Does Klonopin Cause Depression?

Does Klonopin Cause Depression?

Written by :

Arooj Anjum

Arooj Anjum

Biomedical Engineer


In short, yes, Klonopin causes depression. The medicine increases the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA, in the brain. GABA helps produce a sense of relaxation in the body, so when you take Klonopin, you feel lighter and relaxed. Depression is a common side effect. However, this blog aims to answer all your questions regarding—does Klonopin cause depression?


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Does Klonopin Cause Depression?


Klonopin is the brand name for Clonazepam, a benzodiazepine medicine. It is an FDA-approved medicine prescribed by a healthcare provider for seizure disorders or epilepsy in children and adults. The medicine’s benzodiazepine improves the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. As depression is the major side effect, however, it will ease with time.


Emotional Side Effects of Clonazepam (Klonopin)

  • Change in sleep pattern.
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest
  • Trouble in concentrating
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble breathing

If your doctor has prescribed Klonopin, it is critical to review the underlying issue you are facing to lessen the chances of any emotional instability forming.


Note that Clonazepam also has some severe withdrawal symptoms. But at times, other treatment options don’t work, and you need to know the side effects of Klonopin.

  • Mental health issues
  • Shaking
  • Mood changes
  • Cramps in stomach
  • And stiffness of the muscles.
  • physical dependence

Whether Klonopin causes depression or not, you are encouraged to discuss your medical history with your doctor and share your worries if they decide to prescribe Klonopin to you.

How to Take Clonazepam


1. Use Klonopin as prescribed by the doctor. Never play with the dosage of klonopin  without consultation.

2. Tell your doctor if Klonopin causes depression to you and you feel it’s affecting your daily routine.

3. Do not stop the medicine out of the blue, as it will cause withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, sweating, blurry vision, and seizures (rarely). Always taper the dose off.

4. Keep the medicine out of sight of drug abusers.

5. Klonopin is a regular-release medicine, so swallow it whole with water.

6. For tablets that dissolve in the mouth, open the pouch carefully, remove the tablet using dry hands, and place it in your mouth.

7. Do not take clonapazam while operating heavy machinery or with alcohol. Stay away from driving a car because of the soothing effect.

8. Alcohol increases respiratory depression, too.

9. Since dizziness is a common side effect of the medicine, it increases the risk of falls. Do not change positions abruptly.

10. Do not use any other medicine, even over-the-counter, without prior consultation with your doctor. Your doctor will check the compatibility and let you know about any drug interactions.

11. In case of misuse or dependence, contact your doctor immediately. They might change the medicine or taper the dose.

12. If you are allergic to any benzos, do not take the medicine. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to benzos.

13. If, after using the medicine, you feel depressed or notice any change in mood, talk with your healthcare.

14. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or plan to become one soon. Klonopin should be discontinued if you find out you are pregnant. It is not safe for pregnant women.

When to Contact Emergency?


Discussing your concerns regarding the side effects with your doctor before starting the medicine is advisable. This will eradicate any doubts and let you know what to expect.


Don’t worry if you experience mild side effects like drowsiness or dizziness that are manageable at home. However, we recommend still discussing these minor side effects with the doctor. However, in case of severe effects like an overdose, dependency, or suicidal thoughts, please call the emergency immediately.

How Klonopin Works?


When consumed, Klonopin acts on the nerve cells, relaxing the brain’s abnormal electrical activity. It is usually prescribed for anxiety or epilepsy because it relaxes the person due to its soothing effect.


Experts believe Klonopin’s ability to bind with the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor complex increases its affinity for GABA. Lower levels of GABA cause mood disorders, pain, anxiety and seizures


You don’t have to worry about whether Klonopin causes depression because of several exceptional benefits of the medicine. It may be used for the short-term treatment of panic disorder and certain forms of anxiety disorders. Remember, it belongs to prescription drugs, and misuse or higher doses can lead to substance use disorder.

Benefits of Klonopin

  • Klonopin is given to treat specific types of seizures.
  • Off-label, Klonopin is prescribed for certain mental disorders, although not approved by the FDA.
  • Calming and soothing effect
  • Available in generic form, Clonazepam

Response Time & Efficacy


Klonopin response time is around 20 to 60 minutes. You can feel the peak effect after 1 to 4 hours of taking Klonopin.

Drug Interactions


Klonopin interacts with certain medicines, reducing its effect and decreasing response time. Drug interactions also raise the chances of contracting side effects. However, it does not mean you should stop the other medicine when taking Klonopin. Drug interactions are manageable. Please consult your doctor and discuss the shortcomings.


Some medicines that interact with Klonopin are;


If a medical professional has given you Klonopin, you need to know that it has some serious side effects when interacting with other medicines. The right drug use is essential.

  • Medicines for anxiety: this includes any other Benzo as well
  • Antidepressants like imipramine, nortriptyline and amitriptyline
  • Sedative anti histamines
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
  • Opioids
  • Sleeping medicines
  • And, muscle relaxants


Downsides of Klonopin


Klonopin is never the first choice of medicine. However, your doctor knows best. If he/she has prescribed you klonopin, and you are between 18 and 60 years of age, the side effects you might come across are mentioned below. Keep a close eye on the following symptoms. 

1. Drowsiness


Clinical trials were conducted, which showed that up to 50% of individuals using Klonopin felt drowsy after taking the medicine. It happens as Clonazepam lowers the activity of the brain. The medicine attaches to GABA receptors that have a soothing effect on the brain. However, it also has a soothing effect. In short, many other medicines have similar effects;

  • Opioids
  • Barbiturates
  • Other benzos and
  • Medications for sleep problems

Note- do not drink alcohol while on Klonopin because of similar side effects. Those on the medicine during the day might feel drowsy in the initial days. Stay away from driving or operating heavy machinery until the side effects subsides after a few days.


Do not hesitate to contact your doctor if Klonopin makes you tired, so doing daily chores becomes difficult.

2. Problem with Coordination

Clinical trials were conducted that showed that  (ataxia) coordination problems were noticed in 30% of the individuals taking the medicine for seizures. However, people using it for panic disorder were fine. However, 2% of them taking 1 mg/day experienced side effects.


 Ataxia is when people have difficulty walking properly. Poor coordination increases the risk of falling, especially among elders. If you or a loved one is using Klonopin, watch them closely. If you notice a change in their walking posture, call your doctor.

3. Dizziness


Another side effect of Klonopin is dizziness. About 5% of individuals suffer from dizziness while taking it for panic disorder at the normal prescribed dose. The higher the dose, the more the chance of dizziness. Remember, the right drug administration is crucial to reducing the side effects. People using it for seizure disorder must take special care. If family members are using it, keep them in check.


Just like drowsiness, dizziness is dangerous, especially for older adults. Ensure you do not drive or operate heavy machines. If your head feels heavy, take a break, sit down, and let it pass. Remember, you will feel better after taking the medicine for a few days. If the symptoms do not go away, don’t shy away from discussing them with your doctor.

4. Upper Respiratory Tract Infections


 URTIS is another possible and common side effect of Clonazepam. The common infections with the upper respiratory tract are sinus infections and the common cold. Many studies have been conducted, but the reason for these infections is still vague. Some suggest that all benzodiazepines affect GABA receptors, and binding to them causes a fall in the immune system. Some common symptoms of URTIs are a runny nose, pain in the face or pressure around the T zone, and sore throat. Some people also have cough as a symptom. If you are on  Klonopin and are experiencing these symptoms, call your doctor. The best way is to discuss these points beforehand with the doctor.

5. Depression


 Does Klonopin cause depression? Well, unfortunately, yes. But, it is a rare side effect. Some other mood disorders while taking Clonazepam are mood swings and nervousness. Note that people suffering from any mental health issue are more likely to experience these symptoms. If, after taking Klonopin, you feel your condition is declining, please call your healthcare immediately. Medical attention is essential if depression is getting worse. The doctors are likely to adjust your dose or change the medicine.

6. Suicidal Behavior


Like the other anti-seizure medicines, Klonopin leads to suicidal thoughts. Do not worry; it is an infrequent side effect, but it is possible after starting ClonazepamClonazepam, you will feel that you’re getting more depressive with suicidal thoughts and change in behavior. Contact your doctor without a second thought.

7. Memory problems


One of benzos’ most common side effects, including Klonopin, is short-term memory loss. If you experience memory problems after taking the medicine, contact your doctor. The doctor can switch the medicine or adjust the dose.

8. Misuse


Benzodiazepines are controlled medicines that lead to physical & mental dependence. That is the reason why misuse of the medicine is quite common. The FDA bailed a warning in Sep 2020 about the dependence on overdose and risk of  misuse of Klonopin. Do you know all benzos are given boxed warnings? This is a severe warning assigned by the FDA. Stopping Klonopin abruptly can lead to serious withdrawal effects. The chances of it occurring are higher if you’ve been using the medicine for some time now. DO NOT USE THE MEDICINE IN HIGH DOSES.


Some withdrawal effects symptoms you might experience are;

  •  Sweating       
  • Anxiety
  • Tremor.

Other serious/ yet most common side effects are;

  • Hallucinations and
  • Seizures.

Please check with your doctor before you stop the medicine. They can offer expert advice and might taper the dose to lower the withdrawal effects.

9. Klonopin Overdose


Overdose of Klonopin can happen when taken in high doses or when combined with certain medications that reduce the activity of the brain. You can reduce the risk by avoiding medications that slow the breath rate. Some examples are opioids and alcohol. Do not increase the Klonopin dose without first informing/consulting your doctor. Benzos are usually used for a short period.


 Some common overdose symptoms are;

  • Confusion
  • Slow breathing 
  • And extreme dizziness.

In a medical emergency, dial 911 and call for immediate help.


Conclusion: Can Klonopin Make Me Depressed and Stressed?


When used for a short period, Klonopin helps in reducing the frequency of seizures. It also helps lessen the reoccurring of panic attacks or reduce anxiety. However, we do not recommend it for long-term use because of the difficulty in tackling the withdrawal symptoms.  Klonopin side effects are adverse. Take the daily dose as prescribed by your doctor. In addition, Klonopin causes depression as it is a benzodiazepine drug, and most benzos cause depression.


 Discuss with your doctor if you or a loved one is using the medicine with an existing mental health condition like major depressive disorder.


Remember, Klonopin belongs to a class of drugs called benzo, used for patients with seizures and panic disorder. Off-label, it is also used for treating anxiety. Some common side effects are dizziness, loss of balance, etc. If the symptoms don’t disappear after a week, contact your doctor. 

Medical Disclaimer:


At TherapyFleet, we strive to enhance the quality of life for those dealing with mental health issues. Our licensed medical professionals meticulously research, edit, and review all content before publication. Nonetheless, this information should not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical guidance, please consult your physician or reach out to TherapyFleet’s qualified staff.


Clonazepam (Klonopin) can potentially contribute to depressive symptoms in some individuals. While it is primarily prescribed for anxiety and seizure disorders, its impact on mood varies, and patients should be closely monitored for any changes in mental health. Discussing with a healthcare provider is crucial for personalized advice.

Common Questions Asked Regarding Klonopin Cause Depression

1. I have kidney issues. Can I take Klonopin?


Klnopin’s side effects are more prone to the elderly, children, and people with health issues like kidney problems, liver problems, seizures, diabetes, and heart disease. People may also take any other medicines for other health conditions. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

2. Does clonapazam make you feel tired all the time?


Yes, tiredness and drowsiness are common side effects of the medicine. When you take Klonopin, the activity of the neurons decreases, causing a soothing and relaxed state of mind.

3. What drugs affect Klonopin?


Klonopin has many drug interactions. Be very careful while using it with other medicines. Taking medicines that sedate and lower breathing with Klonopin is fatal. Consult with your doctor if you are on a sleeping pill, using opioids, a muscle relaxant, or using medicine for anxiety. This is not the complete list of medicines that interact with Klnoponin. Herbal medicines, supplements, and vitamins also interact with Clonazepam. Tell your healthcare practitioner the list of medications you use.

4. Is Klonopin a controlled drug?


Yes, Klonopin belongs to Benzo drugs, which are prescription medicine only. According to the DEA, it is classified as a Schedule 4 controlled drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Although Schedule 4 drugs have lower potency to cause misuse, they shouldn’t be used for longer periods. Drug Abuse related to Klonopin may cause psychological or physical dependency.

5. Does Klonopin decrease blood pressure?


Low blood pressure does not really happen with medicine. However, studies suggest that a sudden drop in blood pressure is possible when changing positions, especially when getting up from bed without sitting first. 

6. I took an opioid with Klonopin. What now?


FDA has put up a boxed warning with the dangerous side effects of taking these two together. Some symptoms to look out for are respiratory depression and extreme dizziness. If you experience these, please call 911, as it is a medical emergency that can lead to coma and death. Seek medical advice immediately.



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