Clonazepam is not normally used to treat opioid withdrawals and can increase the risk of addiction and a fatal overdose if the person relapses.
Article at a Glance:
- Clonazepam is not normally a useful medication for treating opioid withdrawal.
- Clonazepam increases the risk of a fatal overdose when combined with opioids.
- Someone seeking medicine to help with opioid withdrawal should always consult with a doctor first.
Will Klonopin (Clonazepam) Help With Opiate Withdrawal?
There are a few reasons people might think clonazepam would be useful for opiate withdrawal. Clonazepam could theoretically help with symptoms like anxiety and insomnia. Clonazepam is also sometimes used in other detox programs, like for alcohol addiction. When detoxing from alcohol, clients can experience seizures. Providing patients with clonazepam can help prevent this serious and potentially deadly side effect.
For opiate withdrawal symptoms, however, clonazepam should only be used in certain situations when prescribed by a doctor.
Risks of Klonopin (Clonazepam) for Opioid Withdrawal
Clonazepam is addictive and can cause dependence, so a person using this drug during detox may replace one addiction with another. Withdrawal from clonazepam is significantly more dangerous than opioid withdrawal.
Furthermore, if a person were to relapse to using opioids while on clonazepam, they could experience a fatal overdose. Both opioids and clonazepam depress the central nervous system, creating a potential cumulative effect that could increase the risk of a fatal overdose.
Sometimes, people will attempt to detox from opiates on their own at home. They may use clonazepam as part of this effort. This is also risky in many ways. Detox is safer under medical supervision, and clonazepam shouldn’t be used without the direction of a physician.
What Medications Do Help With Opioid Withdrawal?
Other medications are better suited to deal with symptoms of insomnia and anxiety without the fear of becoming physically dependent on a different medication. While there are a variety of medications that may be used to treat opioid addiction, individuals wanting medical help should consult with a doctor about which options are best for their specific, unique situation.
Continue reading at Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Clonazepam.” MedlinePlus, May 15, 2021. Accessed October 15, 2021.
O’Malley, Gerald & O’Malley, Rika. “Opioid Toxicity and Withdrawal.” Merck Manuals, May 2020. Accessed October 15, 2021.
O’Malley, Gerald & O’Malley, Rika. “Opioid Use Disorder and Rehabilitation.” Merck Manuals, May 2020. Accessed October 15, 2021.
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