Klonopin withdrawal can be a long process and may be risky without medical supervision, but medical detox programs can help address these concerns.

Klonopin, the brand name for clonazepam, can significantly affect the central nervous system and cause dependence to develop. Dependence occurs when someone’s body starts relying on a drug like Klonopin to function normally. If someone with Klonopin dependence tries to stop using the drug, they will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms as their body goes through the detox process. These symptoms happen because the body is relearning how to function without the presence of Klonopin.

Withdrawal and detox are the first steps in the Klonopin addiction recovery process. However, because these withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, it’s often best to undergo the process through a medically assisted detox program.

What Is Klonopin Withdrawal?

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms occur because the body is relearning how to function without the drug. When ending the use of benzodiazepines like Klonopin, the body must re-adjust because these drugs affect the central nervous system.

Specifically, Klonopin works by enhancing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter, and Klonopin helps it to be more effective. When a person who is physically dependent on Klonopin stops taking the drug, they no longer have Klonopin in their system to help GABA work. This results in uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Klonopin is often prescribed to treat insomnia, seizures and epilepsy. When a person goes through Klonopin withdrawal, they can experience “rebound effects,” also known as symptom rebound or symptom reemergence. These effects are described as intensified withdrawal symptoms that are often similar to the symptoms Klonopin was meant to treat in the first place. For example, someone who took Klonopin for anxiety and then stopped taking the drug may notice increased anxiety. People suffering from rebound effects can experience intense sleeplessness, anxiety, seizures or panic attacks.

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can be extremely dangerous, especially if a person is detoxing on their own or without medical support and supervision. However, medical detox programs and other professional recovery services can help mitigate these uncomfortable symptoms.

Klonopin (Clonazepam) Withdrawal Symptoms and Side Effects

Withdrawal is often one of the most challenging aspects of rehabilitation. As the brain becomes dependent on Klonopin, it becomes tougher to stop using the substance. People should typically avoid taking Klonopin for longer than a few weeks, as doing so increases the likelihood of physical and psychological dependence.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the most common physical withdrawal symptoms of Klonopin include:

  • Increased sweating
  • Pulse rate faster than 100 beats per minute
  • Hand tremor
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Grand mal seizures

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical withdrawal symptoms are not the only obstacles to overcome when struggling with Klonopin addiction. Psychological symptoms can include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Transient hallucinations
  • Drug cravings

These symptoms can be very serious and often require those who experience them to seek mental health treatment. The Recovery Village offers Klonopin addiction treatment as well as dual diagnosis care for co-occurring mental health disorders.

Klonopin Withdrawal Timelines and Durations

Not everyone will experience Klonopin withdrawal the same way, so the withdrawal timeline varies for each person. However, the typical Klonopin withdrawal process includes three main phases, which can occur both during and after detoxification:

  • Early withdrawal
  • Acute withdrawal
  • Post-acute withdrawal (protracted withdrawal)

Early Withdrawal

During the early withdrawal phase, people often experience rebound psychological symptoms that are similar to the symptoms Klonopin was initially used to treat, such as anxiety or insomnia. There can also be symptoms likeincreased pulse, high blood pressure and stomach issues.

This withdrawal phase usually starts within a day or two, beginning when the last dosage leaves the bloodstream. Early withdrawal symptoms often subside after four days.

Acute Withdrawal

The stage following early withdrawal is called acute withdrawal. During this stage, people may experience the majority of the physical and psychological symptoms associated with withdrawal. Symptoms may include:

  • Tremor
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite loss
  • Diarrhea

Acute withdrawal can last for up to two weeks, but the length may vary depending on the person’s level of dependency.

Post-Acute Withdrawal

The post-acute withdrawal phase is also called protracted withdrawal. This phase does not happen for everyone, but when it does, it often includes depression, anxiety and panic attacks. These symptoms can last for long periods of time and are more likely to occur in people who misused Klonopin at consistently high levels and in large doses. In many cases, people who experience post-acute withdrawal should seek mental health treatment to help cope with these symptoms.

Sometimes, a person’s protracted withdrawal symptoms may seem to resolve entirely, only to come back later. Common post-acute withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Memory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Problems concentrating and making decisions
  • Cravings
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Problems focusing
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • A general feeling of being unwell
  • Reduced sex drive

Factors Affecting Klonopin Withdrawal

Klonopin withdrawal can vary in length and severity based on factors like:

  • Age
  • Klonopin dose
  • Length of Klonopin use
  • Frequency of Klonopin use
  • Your overall health
  • Other substance use
  • Any underlying physical or mental health problems
  • Whether Klonopin was prescribed to treat issues like insomnia or seizures

Another factor that can affect Klonopin withdrawal is the type of detox used. Many people opt out of medical supervision and attempt a “cold turkey” detox or an at-home detox. These two options typically increase discomfort and make withdrawal more challenging. Undergoing the withdrawal process in a medical detox facility is often a safer and more effective approach to use.

Klonopin Detox Process

Many medical detox programs will slowly taper clients off of Klonopin to help safely manage withdrawal symptoms. A typical tapering process reduces doses by 10 to 25% every two weeks, but it can be slowed down when needed to maintain the person’s comfort. In some cases, the process can take months, particularly if the person took high doses or used Klonopin for a long time.

Many people attempt at-home detox plans and try to taper off without medical supervision. However, this can be extremely dangerous because tapering schedules and withdrawal symptoms can drastically vary from one person to another. This is why seeking treatment at a medical detox facility like The Recovery Village is strongly recommended. Along with receiving medical assistance from trained staff, clients can also receive therapy to treat any co-occurring disorders or other addictions.

Medications can also be used to ease Klonopin withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms and treatments include:

  • Nausea and vomiting: Can be treated by metoclopramide or prochlorperazine
  • Abdominal cramps: Can be treated with propantheline or hyoscine
  • Diarrhea: Can be treated with kaolin or loperamide
  • Muscle cramps: Can be treated with quinine
  • Headaches and muscle pain: Can be treated with acetaminophen, ibuprofen or celecoxib

Klonopin Detox Program

In 2019, Klonopin was the 46th most commonly prescribed drug in the United States. Although Klonopin addiction is more common among people who misuse the drug, it’s still possible to become dependent on it if you take it as prescribed.

If you’re struggling with Klonopin abuse, dependence or addiction, undergoing detoxification for Klonopin is an important step toward recovery. The Recovery Village has rehabilitation facilities located throughout the country, and each one is able to offer medical detox services and a full continuum of care. Regardless of which location you choose, our multidisciplinary teams of experts can help you through the withdrawal process and provide a solid foundation for the next steps of recovery.

If you or someone you love is ready to get help for a Klonopin addiction, The Recovery Village is here for you. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable representative and learn more about detox services and treatment options that can work well for you.

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Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.