What are the differences between klonopin and clonidine

Anticonvulsants are administered for treating seizures / fits. Such meds are also called antiepileptic drugs. Klonopin is a popular med in this genre. It belongs to a category called benzodiazepines. Key chemicals present in klonopin help calm your central nervous system (CNS) and the brain. They way this med works on the level of neurotransmitters plays a critical role. As an extended use, klonopin is administered for managing panic or conditions like agoraphobia among adults. But what are the chief differences between klonopin and clonidine? It is important to have needful inputs.

Excessive level of neuronal activities in your brain can cause epileptic seizures. You may witness involuntary shaking or tremors, loss of consciousness, etc. Though each episode of seizure may not last beyond 90 seconds, it may take a few hours to come back to a normal. Drugs are available to treat these conditions.

What is klonopin?

This med is used to boost the activities of a few neurotransmitters in your cerebral system. It has an active chemical called clonazepam; this belongs to a category called benzodiazepine. This med is a controlled drug as the risk of addiction or abuse is quite high. The US-based drug monitoring and clearing body – FDA – has grouped klonopin as a schedule IV medication. Drugs classified in this schedule bear low level of risk of dependency and abuse.

Klonopin is available as 0.5 mg (milligrams), 1.0 mg as well as 2.0 mg. Your dosage level depends on your weight (especially for children), age, how acute is your medical condition and pre-existing conditions, if any. The initial few doses are intentionally maintained at a low level. If your body does not respond to the low doses in an adverse manner, dosages are increased in a gradual manner.

What is clonidine?

This drug belongs to a genre called centrally acting alpha agonist meds. Clonidine is administered for the treatment of developmental disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This condition shows up through hyperactivity, inability to concentrate on things, being impulsive in thoughts and actions.

Clonidine is available as an orally-administered pill and as patch affixed to the skin. Pills are also made in an extended-release form. This drug is available both as a generic med and as a brand; a popular brand based of clonidine is kapvay. Generic versions however may not come in a wide range of strengths as their branded versions. The savings inherent to buying generics are sizable. Clonidine helps streamline attention and concentration levels. It can also reduce pressure and calm arteries.

So, what are the differences between klonopin and clonidine?

Klonopin is used for controlling and managing seizures. It is also helpful in treating spells of panic. On the other hand, clonidine is prescribed for treating ADHD; as an extended application, it is used for reducing blood pressure. As an off-label mode, clonidine is administered for managing withdrawal of alcohol, sleeplessness, mental conditions like bipolar disorder, anxieties, psychosis, etc.

Clonidine is an antiadrenergic agent of the centrally-acting genre while klonopin is a benzodiazepine-based antiseizure med. Klonopin may cause a few adverse effects viz., depression, drowsiness, infections in your upper-respiratory tract, etc. On the other hand, commonly encountered side effects of klonopin are weakness, tiredness, a significant drop in blood pressure, migraine, being in a sedated state for long, etc.

Another main difference is – clonidine is available in many forms namely, as a skin patch (a transdermal offering), orally-administered tablet, pill with an extended release and also as an injection. Klonopin however is available only as an oral pill. A marked difference rests on the half-life period: clonidine has a half-life of 15 hours while klonopin needs nearly 41 hours for halving its concentration level.

Both these meds are not to be taken through the self-medication route. You are advised to talk to a qualified medical specialist prior to taking either of these drugs. If you need more details about the differences between klonopin and clonidine, it is highly recommended to talk to your caregiving team.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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