Classification: Anticonvulsant, miscellaneous
See also Anticonvulsants. Action/Kinetics: Benzodiazepine derivative which increases presyn-aptic inhibition and suppresses the spread of seizure activity. Peak plasma levels: 1-2 hr. tv2: 18-60 hr. Therapeutic serum levels: 20-80 ng/mL. More than 80% bound to plasma protein; metabolized almost completely in the liver to inactive metabolites, which are excreted in the urine.
Even though a benzodiazepine, clonazepam, is used only as an anti-convulsant. However, contraindications, side effects, and so forth are similar to those for diazepam.
Uses: Absence seizures (petit mal) including Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, akinetic and myoclonic seizures. Some effectiveness in clients resistant to succinimide therapy. Non-FDA Approved Uses: Parkinsonian dysarthria, acute manic episodes of bipolar affective disorder, leg movements (periodic) during sleep, adjunct in treating schizophrenia, neuralgias, multifocal tic disorders. Contraindications: Sensitivity to benzodiazepines. Severe liver disease, acute narrow-angle glaucoma. Pregnancy.
Special Concerns: Effects on lactation not known.
Side Effects: Oral: Dry mouth, increased salivation, increased bleeding. See also Sedative Hypnotics (Antianxiety), Antimanic Drugs, . Additional Side Effects: In clients in whom different types of seizure disorders exist, clonazepam may elicit or precipitate grand mal seizures.
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