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What Factors Affect Clonazepam Dosage?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Clonazepam (Klonopin®) is an anti-seizure and anti-anxiety drug belonging to the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. The factors that affect clonazepam dosage are numerous, beginning with consideration of age and size. Dosage also varies depending on the condition being treated and the other medications or drugs used by patients. Patient response is another consideration, and the lowest effective dose is preferred.

The simplest consideration of clonazepam dosage is the age and size of the patient. Children under 66.14 pounds (30 kg) and under the age of 10 usually don’t have doses exceeding 0.5 mg per day. Children above this age and size usually don’t exceed 1.5 mg per day.

Clonazepam is most often given to children to control seizures, though in older kids it might be used for anxiety control. Older teens might take more of this medicine for both seizures and anxiety. Adult dosage has a much more extensive range that is more dependent on condition and the maximum given, usually for seizure control, may not exceed 20 mg, though many people take a smaller amount per day.

Condition makes a big difference when determining clonazepam dosage. For seizure disorders, maximum doses could reach 20 mg per day, but for anxiety disorders or anxiety conditions, a maximum of 4-6 mg is suggested. Sometimes a higher dose, approaching that for seizure control, is appropriate in manic phases of bipolar disorder, but once symptom control is better achieved by anti-manic or anti-convulsive medications, it is unlikely a person would remain on the maximum dose.

Clonazepam dosage must also be determined by other medications people are using and any recreational use of substances like alcohol. Benzodiazepines have heavy sedating properties, which are enhanced by a variety of other drugs, including antidepressants, anticonvulsants, atypical and typical antipsychotics, other benzodiazepines, other muscle relaxants, opioid pain relievers, and alcohol. Things like stimulants, legal or otherwise, may make it harder for clonazepam to work. Doctors must consider cumulative or opposing reactions to medications or substances to determine if the dose should be higher or lower, or if clonazepam is an appropriate choice.

Each person responds to medications differently and may have minimal to intense intended response or side effects. With clonazepam dosage, it’s ordinarily expected that people may feel effects most at onset of taking the drug. A principal objective, especially for anxiety conditions, is to base dosage on the minimum effective dose and to discontinue as soon as the medication is no longer required.

The logic is that the body quickly builds tolerance to the drug and sedating or anti-anxiety benefits may be reduced as drug use continues, generally requiring more of the medicine to obtain the same effects. Some patients with psychiatric disorders remain on clonazepam for years and continue to feel its beneficial effects, and the drug’s anti-seizure properties can long outlast its anxiety-fighting properties. Many physicians still recommend short-term use for psychiatric conditions, with tapered discontinuation as soon as patients achieve better symptom control through longer acting medications or psychotherapeutic intervention.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

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Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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