Why do Doctors keep patients on Clonazepam for long periods of time?
Clonazepam is a prescription medication commonly used for its anti-anxiety, anti-insomnia as well as anti-convulsant benefits. This medication is known to be a part of a larger group of substances known as benzodiazepines. This group of benzodiazepines includes drugs such as:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Temazepam (Restoril)
While these substances all share extremely similar chemical properties and effects, the key difference between them all is the time they take to kick in and how long the effects last for. Clonazepam is known to be rapid acting while providing relief for about 10 hours with one dose only. It stays in the body for 48 hours. All benzodiazepines have anti-depressant effects that, as a result, slow down various physical and mental processes. In some cases, benzodiazepines are prescribed due to their sedative-hypnotic effects, along with their muscle-relaxing benefits. In addition to this, they can help manage the dangerous withdrawal symptoms from substances like alcohol and drugs.
Doctors often prescribe the medication for the given reasons and adjust the dosage depending upon the severity of the condition. Clonazepam has anti-anxiety effects, which is why it is included for all types of anxiety disorders. Although Clonazepam proves to have a wide array of benefits, it is crucial to be careful with it as Clonazepam dependency, and addiction are quite common. In addition, since Clonazepam is intended for short-term use, using it for a more extended amount of time can lead to complications. However, doctors tend to prescribe the medication for long periods. This is because when an individual responds to a drug that seems to improve their condition, it can be challenging to find a replacement. For instance, even though medicines used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure are not ideal for one's health, they are prescribed for a long time. It is because taking the medicine is less harmful than not taking it.
Similarly, Clonazepam at the proper dosage will benefit those in the long run as it will keep their condition in check.
However, as mentioned, taking it for a long time can be a risk. Clonazepam abuse can become a prevalent issue in those who take this drug for a long time or at higher than recommended doses. This includes individuals who use it for recreational purposes, too.
It is important to note that Clonazepam is not typically recommended for long-term use as it is known to be a habit-forming drug. Over time, the user's body tends to build a tolerance to Clonazepam. As the body becomes used to the presence of Clonazepam, the effect decreases and soon, the medication ceases to be ineffective. In order to combat this, the dose is increased, and individuals begin taking frequent doses. And, once someone builds a tolerance to the drug, they are bound to experience withdrawal symptoms whenever they stop taking the medication.