How Long Does Klonopin Stay in Your System? – Klonopin (clonazepam) is a prescription drug commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, panic, and seizure disorders. Klonopin is classified as a benzodiazepine, a group of central nervous system (CNS) depressants that also includes Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Restoril.
Clonazepam is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance indicating that while it has a legitimate medical purpose, there’s still a potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction.
Clonazepam has a relatively long elimination half-life. Half-life refers to the length of time it takes for half of one dose of a drug to clear from the body. For clonazepam, this time frame ranges from 30 to 40 hours, meaning that it takes between 2-3 for 50% of Klonopin to leave a person’s system.
Based on clonazepam’s 30-40 hour half-life some amount of the drug is likely to remain in the system for approximately 6-9 days after the final dose. It’s worth noting, however, that some medical providers contend that clonazepam has a wider-ranging half-life of 18-60 hours. If this were to be the case, it could take anywhere from 4-14 days to completely clear from the body.
Some factors that may also influence how long it takes for Klonopin to leave a person’s system include the following:
- Height and weight
- Body fat and mass
- Food intake
- Hepatic (liver) function
- Metabolic rate
- Urinary pH
- Dosage amount
- Frequency of use
- Duration of use
- Use of other drugs
What Is Klonopin?
As noted, clonazepam is a benzodiazepine commonly sold under the brand name Klonopin. Klonopin helps calm hyperactive electrical signals in the brain—this overactivity has been associated with anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia, seizures, and other CNS disorders.
Klonopin is frequently used to treat seizures in people with neurological disorders (e.g., epilepsy). It’s an intermediate-acting benzodiazepine that can decrease the risk of seizure activity for several hours after the drug is administered. Klonopin may also be prescribed to patients who experience restlessness, fidgeting or other uncontrollable movements as side effects of using antipsychotic medications.
Sometimes health providers prescribe Klonopin for the treatment of panic attacks or severe anxiety. However, it usually isn’t prescribed for the short-term treatment of insomnia or anxiety as other medications, such as Xanax and Ativan. These other two benzos are more effective in treating these disorders because they start working within minutes and their effects are not as long-lasting as clonazepam.
Klonopin Abuse and Addiction
As a benzodiazepine, Klonopin has the potential for addiction. Even those who use the drug as prescribed may find themselves rapidly progressing to problematic levels of use. Like other benzodiazepines, Klonopin induces feelings of relaxation and well-being.
It’s these pleasurable feelings that often cause a person to use the drug more frequently or in higher amounts than prescribed. The desired effects of Klonopin typically onset within an hour of use and effects can last anywhere between 6-24 hours.
Klonopin can lead to tolerance and dependence if use continues for a prolonged period. Tolerance is a condition in which the body adapts to the presence of a substance and gradually reduces the effects of that substance. When this occurs, the person is compelled to use more of the drug to achieve the desired effects.
Dependence develops after prolonged exposure to a substance, and the body becomes so accustomed to its presence that it can no longer function correctly without it. Once dependence is established, a person will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms if they try to discontinue drug use. Tolerance and dependence are hallmark signs of addiction, which is also characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of adverse consequences.
Anyone who uses the prescribed dose of Klonopin in high amounts or too frequently is at risk of an overdose. Although it is difficult to fatally overdose on clonazepam on its own, when it is combined with other CNS depressants, such as opioids or alcohol, the depressant effects of all substances are compounded and can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of a Klonopin overdose include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Stupor or unresponsiveness
- Difficulty breathing
- Impaired coordination
- Low blood pressure
If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms after using Klonopin, please call 911 immediately.
Getting Treatment for Klonopin Addiction
Once a person has developed an addiction to Klonopin, it can be very difficult to stop. Those who use Klonopin regularly and for long periods of time will likely experience unpleasant withdrawal effects when they stop using, which is often the main reason why they continue to use even if they want to stop.
Recovery from Klonopin addiction is certainly possible, however, and the first step to getting help is admitting that you have a problem.
Harmony Recovery Center uses a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to addiction recovery that includes detox, psychotherapy, counseling, treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, group support, and more.
If you or someone you know is addicted to Klonopin or other substances, help is available. You don’t have to go through this journey alone. Contact us today!