Bipolar Disorder Medications: Klonopin (Clonazepam)

Patient Expert

Klonopin is an anti-anxiety drug that's often prescribed for anxiety accompanying bipolar disorder, panic disorder and some seizure disorders. Its generic name is clonazepam. Klonopin works by lowering abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

This drug is also sometimes prescribed to treat symptoms of akithisia, a problem with physical restlessness that can occur as a side effect of antipsychotic medications and a few other drugs.

It's important that your doctor and pharmacist know about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal products (especially St. John's wort), and all supplements you're taking. There is a long list of medications that might interact badly with Klonopin. The most common are:

  • Erythromycin
  • Nizoral (ketoconazole)
  • Tagamet (cimetidine)
  • Cold and allergy medications
  • Tegretol (carbamazepine)
  • Depakote (valproate)
  • Luvox (fluvoxamine)
  • Anything sedating

For a more complete list, see Clonazepam under "What special precautions should I follow?"

Clonazepam is somewhat less sedating than other medications in its class (which includes Ativan and Xanax), but it's still important to be cautious about activities where drowsiness could be dangerous when you're taking it.

Some of the more common side effects are:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Being clumsy or unsteady
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth or its opposite, increased saliva
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Sex drive or sexual ability changes

For more about Klonopin / clonazepam, see Klonopin Oral.