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Does Clonazepam (Klonopin) Help Opiate Withdrawals

You might have heard of doctors telling people to use Clonazepam to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms. Clonazepam, also known more commonly as Klonopin, is a commonly prescribed anti-anxiety pill that has been shown to reduce symptoms like irritability, restless leg syndrome, and sometimes even nausea. Still, not everyone should use Clonazepam to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms, especially if it is not prescribed by your physician. Here’s what you need to know and consider before you use Klonopin to treat withdrawal symptoms.

Does Clonazepam help reduce withdrawal symptoms?

Clonazepam (Klonopin) has been shown in several studies to reduce some of the more anxiety-related symptoms that are associated with opiate withdrawal symptoms. So in terms of effectiveness, this is a good option as long as you talk to your doctor about it. There are even generic versions for those who are worried about the rising cost of brand name prescriptions.


Minor Side Effects

Mixing Other Drugs: If you are currently on any benzodiazepines, you should not consider using Klonopin to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms that you are enduring. If you do, it can slow your heart rate and breathing to the point of coma, mild seizures or even death.

No Alcohol: Never mix alcohol! Alcohol is a depressant and slows down the functions that keep your body operations balanced. And since Its considered a habit forming pharmaceutical drug,  some users may experience sudden induced seizures and severe tremors in the limbs of the body. In fact, many doctors may dislike the idea of giving a former opiate addict Klonopin due to these serious side-effects.

Pregnancy: Women who are pregnant and or nursing should avoid using Clonazepam to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms, because of the fact that it can potentially harm the baby. Klonopin is a known teratogen.

Serious Side Effects

As a remedy for overcoming opiate addiction - Klonopin can be a good choice if you are looking for anti-anxiety effects. However, one of the more common serious side effects of Clonazepam is depression. People who are frequently depressed should avoid taking it under any circumstances.  Depression can lead to opiate addiction relapses, so you should tell your doctor if have a family or medical history of depression in the past.


What have we learned

I hope this blog entry and gave you lots of insight on Clonazepam as a treatment for opiate addiction. In the end, Clonazepam does have a lot of benefits it can offer to recovering addicts.

These benefits include the following:

  • alleviation of restless leg syndrome
  • decreasing anxiety levels
  • stabilize normal sleep pattern
  • seizure relief

However, this route can prove to be very risky for recovering addicts because its difficult to predict how an addict will react to Klonopin while struggling with withdrawal symptoms from opiate detox.  It's important to ask your doctor before pursing it as an choice to help overcome your addiction.

  • Asaya

    I have used Xanax (alprazolam) as a very effect aid while detoxing from opiate drugs. I don't know if I could have endured without it. It reduced my anxiety (of course), lessen the sweating and chills almost completely, and helped with the muscle aches and pains. I'm sure this is not a solution for everyone, but it did make my withdrawl period much more comfortable.

  • bonnie

    i have actually just gone through alcohol withdrawals and it did help greatly! i was experiencing sweats, chills , shakes and restless legs as well as terrible nausea and night terrors. the physical pain was eased as well. but i did find myself "needing" this drug even when the symptoms eased! it is highly addictive and that became very apparent to me quite quickly.

  • Working Man

    I have not found benzodiazepines very helpful at all in opiate withdrawal - with the exception of feeling just a little relaxed. Basically a "benzo" makes you feel like you drank a couple of beers real quickly. But opiate withdrawal involves a totally 'different system' (in the body) than that. A "benzo" won't give you relief from runny nose & eyes, abdominal cramps and they certainly won't stave off craving for opiates. Plus, most benzodiazepines intensify the depression felt during opiate withdrawal (actually this was the worst thing I noticed when trying benzodiazepines for opiate withdrawal - both inpatient and out). You'll should instead use something that acts on the opiate receptors and cholinergic system, such as loperamide.

    Using a benzodiazepine you'll likely relapse onto your favorite opiate and have a benzodiazepine addiction to boot. There are far more effective things out there, mentioned in the other posts.

  • Struggle Squared

    Ive found benzos to be key in allievating the mental aspect of opiate withdrawal. Ive kicked physical addiction 2x now using loperamide to ease physical wds, and then valium, klonopin and xanax to stave off the sleeplessness and anxiety aspect. Benzos have helped me greatly with PAWS once the physical wds subside. Ive found it far easier to taper off loperamide combined with benzos than to cold turkey. Having a demanding family life that never stops, ever and only just long enough to rest at night, cold turkey detox is just not an option. A little determination, a journal filled with positive reinforcements and a bottle of 72 loperamides with a handfull off benzos worked wonders for me.