By Naomi Carr

Last updated: 12 May 2024 & medically reviewed by Morgan Blair

Klonopin is a brand name for the medication clonazepam, which is used to treat seizure disorders and panic disorders. It is a long-acting and potent benzodiazepine, with a potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. Klonopin is a Schedule IV controlled substance due to these potential risks and can cause mild to severe withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation. [1]

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

Does Klonopin cause withdrawal symptoms?

Klonopin (clonazepam) often causes withdrawal symptoms when discontinued, particularly if it is stopped abruptly after heavy and prolonged use. [1]

Benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, can cause the rapid development of physical dependence if used for extended periods. Because of this, it is typically recommended to use Klonopin for no longer than a few weeks, at the lowest possible therapeutic dose. [1][2]

Physical dependence increases the risk of withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. With prolonged use, large doses, or abuse of Klonopin, the likelihood of dependence and withdrawal symptoms increases. [3]

It is recommended to gradually taper off Klonopin rather than abruptly stopping use, as this can help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. [1]

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms

Discontinuing Klonopin often results in the onset of withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild symptoms to severe and protracted withdrawal syndrome. [1]

Common Klonopin withdrawal symptoms

Common Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can include: [1][2][3][4]

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Irritability

  • Agitation

  • Panic attacks

  • Insomnia

  • Nightmares

  • Blurred vision

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Reduced appetite

  • Headache

  • Memory and concentration impairments

  • Palpitations

  • Shaking

  • Aches and pains

  • Unusual sensations and perceptions

  • Tinnitus

  • Weakness

  • Muscle twitches

  • Cravings

Severe Klonopin withdrawal symptoms

In some cases, withdrawal symptoms can be severe or even life-threatening and can last for several months or longer. Severe Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can include: [1][3][4]

Klonopin withdrawal timeline

Klonopin has a long half-life, which means that it remains in the body for a long time. As such, withdrawal symptoms may only begin to emerge after around two to seven days following the final dose. [2][5]

Acute withdrawal symptoms can remain for between two and eight weeks, during which time they may be mild to severe. Following this, withdrawal symptoms often will be alleviated. However, in some cases, symptoms can persist for 12 months or more. This is known as a protracted withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms may include ongoing mood changes, sleep disturbances, tinnitus, muscular twitches, and weakness. [1][6]

The severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person and may depend on the amount and duration of Klonopin use, additional substance use, and underlying physical or mental health conditions. [5][6]

Klonopin cessation timeline

A safe and effective Klonopin cessation timeline will depend on the duration and amount of use and the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Some people may manage a faster cessation, while others will require a slow and gradual taper. [5]

Typically, it is recommended to reduce Klonopin doses by 5-10% or around 0.25mg every few days to weeks. More gradual reductions will often be required by those who have used large doses for prolonged periods. [5][7]

For example, someone taking a daily Klonopin dose of 4mg for several months may require a slow tapering, with 0.25mg reductions every three weeks. In contrast, someone taking 0.5mg per day for two weeks might halve their dose for a few days before complete cessation. [5]

During the cessation process, reductions can be paused or altered to allow for withdrawal symptoms to be alleviated. If necessary, the previous dose can be reinstated before continuing with a more gradual taper. [1]

Is Klonopin safe to withdraw from at home?

Generally, it is not recommended to withdraw from Klonopin at home, particularly if it has been used for a prolonged period and in heavy doses. However, someone who has used Klonopin for a short time may be able to withdraw at home, along with professional advice. [3]

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can be severe or life-threatening, so it is advised to utilize professional advice and treatment during withdrawal to ensure each individual does so safely. Abruptly stopping Klonopin use is not advised, especially without professional support, as this can result in a higher risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures. [1]

If choosing to withdraw from Klonopin at home, it is recommended to inform friends and family, who can provide support, and contact a professional if required. Additionally, outpatient services can be utilized, which can allow the individual to remain at home while receiving professional support. [5]

Klonopin detox treatment

It is recommended to discontinue Klonopin use alongside professional intervention and recommendations, which can be provided through outpatient or inpatient services. Outpatient treatment involves attending appointments with a medical professional to receive medicinal and therapeutic interventions. [2][3]

Inpatient treatment may involve staying in a residential facility, such as a rehab center. Professionals can provide consistent support, monitor and treat withdrawal symptoms, and implement additional interventions, such as group and individual therapies and holistic approaches. [3]

Klonopin detox may involve the use of a replacement benzodiazepine, such as diazepam, which is longer-acting and less potent than clonazepam. Switching from Klonopin to diazepam can also allow for a more gradual taper, so may be preferable for those experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. [5]

In some cases, other medications may be utilized during the detox process, which can help reduce various withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, pain, anxiety, and seizures. This can include antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and melatonin. [3][5]

During and following Klonopin detox, interventions can be implemented that help with the recovery process. This can include support groups and 12-step programs, psychotherapy, psychosocial interventions, holistic approaches, and physical health treatments. [3][4]