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Klonopin Withdrawal

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

April 25, 2024

Table of Contents

Klonopin is a prescription sedative prescribed as an anti-anxiety or an anticonvulsant medication.

Physicians primarily prescribe Klonopin (clonazepam) to reduce the anxiety associated with panic attacks, seizure disorders, and other mental disorders.

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A long-acting benzodiazepine, Klonopin stays in the system for a long time. The sustained use of clonazepam can lead to the development of:

  • Tolerance
  • Physical dependence
  • Klonopin addiction (substance use disorder)

Today’s guide highlights what to expect during Klonopin detox and shows you how to help with Klonopin (clonazepam) withdrawal symptoms.

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

Klonopin is often diverted for non-medical use. The medication is sold on the black market since it is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance.

Taking Klonopin for more than a few weeks can cause tolerance to build. If you use more Klonopin to counter the diminished effects of the medication, this can accelerate the development of physical dependence leading to acute withdrawal symptoms as well as major withdrawal symptoms.

Addiction to Klonopin can develop, requiring inpatient or outpatient treatment and a tapered withdrawal.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal is characterized by an array of physical and psychological symptoms. This is the body’s response to functioning without the presence of a substance to which it had become accustomed.

Common physical symptoms from Klonopin withdrawal include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Memory loss
  • Tremors
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired respiration
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Cramps
  • Seizures

Common psychological withdrawal symptoms from Klonopin include:

  • Anger
  • Hostility
  • Irritability
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Short-term memory lapses
  • Mental confusion
  • Nightmares
  • Hallucinations
  • Disconnection from reality
  • Lack of motivation
  • Drug cravings
  • Depression
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble feeling pleasure (anhedonia)
  •  Drastic mood swings

The intensity of clonazepam withdrawal depends on many factors, including:

  • Duration of Klonopin use.
  • Amount of Klonopin taken.
  • Frequency of Klonopin doses.
  • Presence of other addictive substances.
  • Underlying mental health conditions.

Klonopin withdrawal usually takes between 7 and 14 days. A tapered reduction in dosage can streamline the intensity of detox and minimize the intensity of Klonopin side effects during withdrawal.

Klonopin and Alcohol Withdrawal

Withdrawing from both Klonopin and alcohol simultaneously is challenging and increases the risk of severe complications like seizures. An integrated detox approach is necessary, with close medical supervision throughout to manage and mitigate risks. 

Specialized treatment strategies for combined Klonopin and alcohol withdrawal may include the use of FDA-approved medications, 24/7 clinical and emotional monitoring, and supportive care tailored to address the effects of withdrawing from both substances at the same time.

Managing Klonopin Withdrawal Side Effects

When addressing the side effects of Klonopin withdrawal, focusing on supportive care and continuous medical monitoring ensures a safe and effective withdrawal process. Transitioning from dependence on benzos like Klonopin involves more than just alleviating physical side effects, though. 

Medical supervision throughout the process enables healthcare providers to administer necessary interventions and adjust treatment protocols in real time. This may include the use of non-addictive medications to ease symptoms like severe anxiety or potentially life-threatening complications like seizures. 

Beyond this, psychological support through counseling or talk therapy plays an integral role in helping people understand and cope with the emotional and behavioral changes occurring during withdrawal. A twin-pronged approach of medical and psychological support helps safeguard against relapse and supports a more sustainable pathway to long-term recovery. 

Ongoing psychological side effects of Klonopin withdrawal can be managed through participation in support groups or engagement with ongoing therapy.

Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline

Klonopin withdrawal typically occurs over the following phases:

  1. Early Klonopin withdrawal
  2. Acute Klonopin withdrawal
  3. Protracted Klonopin withdrawal

As a long-acting benzo with an elimination half-life of from 18 to 50 hours, withdrawal does not usually begin until 24 to 72 hours after the last use of Klonopin. This is the same time at which the effects of Klonopin wear off completely.

The first phase of early Klonopin withdrawal last for between two and four days. Rebound symptoms like insomnia and anxiety may manifest over the first few days of detox.

Those detoxing from Klonopin experience an acute withdrawal phase that begins around two weeks after discontinuing use of the medication. This phase may last for up to one month, according to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Most withdrawal symptoms occur at this point on the Klonopin withdrawal timeline.

If you experience protracted withdrawal from Klonopin, psychological symptoms and cravings may linger for months or even years after the last use of benzos.

All cases of Klonopin withdrawal are unique, and not everyone will undergo all three phases of withdrawal.

How to Deal with Klonopin Withdrawal

Detoxing from Klonopin at home can be uncomfortable and dangerous. The most effective method of detoxing is to follow a gradual tapering schedule with medical supervision to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

While it may be tempting to suddenly stop using benzos at home, a tapered reduction schedule will mitigate the more uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The longer the taper, the fewer and less intense the withdrawal symptoms that present.

Undergoing a supervised medical detox will help address the physical issue of benzo dependence, preparing you for ongoing treatment.

How to Get off Klonopin Without Withdrawal

The most effective way to stop using benzos like Klonopin involves a tapered reduction in dosage. Trying to quit Klonopin cold turkey is not advised and can lead to serious health consequences if not done in a professional setting. A gradual and methodical process of discontinuation helps reduce the intensity of severe withdrawal symptoms. 

Begin by consulting with your prescribing physician. They can create a personalized tapering schedule based on your medical history, dosage of Klonopin, and overall health status. The schedule will depend on factors like scope and duration of use, and any other medications you are taking. 

Tapering off Klonopin involves a gradual reduction in dosage. Your healthcare provider might suggest reducing your dose by 10% to 25% weekly or fortnightly. The exact rate may vary based on individual tolerance and the presentation of withdrawal symptoms. The goal of a tapered reduction in benzo dosage is to enable the body to adjust to lower levels of benzodiazepines gradually, dramatically minimizing withdrawal symptoms. 

It’s not generally possible to get off Klonopin without any withdrawal symptoms when dependence has developed. The tapering process may still involve the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms like irritability, insomnia, or anxiety. Regular check-ins with healthcare providers allows for the tapering schedule to be altered or supportive treatments like counseling and medications introduced. 

Incorporating psychological support like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) provides individuals addressing Klonopin withdrawal with strategies to manage anxiety and other emotional challenges associated with benzo detox. Additionally, lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good sleep hygiene can support the body’s adjustment during ongoing recovery.

Klonopin Rehab at Renaissance Recovery

If you are addicted to Klonopin or any other another benzodiazepine, we can help you address the physical and psychological aspects of dependence and addiction here at Renaissance Recovery’s substance abuse treatment center.

By withdrawing from Klonopin at a licensed medical detoxification center, you can streamline the intensity of detox. We can connect you with accredited facilities throughout Southern California and Florida.

When you are ready to engage with ongoing treatment for benzo addiction, choose from the following evidence-based programs at Renaissance:

  • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs)
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs)
  • Virtual IOPs (remote rehab)
  • Dual diagnosis treatment programs (for addictions and co-occurring mental health disorders)

Whatever treatment intensity is most appropriate for your needs, access a combination of research-based and holistic therapies, including:

Reach out to Renaissance for Klonopin addiction treatment and get help with a tapered withdrawal, a clinical detox, and assistance from detox to discharge and beyond. Call 866.330.9449 for immediate assistance.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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