Klonopin (Clonazepam) and Alcohol: What You Need To Know

Klonopin, also known as clonazepam, belongs to a group of medications called benzodiazepines, and is used to treat a variety of health conditions. It is natural to wonder whether drinking alcohol while taking Clonazepam is safe. However, drinking alcohol while taking Klonopin is strongly inadvisable. The combination of alcohol and Klonopin may lead to dangerous side effects manifesting as extreme sleepiness, memory loss, coordination problems, respiratory depression and may even lead to coma. In this blog post we take a closer look at these dangers.
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

A blue image with text saying "Klonopin and Alcohol"

What Is Klonopin (Clonazepam)?

Klonopin is also known as clonazepam. It is a prescription medication which belongs to the group of drugs called benzodiazepines, together with other well-known drugs such as diazepam or alprazolam (Xanax). Clonazepam is used to treat health disorders such as seizure disorders and panic disorders, or other mental health disorders. The drug has sedative effects, muscle relaxant and anti-anxiety properties [1]. The drug administration is oral. Klonopin can interact with other medications such as opioids, antidepressants and stimulants [2].

Importantly, Clonazepam is not a substance that should be taken without caution. Klonopin overdose and Klonopin addiction are serious problems and Klonopin use should always be discussed with your medical provider.

In fact, benzodiazepine misuse may cause a variety of health issues, including Parkinson’s disease or dementia.

People Also Ask

Benzodiazepine misuse can have negative effects on cognitive functions. Long-term use of benzodiazepines has been associated with cognitive impairment, particularly in areas such as memory, attention, processing speed, and visuospatial ability. Studies have shown that cognitive deficits can persist even after withdrawal from benzodiazepines. The severity of cognitive impairment may be influenced by factors such as dose, duration of use, and type of benzodiazepine. It is important to be aware of these potential cognitive effects when considering the use of benzodiazepines. [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11]

There may not be sufficient evidence to answer this question exactly. However, based on the information available, the severe side effects of Klonopin (clonazepam) may include depression, depersonalization, heart problems, blurred or double vision, movement problems, seizures, liver problems, risk of severe side effects when taken with opioids, risk of dependence and withdrawal symptoms, risk of misuse and addiction, hallucinations, and severe allergic reactions. If you experience any severe side effects, it is important to contact your doctor immediately or call emergency services if necessary. [1], [2]

Side effects of Klonopin (Clonazepam)

Common side effects of Klonopin include common ones like tiredness, and muscle weakness, but also more severe ones including balance disorder or sensations of dizziness. Further side effects may be presented as extreme drowsiness, unsteadiness, cognitive problems especially difficulty with remembering and impaired judgement. It can also affect your sex drive, you might experience frequent urination and increased saliva, as well as muscle or joint pain. More serious side effects like rash, hives, swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue or throat and may lead to swallowing and even depressed breathing [3, 4].

Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Klonopin (Clonazepam)?

Mixing alcohol and Klonopin is not recommended. It is mostly because both of them affect the central nervous system (CNS) and are central nervous system depressants. The combination of these two may lead to extreme sleepiness, memory loss coordination problems or even coma.

Further, combining alcohol and Klonopin may lead to Klonopin abuse and cause fatal outcomes [2].

What will happen if I take alcohol while taking Klonopin (Clonazepam)?

Mixing Klonopin and alcohol can lead to dangerous effects. If you drink alcohol while on Klonopin, you might experience extreme sleepiness, memory loss or coordination problems, as both of these substances are central nervous system depressants and they affect your brain activity [2].

Therefore it is recommended that alcohol use while taking Klonopin should be avoided. Should you have alcohol addiction or problems with alcohol abuse, consult taking Klonopin with your medical professional.

What should I do if I drank alcohol while taking Klonopin (Clonazepam)?

In case you have consumed alcohol while on Klonopin, monitor your symptoms. It is also recommended to contact your healthcare provider as you may be at high risk of experiencing these effects [2].

Interactions of Klonopin (Clonazepam)

Other drug interactions with Klonopin include substances like opioids, antidepressants, stimulants and alcohol. These interactions can alter the effectiveness of the drug and lead to potential side effects. Further, Klonopin can interact with an anticonvulsant drug such as diphenylhydantoin or zonisamide which may lead to potential intoxication [2, 5, 6].

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Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.