Understanding Klonopin and Alcohol
What is Klonopin?
Klonopin, which is also known as Clonazepam, is an over-the-counter medication used to treat certain symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. It can also be used to treat seizures. Klonopin can be taken alone or in combination with other medications. Klonopin falls under a category of medications called benzodiazepines. Mixing Klonopin and alcohol is never a good idea because of the chemistry between the two.
Klonopin and Alcohol
Alcohol is the primary metabolizing agent of both drugs, making it difficult to separate the two in the system. With this mix, it usually results in vomiting and diarrhea. This is because the body does not metabolize the drugs properly to produce the same results from them.
Many individuals who have tried mixing alcohol and Klonopin also claim that their body could not process the drug correctly. This is mainly because Klonopin cannot be broken down by the body. Instead, it is passed through urine or excreted in feces as opposed to alcohol, where it is metabolized by the liver. Because alcohol and Klonopin are chemically opposed to one another, it is essential to discuss alcohol use with your doctor before starting a Klonopin regime.
Effects of Klonopin and Alcohol
Klonopin’s most common side effects can include:
- Irregular heartbeats
- Difficulty in breathing
- Stomach changes
- Nose bleeds
- Skin rashes
- Blurry vision
- Loss of consciousness
Some people also experience other more serious symptoms, including:
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
It is important to note that not all these effects may be caused by Klonopin alone. People are often taking other medications in conjunction with it. For that reason, the interactions of other medicines that you may be taking are important to figure out early to stop these symptoms from happening.
Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant that acts on the central nervous system. It causes temporary distortions in the brain’s synapses that cause feelings of euphoria and slowed responses, thinking, and motor skills. Mixing Klonopin and alcohol can only exacerbate Klonopin and alcohol’s physical effects and make any physical symptoms much more violent.
Dangers of Klonopin and Alcohol
Klonopin can cause a variety of side effects when it is used for long periods of time. One of the most common side effects associated with Klonopin is dry mouth. While this symptom is relatively minor, it can also cause several other symptoms that can greatly decrease your quality of life.
One of the most dangerous side effects of Klonopin is that it can cause depression. It does this through the increase of serotonin in the body, which is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that acts as a mood enhancer. While it is true that this drug does improve the mood in those that are taking it, there is the risk of addiction because the level of serotonin in the body increases dramatically with use. This is something that can only happen if the drug is taken regularly.
It can also affect people differently depending on what they eat, what they drink or do, their stress levels—even the weather conditions they may be experiencing at the time of use. If you suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, you should take the time to fully understand the dangers of Klonopin before taking it.
Because it tends to increase depression symptoms in people who take the medication, Klonopin and alcohol should not be taken together. Alcohol use has been linked in numerous studies to an increased rate of suicidal ideations. When mixing Klonopin and alcohol, these feelings can become seemingly unbearable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Klonopin vs. Ativan
Ativan is a very similar drug to Klonopin and is part of the same drug family. It is used to help treat anxiety and several other depressive mood disorders. However, the drug is not considered a narcotic though it can produce narcotic-like effects in some people. For this reason, it is encouraged to only take when necessary and communicate early and often about medication effectiveness.
Whether which one is better in Klonopin vs. Ativan, it depends on the person. Both cause similar side effects, and just like Klonopin, should not be combined with other substances. Because the drugs are quite similar, it is up to each person working with their doctor to determine which medication would be better since they act on different enzymes in different people.
How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Your System?
How long Klonopin stays in your system depends on how much of the drug you have taken and your metabolism, among other factors. However, generally speaking, Klonopin will stay in your system longer because it is a longer-acting benzodiazepine.
The main factor determining how long the drug will stay in your system depends on the Klonopin half-life. The half-life is the amount of time it takes your body to metabolize a certain amount of the drug by half.
Research has shown this varies widely from person to person anywhere from 19 up to 60 hours per half-life. Because of that, it may take from five to fourteen days to fully remove all metabolites of Klonopin from your body.
Klonopin and Alcohol Treatment
If you or someone you love is struggling with their substance use. there are plenty of treatment options available. While those who might be prescribed Klonopin by their doctor should avoid taking Klonopin and alcohol simultaneously, if you suffer from frequent Klonopin and alcohol blackouts, you should seek treatment urgently. Since there is a wide range of Klonopin and alcohol treatments available, you should check out a few to see which ones would be best for you.
While there are currently no medications on the market to help taper off Klonopin use, both individual and group therapy have shown great results in helping with recovery. The main reason for this is that these treatments identify what caused you to begin to use Klonopin and alcohol in the first place and then replace those with positive coping mechanisms.
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