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What Is Klonopin & How Does It Treat Epilepsy?

Learn about the medication Klonopin and how it is used to treat epilepsy from Steve Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Dr. Steve Wolf: Klonopin, otherwise known as clonazepam, is another benzodiazepine. Sort of the same family as Valium, Ativan, and is a good medication for some patients to control their intractable seizure.

Patty McGoldrick: The problem with Klonopin or clonazepam is that you can develop tolerance to it over time, so it doesn't work as well and you have to keep adjusting the dose. It is good as a rescue medication in some instances because it comes in a melt-in-your-mouth tablet. So for someone whose seizing, you can actually put it on their tongue and stop the seizure. It's not as effective as Diastat, which is the rectal Valium, or Midazolam nasal spray, but it's another good alternative.

Dr. Wolf: And you need to be careful with it because it's one of those medications that if you are taking it every day, you got to take it every day. If you stop taking it abruptly, it can actually bring on seizures.

Patty: And if you're taking it every day to control your seizures, then you lose the efficacy of using it as a rescue drug. It doesn't work as well.

Dr. Wolf: So it's a tricky medication. You need to have a discussion with the people who are taking care of you whether it's the right medication for you. Really a second or third line for difficult intractable seizure patients. Has side effects from sedation, even increased droolingness can happen from the medication. But it's another option, another piece to treat really difficult to control seizures.

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