Klonopin (clonazepam) is a brand-name drug that treats certain seizure disorders, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. Klonopin comes as an oral tablet that’s typically taken two or three times per day. The dosage can vary depending on the condition being treated.
Specifically, Klonopin treats the following conditions:
- certain seizure disorders, including absence seizures, akinetic seizures (also called atonic seizures), and myoclonic seizures, in adults and children of all ages
- panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (fear of leaving home or going places that may be difficult to escape) in adults
Klonopin belongs to a drug class called benzodiazepines. It is available in a generic version.
Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Klonopin, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Klonopin, see this article.
Note: This article describes typical dosages for Klonopin provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Klonopin, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Below is a dosage chart that summarizes Klonopin’s dosages. Keep reading for more details.
|Klonopin form||Strengths||Typical starting dosages|
|oral tablet||• 0.5 milligrams (mg)|
• 1 mg
• 2 mg
|• for seizures in adults: 0.5 mg three times per day|
• for panic disorder in adults: 0.25 mg twice per day
Klonopin is available as a tablet that is taken by mouth.
Klonopin strengths (0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg)
Klonopin comes in three strengths:
- 0.5 mg
- 1 mg
- 2 mg
Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for panic disorder
The recommended starting dosage of Klonopin for panic disorder in adults is 0.25 mg twice per day. This is the lowest dose of Klonopin that your doctor will recommend. Starting with the smallest dose helps your body adjust to the medication. It also helps your doctor see how well the drug is working for you.
Your doctor may monitor you for the first 3 days after you start treatment with Klonopin to see if the smallest dose is working for you. In some cases, they may recommend a dose increase every 3 days until the drug is working to manage your symptoms.
Many people taking Klonopin for panic disorder take a dose of 0.5 mg twice per day. However, in some cases, it’s possible a maximum daily dose of 4 mg of Klonopin (2 mg twice daily) is needed to treat panic disorder. This is the highest dose of Klonopin that’s recommended for panic disorder.
Dosage for seizure disorders
The recommended starting dosage of Klonopin for seizure disorders in adults is 0.5 mg three times per day. This is likely the lowest dose of Klonopin that your doctor will recommend for seizure disorders.
Your doctor may recommend increasing your dose of Klonopin every 3 days as needed to better manage your seizures. So, the best dose for you will be determined by how well Klonopin is working to treat your condition.
The maximum recommended dosage of Klonopin to treat seizure disorders is 20 mg per day. This may be split up into multiple doses per day. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions about how long to go between doses.
The recommended dosage of Klonopin to treat children with seizure disorders is based on your child’s age and weight. The starting dose for children up to 10 years of age and younger or children who weigh less than 30 kg* (about 66 lb) is between 0.01 and 0.03 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight per day.
So, if your child weighs 20 kg (about 44 lb), their starting dosage would be from 0.2 mg to 0.6 mg per day. This dosage would likely be split into two or three doses per day. For example, your child may get a dose of 0.2 mg three times daily. The starting daily dose of Klonopin in children should not be more than 0.05 mg/kg. For the example above, the maximum starting dosage of Klonopin should be 1 mg per day.
After your child starts treatment with Klonopin, their doctor may increase their dose every 3 days until their symptoms are managed. The recommended maintenance dosage of Klonopin in children is 0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg of body weight per day. So, if your child weighs 20 kg (about 44 lb), their maintenance dosage would be from 2 to 4 mg per day. This may be split into three daily doses, taken as 1 mg three times per day.
For children ages 10 years and older who weigh at least 30 kg (about 66 lb), the recommended dosage is the same as for adults. For more information on the dosage recommended in children ages 10 years and older, see the “Dosage for seizure disorders” section above.
Klonopin is not approved for use in children with panic disorder. So there’s no recommended dosage for this use.
* One kilogram (kg) is about 2.2 pounds (lb).
It’s possible that Klonopin may be a long-term treatment. How long you take this medication may depend on many factors, including what condition you’re taking the drug to treat. If Klonopin works to manage your condition, your doctor may recommend that you take it long term.
However, it’s important to note that Klonopin hasn’t been studied in people with panic disorder for longer than 9 weeks. So, it’s not known what long-term effects the drug may have. Taking Klonopin long term may also increase your risk of dependence. (With dependence, your body needs the drug to feel like you usually do.)
Due to these risks, your doctor will recommend taking the lowest dosage of Klonopin for the shortest amount of time possible. It’s possible that your doctor may recommend taking Klonopin short term for your condition. Then, they may recommend switching to a different treatment option.
For more information about how long you should take Klonopin for your condition, talk with your doctor. They can discuss the best treatment plan for you.
Klonopin isn’t approved to treat anxiety. In fact, this medication is only approved to treat panic disorder and seizures in certain people.
However, panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. So, it’s possible that your doctor may recommend treating panic disorder related to your anxiety with Klonopin.
Because the drug isn’t approved to treat anxiety specifically, there aren’t “normal” or maximum doses. However, if your doctor recommends taking Klonopin for your anxiety, they will recommend the best dosage for you.
Klonopin is not approved to treat sleep disorders, such as insomnia. However, this medication may cause sleepiness or drowsiness as side effects.
Due to this, your doctor may recommend taking Klonopin off-label for sleep problems. Off-label use of a drug is when your doctor prescribes a medication for a different use than what it was approved for.
There isn’t a recommended dosage of Klonopin to treat sleep problems. However, if your doctor recommends taking the drug off-label for this condition, they will prescribe the best dosage for you.
Below are some frequently asked questions about Klonopin.
What are the maximum and lowest doses of Klonopin?
The maximum and lowest doses of Klonopin will depend on which condition you’re using the drug to treat. To treat panic disorder in adults, the lowest recommended dosage is 0.25 milligrams (mg) twice per day. The maximum dosage for this use is 2 mg twice per day.
For people with seizure disorders, the lowest recommended dosage of Klonopin is typically 0.5 mg three times per day. And the maximum recommended dosage for this use is up to 20 mg per day, divided into multiple doses throughout the day.
For more information about the specific dosing of Klonopin, see “Typical dosages” in the “Klonopin dosage” section above.
Is there a dosage for Klonopin’s use as a muscle relaxer?
Klonopin isn’t approved for use as a muscle relaxer. So, there isn’t a dosage that’s recommended for this use.
However, other benzodiazepines, such as Valium (diazepam), may be used along with other medications to treat muscle spasms.
If you’re experiencing muscle spasms and think you may need a muscle relaxer, talk with your doctor about the best treatment option for you.
The Klonopin dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using Klonopin to treat
- your age
- your weight (for children)
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Klonopin dosage.
Your doctor may recommend a lower dosage for you if you take medications that may interact with Klonopin, including opioid medications, such as Roxicodone (oxycodone). They may also recommend a lower dosage if you have other medical conditions, such as liver problems.
Klonopin comes as an oral tablet. The tablet should be swallowed whole with water.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
There isn’t a sublingual dosage form (a dose that dissolves under your tongue) or a liquid form of Klonopin available. However, if you’re having trouble swallowing your dose of Klonopin, talk with your doctor about switching to clonazepam (the generic form of Klonopin). This version is available as an orally disintegrating tablet.
If you only need to take Klonopin once per day, take your dose at bedtime. However, in most cases, you will take Klonopin two to three times per day. It may be helpful to take Klonopin around the same times each day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Klonopin can work effectively.
It’s important to note that if you need to stop treatment with Klonopin for any reason, you should talk with your doctor. They will recommend slowly decreasing your dosage of Klonopin to prevent withdrawal symptoms. This is very important since Klonopin withdrawal can cause serious risks and can be life threatening. For more information about withdrawal symptoms, see the “Klonopin and withdrawal and dependence” section below.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Klonopin in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you miss your dose of Klonopin, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about when to take your next dose. In some cases, they may recommend taking your dose as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, they may recommend skipping your missed dose and continuing with your regular dosing schedule.
You should not take an extra dose to make up for a missed dose. Taking extra doses can increase your risk of serious side effects, including overdose.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or using a timer. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
Klonopin has a
Misuse means using a medication differently than how it was prescribed. And addiction refers to the inability to stop taking a medication or substance, even if you know it can be harmful to your health. It’s possible for addiction to occur even if you’re taking Klonopin exactly as your doctor prescribed.
Misuse and addiction can increase your risk of serious side effects, including overdose, which can be life threatening. Symptoms of misuse may include:
- abdominal pain
- anxiety or depression
- blurry vision
- slurred speech
- suicidal thoughts or actions
- difficulty breathing
Due to this risk, your doctor will monitor you throughout your treatment for signs of misuse or addiction. In some cases, they may recommend a different treatment option for you.
It’s important to tell your doctor if you have a history of drug misuse or addiction before taking Klonopin. They can recommend the best treatment option for you.
If you take more Klonopin than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects.
It’s important that you do not use more Klonopin than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Klonopin can include:
- low blood pressure
- slower reflexes
If you take more than the recommended amount of Klonopin
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Klonopin. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
It’s possible for benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, to cause symptoms of withdrawal or dependence. These symptoms may occur even if you take Klonopin exactly as your doctor prescribed. In fact, Klonopin has a
Withdrawal symptoms can occur if your body becomes used to taking a medication and then you stop treatment. Dependence can occur if your body is used to a drug and you need it to feel well. Klonopin can cause both withdrawal and dependence.
You may be at an increased risk of withdrawal or dependence if you’re taking a higher dose of Klonopin or you’ve taken the drug for a long period of time. However, it’s possible for withdrawal to occur even if you’re using Klonopin for a short period of time.
Klonopin withdrawal symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person, but most people experience symptoms in two phases. The first phase is called acute withdrawal and occurs right after you stop Klonopin. How long acute withdrawal lasts can vary based on how much Klonopin you were taking and for how long. However, it’s possible for acute withdrawal to last for a few weeks. Symptoms of acute withdrawal from Klonopin may include:
- nausea or vomiting
- high blood pressure
- panic attacks
- suicidal thoughts or actions
After acute withdrawal, you may experience the second phase of withdrawal, called protracted withdrawal. This can occur for weeks after your acute withdrawal. In some cases, symptoms may even last 12 months or longer. Symptoms of protracted withdrawal may include:
- muscle weakness or twitching
- ringing in the ears
- numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
- difficulty thinking
- memory problems
If you need to stop treatment with Klonopin for any reason, be sure to talk with your doctor first. They will recommend slowly decreasing your dose of Klonopin to prevent withdrawal symptoms. This is very important, since Klonopin withdrawal can cause serious risks and can be life threatening. Your doctor will be able to recommend a dosage taper, or slow decrease in your Klonopin dose, to avoid these side effects.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Klonopin for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Klonopin without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Klonopin that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Klonopin. These additional articles might be helpful to you:
- More about Klonopin. For information about other aspects of Klonopin, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Klonopin, see this article. You can also look at the Klonopin prescribing information.
- Drug comparison. The active drug in Klonopin is clonazepam. To find out how clonazepam compares with Xanax, read this article.
- Interactions. If you’d like to learn about Klonopin’s interactions, you can see this article.
- Details about your condition. For details about seizure disorders, see our epilepsy and seizures hub and list of related articles. And to learn more about panic disorder, visit our mental health hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.