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Klonopin Withdrawal and Detox

Written by Thomas Christiansen

& Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sarah Dash, PHD

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Last Updated - 06/17/2022

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Updated 06/17/2022

Key Takeaways

  • Klonopin detox is the first step in the rehab process and involves withdrawal symptoms as Klonopin leaves the body
  • Withdrawal symptoms are a result of the body learning to function again without Klonopin
  • Klonopin withdrawal symptoms can be physical and psychological
  • Klonopin should never be stopped suddenly
  • Treatments for Klonopin addiction can include medical detox, along with inpatient and outpatient programs

Experiencing Klonopin withdrawal and detox can be the first step in addiction recovery. Learn the steps and symptoms of stopping Klonopin use.

Klonopin is a type of benzodiazepine (“benzo”) that is often prescribed for sleep and anxiety disorders. It produces a sedative effect, which can help people relax. However, the sedative effect can also lead to Klonopin misuse or abuse.

Regular, long-term or high-dose usage of Klonopin can lead to dependence, which means that the body relies on the drug to function. To stop taking Klonopin, a person must go through a Klonopin detox process. This process involves Klonopin being cleared from the body and can include various Klonopin withdrawal symptoms.

Detox and withdrawal are the first steps in rehab and recovery. Concerns or fear of withdrawal symptoms can prevent people from seeking treatment from addiction. Learning the process and options for treatment can be the first step toward recovery.

What Causes Klonopin Withdrawal?

Klonopin withdrawal symptoms occur when a physical dependence on Klonopin develops through continued use. This development means that the body became reliant on the drug to function and stopping Klonopin’s use will produce withdrawal symptoms as the body adjusts to being without it.

Klonopin acts as a depressant and changes chemicals in the brain. When drug use stops, brain chemicals may rebound to their original levels. These changes can cause emotional and physical symptoms that contribute to the experience of withdrawal.

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

As the body adjusts to reduced doses of Klonopin, people might experience a combination of physical and emotional Klonopin withdrawal symptoms. These can vary from person to person, and also depend on the severity of the addiction, the level of starting dose and whether they abused any other substance.

Some of the physical withdrawal symptoms associated with Klonopin use include:

  • Nausea or appetite loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Tremors
  • Seizure
  • Weakness and fatigue

Psychological withdrawal symptoms seen with Klonopin use are:

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is a set of symptoms that continue for weeks or months after a person stops using Klonopin. Some longer-term symptoms include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Insomnia
  • Sensory and motor symptoms
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Trouble with memory and cognition

A small group of people experiences protracted withdrawal symptoms that last months or years. Protracted withdrawal symptoms are more common in people who used benzos for many years or even decades.

Can Klonopin Withdrawal Kill You?

If someone has been using extremely high doses of Klonopin or using for a long time, the withdrawal process can be very dangerous. Side effects of Klonopin withdrawal can include seizures, slowed breathing or even death.

In cases of Klonopin addiction or use with other substances, the withdrawal process should be completed with medical supervision. This recommendation can include hospitalization or a medical detox center. Health professionals can watch for dangerous withdrawal symptoms and provide care and comfort for unpleasant side effects.

Klonopin Withdrawal Timeline

The Klonopin withdrawal timeline depends on the starting dose and how long the drug has been used for. For example, withdrawal from milder Klonopin dependence may take 10 weeks, but chronic use can take much longer for withdrawal symptoms to diminish.

People taking larger doses (over 10 mg per day) of Klonopin may need to follow a different Klonopin withdrawal schedule. If taking a high dose, it might be possible to initially reduce the Klonopin dose faster. However, Klonopin should be tapered slowly once its use falls under 10 mg per day.

Klonopin has a longer half-life than other benzodiazepines, so it can stay in the body longer. The half-life of Klonopin is around 30 to 40 hours, possibly up to 22 to 54 hours in some cases. This time span means that it can take from nearly three days for 50% of Klonopin to leave a person’s system.

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Factors Affecting Withdrawal Duration

The duration of Klonopin withdrawal symptoms depends on the individual and how long they used Klonopin. For example, symptoms can be impacted by age, sex, duration of use and starting dose.

Related Topic: Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms

Other factors that impact withdrawal duration can be co-occurring substance abuse, psychiatric problems, history of seizures or other medical problems.

Klonopin Detox for Treatment of Withdrawal

The process of detoxing from Klonopin can be unpleasant. It’s important to detox slowly to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. It can be risky to try to get Klonopin out of your system fast.

There are different options for how to detox from Klonopin and medical supervision can ensure safety and help prevent or treat severe withdrawal symptoms.

Medical Detox

Medical detox can provide a safe and comfortable environment to withdraw from a drug. Because Klonopin detox can include unpleasant side effects, medical detox can help reduce risks associated with stopping use.

  • What to Take for Klonopin Withdrawals? Whether it is safe to take other medications during withdrawal should be determined by a doctor. There is no single guideline for tapering Klonopin, so each withdrawal schedule should be medically supervised.
  • Alternative Treatments for Klonopin Withdrawal. Treatment for Klonopin withdrawal can be supported by a strict daily regiment. Establishing a routine can help to minimize environmental stimuli that can make symptoms worse.

Outpatient Detox

Outpatient detox is possible, but should only be considered in mild cases of misuse. The detox process should be directed by a medical professional to reduce the risks of withdrawal symptoms or negative outcomes.

Outpatient detox can include slow dose reduction guided by a physician or pharmacist. This is most suitable for patients who have not been using Klonopin for a long time and do not abuse any other substances.

Detoxing at Home

Detoxing at home might be possible in less severe cases of Klonopin addiction. However, detoxing should be discussed and guided by a medical professional.

  • Withdrawal Symptoms When Stopping Cold Turkey: Withdrawal symptoms caused by quitting a drug cold turkey (i.e., all at once) can be unpleasant. Symptoms can include nausea, tremors, muscle aches or trouble sleeping.
  • How to Taper Off Klonopin: Withdrawing from Klonopin safely should be done through tapering. The best schedule for tapering off Klonopin can be determined by a doctor based on the starting dose. This should be done slowly over a period of weeks or even months.

Tips for Finding a Detox Center

Finding a detox center that works for you can be the first step toward recovery. It’s important to consider factors like services available, cost and location when selecting a detox center. A detox center should offer medical supervision that creates a safe and comfortable environment to detox in. Medical detox centers may also offer other types of therapy that support the detox process.

View Sources

Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavior. “Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome.” 2019. Accessed July 25, 2019.

Ait-Daoud, Nassima; et al. “A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal.” Journal of addiction medicine, March 12, 2018. Accessed July 26, 2019.

Brett, Jonathan; Bridin, Murnion. “Management of benzodiazepine misuse and dependence.” Australian prescriber, October 1, 2015. Accessed July 25, 2019.

Government of Western Australia. “Benzodiazepine withdrawal.” Department of Health, 2019. Accessed July 25, 2019.

Food and Drug Administration. “Klonopin tablets (Clonazepam).” October 2017. Accessed July 25, 2019.

Ashton, Heather. “Protracted Withdrawal Symptoms from Benzodiazepines.” Comprehensive Handbook for Drug & Alcohol Addiction, 2004. Accessed July 25, 2019.

Queensland Health. “Queensland Alcohol and Drug Withdrawal Clinical Practice Guidelines.” August 2012. Accessed July 25, 2019.