Clonazepam is a type of medication used for individuals suffering from epilepsy to contain different types of seizures or convulsions (fits): myoclonic seizures (jerks), atonic seizures, absences (vacant seizures), and as an additional drug in some other forms of epilepsy.
Why is it vital for a child to take this medicine regularly?
Any child on Clonazepam must continue to take it as per the doctor’s advice to ensure that they have fewer seizures or none.
Do not suddenly stop giving it to your child all of a sudden, as they may have more seizures.
In what form is Clonazepam available?
Clonazepam is commonly found as tablets and mouth dissolvable tablets.
When is it advisable to give Clonazepam?
Clonazepam is most of the time given at night-time. However, there are some exceptions to this like when your doctor may prescribe it to be taken twice a day. Please follow your doctor’s advice in such a situation.
Ensure that it is given at the same time every day, so it becomes a routine and the chances of forgetting the medication are lesser.
What if I forget to give it at the prescribed time or day?
Tablets: If it is within 6 hours of the missed dosage time, give your child the medication. If it is past this time, do not give the missed dose and wait until the next dosage time to give it.
Mouth dispersible acts like a tablet, except it, dissolves in the mouth and doesn’t have to be swallowed.
Never give a double dosage of Clonazepam.
your child vomits within 30 minutes of taking a dose, then gives the medication again. However, if your child vomits after 30 minutes of taking Clonazepam, then do not give it again.
Make sure you know about licensed vs non-licensed medications before administering any medicine.
What is the recommended dosage of Clonazepam for my child?
Your child’s doctor will prescribe the required dosage of Clonazepam as per the severity of their condition. The dosage amount will be written in your child’s prescription.
When you first start giving this medication to your child, provide them with a small dosage and then increase it bit by bit over the next few days or weeks. This will help them get used to the medicine. However, your doctor will explain what to do.
You must strictly follow your doctor’s instructions about the dosage amount.
If the medication is given at the correct dosage then your child will ideally be free of seizures or convulsions (fits) with almost no side effects.
How should I give this medicine? Read about Giving Medicines the right way!
Tablets: These must be swallowed whole with a glass of water, juice, or milk. Tablets can be crushed and administered in water, juice, or a small amount of yogurt/curd.
Does Clonazepam have any possible Side effects?
Clonazepam is extensively tested but may cause some side effects.
Side-effects for which immediate action must be taken are rare.
If your child is unusually sleepy or their behaviour has changed, then it is usually temporary.
Drooling or excess salivation may be noted, usually, it is transient.
Liver disease: If your child starts being sick every few hours, has stomach pains, is very sleepy, gets jaundice (the skin or eyes look yellowy), or has more seizures than usual, take them to your doctor or hospital straight away.
If your child develops a rash, then stop medications and SEEK IMMEDIATE ADVICE from a DOCTOR.
There can be other side effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are worried, please contact your doctor immediately!
Despite this long list of side effects, Clonazepam is a very effective anti-epileptic (anticonvulsant) medicine.
“Generic vs Branded”
Can other common medicines be taken along with Clonazepam?
- Unless your doctor has told you otherwise, you can give your child paracetamol, ibuprofen, antibiotics, and other essential over-the-counter medications.
- However, please consult your doctor giving other medicines to your child. These also include herbal or complementary medicines.
- Some other medicines used to treat epilepsy may affect the efficacy of Clonazepam or may cause side effects. If you are worried about this or if your child seems to be having more fits, please contact your doctor immediately.
Clonazepam and pregnancy
- The risk of a neonatal withdrawal syndrome when used during pregnancy may cause respiratory depression. Ideally, speak to your neurologist and review your medications before you conceive.
How should Clonazepam be stored?
Store it in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight. You do not need to refrigerate it.
- Make sure that children are kept away from the medication such that they are unable to see or reach the medicine.
- Keep the medicine in the same container that it came in.
For complete information please see the manufacturer’s information leaflet.
- IAP Drug Formulary Web Update 2020(3) Edition 58, https://www.iapdrugformulary.com/Home
- Consumer Medicines Information (CMI), https://www.tga.gov.au/consumer-medicines-information-cmi
- British National Formulary for Children (BNFC)
- Food and Drug Administration, USA https://www.fda.gov
Medical information is simplified to make it easy for a layman to understand, hence it cannot be comprehensive, and it cannot address individual needs. No website content can replace the expertise of a doctor; hence this information should NEVER be taken as a replacement for medical consultation. It is possible the information may not be accurate and may even mislead in some cases. It is hence advised to seek medical consultation without delay for any queries.