Clonazepam (Klonopin) has limited use as a daily medication, due to it's ability to cause dependence and tolerance but many veterinarians will prescribe it for treating cluster seizures or status epilepticus.
Mean Elimination Half-Life: 1 - 2 hours
Time to Reach Steady State Concentrations: less than 24 hours and peak serum levels generally occur within 1 to 2 hours which makes Clonazepam an effective medication to use to offset seizures when a dog has cluster seizures or status epilepticus.
Target Serum Concentration: The therapeutic range has not been well established.
Adverse Effects: There is very limited information on the adverse effect profile of Clonazepam. The most common side effects seen in clinical practice are sedation (or less common excitement), ataxia and increased appetite.
In humans side effects such as increased salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and anemia have been reported.
Cautions and Warnings: Clonazepam should not be used in patients who are hypersensitive to it or other benzodiazepines, have significant liver dysfunction or have acute narrow angle glaucoma. Benzodiazepines have been reported to exacerbate myasthenia gravis.
Discontinuing Therapy: Dogs can quickly build a dependence to Clonazepam, therefore, this medication should never be abruptly withdrawn. Symptoms of withdrawal include listlessness, wet dog shakes, tremor seizures, hyperthermia and weight loss.
Plumb, DC, Veterinary
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Last Updated August 2009