As with all psychoactive drugs, there is insufficient experience on the long-term effects on breastfed children as a result of ongoing therapy to their mothers. Hence, Benzodiazepines are suitable agents for alcohol withdrawal. Clonazepam was approved in the United States as a generic drug in and is now manufactured and marketed by several companies. Clonazepam acts by binding to the benzodiazepine site of the GABA receptors, which enhances the electric effect of GABA binding on neurons, resulting in an increased influx of chloride ions into the neurons. There is no evidence that these medications prevent or treat delirium or seizures. Alcohol and Clonazepam Abuse question 1. These medications carry their own risk of addiction and abuse.
This can also mean the person will be difficult to wake up, which could lead to coma. In a study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA , 32 percent of emergency room visits due to benzodiazepines led to serious outcomes for the patient, such as long-term health consequences or even death.
Of those visits, 44 percent that involved a combination of benzodiazepines, like Klonopin, and alcohol resulted in serious medical outcomes. If an individual suffers from addiction to alcohol, when they seek treatment to stop abusing this drug, their physician may prescribe a benzodiazepine medication like Klonopin to ease withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety and seizures are two symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, and benzodiazepines have been shown to be very effective at reducing these symptoms.
However, it is extremely important for the overseeing physician to carefully monitor the patient for signs of addiction to benzodiazepines. These medications carry their own risk of addiction and abuse. This can become particularly dangerous if the individual suffers a relapse and combines a Klonopin prescription with alcohol consumption. Both alcohol and Klonopin are used as date rape drugs. These two drugs can, in large quantities, impair judgment and assessment of risk, as well as lead to temporary amnesia and extreme fatigue.
Klonopin enters the bloodstream within hours after ingestion, so while it does not act as quickly as other, more famous date rape drugs like Rohypnol, it is as likely in large enough doses to cause the individual to pass out. This is especially true when used in combination with alcohol, and it is harder to detect in alcoholic beverages.
For people who suffer from addiction to either alcohol or Klonopin, it is important to get help as soon as possible to overcome the problem. If these addictions go untreated, the individual becomes more likely to abuse alcohol and benzodiazepines together in greater quantity, or to combine these drugs with other drugs like heroin, cocaine, prescription painkillers, or barbiturates. Inpatient rehabilitation is often most effective for treating addictions to both alcohol and Klonopin.
Medical oversight helps clients withdraw from the addictive substances safely, while social support from therapists and peers helps clients to uncover the roots of their substance abuse and find better coping mechanisms for stress and cravings. In addition, inpatient rehabilitation removes clients from sources of alcohol and Klonopin, as well as takes them out of a stressful environment that might trigger a relapse, so they can wholly focus on getting healthy.
We will never share your information with a third party without your explicit consent. Dangers of Mixing Alcohol with Klonopin. Alone, alcohol can induce effects like: Slurred speech Euphoria, depression, or aggression Loss of coordination, leading to stumbling or falling. Loss of memory Nausea or vomiting Irregular breathing or heart rate. Stroke Fatty liver Permanent arrhythmia, or irregular changes in heartbeat Alcoholic hepatitis Cardiomyopathy, or the stretching out and drooping of the heart muscle tissue.
Benzodiazepines are commonly used in the detoxification treatment of ethanol dependence and withdrawal Lejoyeux, Benzodiazepines decrease ethanol withdrawal symptoms because of cross-dependence between benzodiazepines and ethanol Mihic et al. This presumably arises from the fact that both agents facilitate the actions of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A GABA A receptor Grobin et al.
Decreased GABA A receptor function results in reduced inhibitory input, which persists for days to weeks after sedative—hypnotic or ethanol discontinuation Barnes, ; Crews et al. This decrease of inhibitory input may contribute to the anxiety, motor excitability, and other central nervous system and peripheral nervous system stimulatory symptoms associated with ethanol and other sedative— hypnotic withdrawal. Valproate is a broad-spectrum anticonvulsant which is quite effective in the treatment of grand mal seizures and of petit mal seizures absence seizures MacDonald and Kelly, ; Perucca, ; Feely, It also has proven efficacy as a mood stabilizer for bipolar mood disorder Post et al.
Despite more than two decades of research, valproate's therapeutic mechanism of action is still unclear. It appears to have diverse neuropharmacological effects. For example, this anticonvulsant has been shown to suppress N -methyl-d-aspartate NMDA -evoked, transient depolarizations in the rat neocortex in vitro Zeise et al. Valproate also has effects on second messenger systems, such as protein kinase C Chen et al. Thus, valproate appears to facilitate GABAergic neural inhibition through multiple mechanisms.
Given valproate's GABA-facilitating effects and the presumptive role of GABA in sedative—hypnotic dependence and withdrawal, valproate may offer an alternative or adjunct to benzodiazepines for ethanol and other sedative—hypnotic withdrawal. Long-acting benzodiazepines are the most commonly used treatment for ethanol withdrawal in the USA, with chlordiazepoxide being the single most commonly used agent Saitz et al. The rationale for this trend is that longer-acting benzodiazepines have slower elimination rates and therefore provide more continuous coverage and produce a lower risk of seizures Mayo-Smith and Bernard, ; Mayo-Smith, For the vast majority of ethanol detoxification patients, long-acting benzodiazepines are very effective.
However, elderly patients are more susceptible to benzodiazepines' central nervous system side-effects including confusion, delirium, ataxia, and obtundation Morgan, ; Ladner, ; Aston, Benzodiazepine over-medication itself can cause delirium in the elderly. Finally, even when elderly and liver failure patients are treated optimally with benzodiazepines, they still suffer a longer, more severe course of ethanol withdrawal and have a higher risk of withdrawal-induced delirium Elton, ; Liskow et al.
Patients with withdrawal-induced delirium are considered the most difficult and dangerous group of detoxification patients to treat. Despite the tremendous effectiveness of benzodiazepines in reducing the course and severity of ethanol withdrawal-induced delirium, often this delirium is extremely severe and protracted, even when treated with very high doses of benzodiazepines Miller, ; Kunkel et al.
Because some anticonvulsant drugs decrease ethanol withdrawal symptoms Roy-Byrne et al. Phenytoin has been widely studied and found to have minimal utility for alcohol withdrawal Saitz et al. It is not effective in preventing ethanol withdrawal-induced seizures Rathlev et al. On the other hand, carbamazepine has shown promise as a treatment for ethanol withdrawal Malcolm et al. It also has the advantage of not interacting with alcohol and not being contraindicated in cirrhosis Williams and McBride, It also is less sedating and less subject to abuse than benzodiazepines Butler and Messiha, ; Gallant, Its lower sedation may be of particular benefit to the elderly and to those with decreased liver function, where over-sedation is a concern.
Also, the anticonvulsant action of carbamazepine may prevent withdrawal seizures Miller, Certain patient subgroups seem to have more protracted and severe benzodiazepine withdrawal. For example, patients with anxiety disorders may have rebound anxiety symptoms during benzodiazepine discontinuation and, therefore, these patients may require slower tapering Rickels and Schweizer, ; Schweizer and Rickels, As another example, elderly patients may be at increased risk for delirium when tapered off benzodiazepines Moss and Lanctot, ; Rosebush and Mazurek, ; Zalsman et al.
Another subgroup who experience difficulties during benzodiazepine tapering are polysubstance abusers. Often, these patients are using high doses of short-acting benzodiazepines and are not compliant with outpatient medication tapers Seivewright and Dougal, ; Pages and Ries, This population's lack of compliance, as well as their severe withdrawal course, may necessitate inpatient detoxification Pages and Ries, Unfortunately, benzodiazepine tapers can last weeks and, therefore, require long hospital stays.
Clearly an adjunctive treatment that could shorten the taper's course would be valuable. Anticonvulsant medications may allow more rapid and safer benzodiazepine tapering Pages and Ries, Adjunctive carbamazepine reduces iatrogenic benzodiazepine withdrawal severity in placebo-controlled studies Schweizer et al. Similarly, two studies found that carbamazepine reduced benzodiazepine withdrawal in benzodiazepine-abusing populations Ries et al.
There have been four controlled studies suggesting valproate's efficacy for ethanol withdrawal. One study compared valproate with phenobarbital Rosenthal et al. This strengthens the study's results, as increased pulse and blood pressure are reliable indicators of withdrawal severity King et al. This study also demonstrated that valproate was well tolerated and safe when used for ethanol withdrawal. The study's weaknesses were that it was not placebo-controlled or blinded.
Another study compared valproate to a standard withdrawal treatment, chlormethiazole, and found both drugs to have a similar effectiveness Lambie et al. However, the study is weakened by the fact that some valproate group patients also received unspecified amounts of chlormethiazole. Another weakness was the lack of consistent reporting of physiological withdrawal symptoms. For example, the study did not include pulse in its withdrawal measurements and did not report blood pressure data consistently.
Although the two aforementioned studies reported no adverse side-effects from valproate, a double-blind comparison of placebo with valproate for ethanol withdrawal concluded that valproate had limited utility for ethanol withdrawal due to the high incidence of gastric distress, nausea and vomiting Hillbom et al. This study used the valproic acid form of valproate, which has a much higher incidence of gastric side-effects than the currently used form of valproate, Divalproex Zarate et al.
More recently, a study compared valproate to lorazepam, a benzodiazepine, in the treatment of ethanol withdrawal in an open label study and concluded that valproate was a well-tolerated, safe, and effective treatment for ethanol withdrawal H. In this latter study, lorazepam was administered on an as-needed basis to the control group and the experimental group received a scheduled dose of valproate. There were no differences between the two groups in the severity of withdrawal, which suggests that valproate may be a useful adjunct to benzodiazepines for alcohol withdrawal.