

Addiction is a disease that affects you physically and emotionally. You may develop a compulsion to use certain drugs, even when you know that using them may be serious or even fatal. As you become addicted, you become more and more focused on obtaining and using the drug(s) to which you are addicted. Addiction becomes more important than family or work.

Alcohol is an intoxicant found in wine beer, malt liquor and hard liquor.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Low temperature
  • Pale or blue-tinged skin
  • Unconscious and can’t be woken up

Mixing alcohol and Klonopin may present with these symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Poor judgment
  • Slower reactions
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Uncontrolled body movements
  • Unconsciousness

Klonopin overdose symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

When you mix alcohol and Klonopin, it takes less of both substances to overdose. If you continue to take the same amounts, or greater amounts as your tolerance rises, you run the serious risk of ending up in the hospital or worse.


The symptoms of withdrawal from Klonopin are similar to those of alcohol withdrawal. Even you take your medication as ordered, if you take it for an extended time you may still experience withdrawal symptoms when your prescription is ended.

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms include feeling:

  • Irritable
  • Edgy
  • Like you have flu
  • Rebound anxiety
  • Rebound insomnia

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:


  • Shaking hands
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating

(Late symptoms)

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Sweating heavily
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Delirium Tremens (Severe tremors and hallucinations)

Some symptoms of Klonopin withdrawal are the same as for alcohol withdrawal. You should have medical assistance as you withdraw (weaning from Klonopin). As you withdraw from alcohol, you will need a supportive environment, especially if you’ve had serious health issues as you withdrew from alcohol before.


If you are addicted to alcohol, Klonopin, or both, treatment is necessary so you can enter the recovery phase. While you have the choice of outpatient or inpatient treatment, inpatient is the most likely to help you succeed in entering and staying in recovery. In the early stage, you will be given medical assistance and supervision as you detox. Once your body has cleared Klonopin and alcohol out of your system, you can begin to work on the mental health aspect of recovery, receiving support from peers and therapists. Inpatient, family, and group therapy is intended to help you to find out what caused you to become addicted to these or other drugs. You’ll also learn to use more positive coping skills to address cravings and stress. You may receive cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT where you’ll learn to understand what triggers your need to use, as well as create new responses.

Most importantly, inpatient treatment gets you away from the sources that helped you to get or encouraged you to use Klonopin and alcohol.

If you suffer from addiction and a mental health issue, you’ll benefit from dual-diagnosis treatment, which addresses your mental health disorder and your addiction. Mindfulness-based programs may also help you, as well as learning and practicing yoga.

Overall, any good addiction program should help you learn new skills and identify and eliminate any old patterns of addiction and addictive thinking.