Klonopin: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 2 of 5)
Neonatal Sedation and Withdrawal Syndrome
Use of Klonopin late in pregnancy can result in sedation (respiratory depression, lethargy, hypotonia) and/or withdrawal symptoms (hyperreflexia, irritability, restlessness, tremors, inconsolable crying, and feeding difficulties) in the neonate (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy). Monitor neonates exposed to Klonopin during pregnancy or labor for signs of sedation and monitor neonates exposed to Klonopin during pregnancy for signs of withdrawal; manage these neonates accordingly.
Worsening of Seizures
When used in patients in whom several different types of seizure disorders coexist, Klonopin may increase the incidence or precipitate the onset of generalized tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal). This may require the addition of appropriate anticonvulsants or an increase in their dosages. The concomitant use of valproic acid and Klonopin may produce absence status.
Loss of Effect
In some studies, up to 30% of patients who initially responded have shown a loss of anticonvulsant activity, often within 3 months of administration. In some cases, dosage adjustment may reestablish efficacy.
Laboratory Testing During Long-Term Therapy
Periodic blood counts and liver function tests are advisable during long-term therapy with Klonopin.
Psychiatric and Paradoxical Reactions
Paradoxical reactions, such as agitation, irritability, aggression, anxiety, anger, nightmares, hallucinations, and psychoses are known to occur when using benzodiazepines (see ADVERSE REACTIONS: Psychiatric). Should this occur, the use of the drug should be discontinued gradually (see WARNINGS: Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions and DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE: Dependence). Paradoxical reactions are more likely to occur in children and in the elderly.
Caution in Renally Impaired Patients
Metabolites of Klonopin are excreted by the kidneys; to avoid their excess accumulation, caution should be exercised in the administration of the drug to patients with impaired renal function.
Klonopin may produce an increase in salivation. This should be considered before giving the drug to patients who have difficulty handling secretions.
Klonopin may cause respiratory depression and should be used with caution in patients with compromised respiratory function (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea).
Klonopin may have a porphyrogenic effect and should be used with care in patients with porphyria.
Information for Patients
A Klonopin Medication Guide must be given to the patient each time Klonopin is dispensed, as required by law. Patients should be instructed to take Klonopin only as prescribed. Physicians are advised to discuss the following issues with patients for whom they prescribe Klonopin:
Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids
Inform patients and caregivers that potentially fatal additive effects may occur if Klonopin is used with opioids and not to use such drugs concomitantly unless supervised by a health care provider (see WARNINGS: Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids and PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions).
Abuse, Misuse, and Addiction
Inform patients that the use of KLONOPIN, even at recommended dosages, exposes users to risks of abuse, misuse, and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death, especially when used in combination with other medications (e.g., opioid analgesics), alcohol, and/or illicit substances. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse, misuse, and addiction; to seek medical help if they develop these signs and/or symptoms; and on the proper disposal of unused drug (see WARNINGS: Abuse, Misuse, and Addiction and DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE).
Inform patients that the continued use of KLONOPIN may lead to clinically significant physical dependence and that abrupt discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction of KLONOPIN may precipitate acute withdrawal reactions, which can be life-threatening. Inform patients that in some cases, patients taking benzodiazepines have developed a protracted withdrawal syndrome with withdrawal symptoms lasting weeks to more than 12 months. Instruct patients that discontinuation or dosage reduction of KLONOPIN may require a slow taper (see WARNINGS: Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions and DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE).
Interference With Cognitive and Motor Performance
Because benzodiazepines have the potential to impair judgment, thinking or motor skills, patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that Klonopin therapy does not affect them adversely.
Suicidal Thinking and Behavior
Patients, their caregivers, and families should be counseled that AEDs, including Klonopin, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.
Advise pregnant females that use of Klonopin late in pregnancy can result in sedation (respiratory depression, lethargy, hypotonia) and/or withdrawal symptoms (hyperreflexia, irritability, restlessness, tremors, inconsolable crying, and feeding difficulties) in newborns (see WARNINGS: Neonatal Sedation and Withdrawal Syndrome and PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy). Instruct patients to inform their healthcare provider if they are pregnant. Encourage patients to enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry if they become pregnant while taking Klonopin. This registry is collecting information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy).
Instruct patients to inform their healthcare provider if they are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed. Instruct breastfeeding patients who take Klonopin to monitor their infants for excessive sedation, poor feeding and poor weight gain, and to seek medical attention if they notice these signs (see PRECAUTIONS: Nursing Mothers).
Patients should be advised to inform their physicians if they are taking, or plan to take, any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, since there is a potential for interactions.
Patients should be advised to avoid alcohol while taking Klonopin.
Effect of Concomitant Use of Benzodiazepines and Opioids
The concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids increases the risk of respiratory depression because of actions at different receptor sites in the CNS that control respiration. Benzodiazepines interact at GABAA sites, and opioids interact primarily at mu receptors. When benzodiazepines and opioids are combined, the potential for benzodiazepines to significantly worsen opioid-related respiratory depression exists. Limit dosage and duration of concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids, and follow patients closely for respiratory depression and sedation.
Effect of Clonazepam on the Pharmacokinetics of Other Drugs
Clonazepam does not appear to alter the pharmacokinetics of carbamazepine or phenobarbital. Clonazepam has the potential to influence concentrations of phenytoin. Monitoring of phenytoin concentration is recommended when clonazepam is co-administrated with phenytoin. The effect of clonazepam on the metabolism of other drugs has not been investigated.
Effect of Other Drugs on the Pharmacokinetics of Clonazepam
Literature reports suggest that ranitidine, an agent that decreases stomach acidity, does not greatly alter clonazepam pharmacokinetics.
In a study in which the 2 mg clonazepam orally disintegrating tablet was administered with and without propantheline (an anticholinergic agent with multiple effects on the GI tract) to healthy volunteers, the AUC of clonazepam was 10% lower and the Cmax of clonazepam was 20% lower when the orally disintegrating tablet was given with propantheline compared to when it was given alone.
The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors sertraline (weak CYP3A4 inducer) and fluoxetine (CYP2D6 inhibitor), and the anti-epileptic drug felbamate (CYP2C19 inhibitor and CYP3A4 inducer) do not affect the pharmacokinetics of clonazepam. Cytochrome P-450 inducers, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, and phenobarbital induce clonazepam metabolism, causing an approximately 38% decrease in plasma clonazepam levels. Although clinical studies have not been performed, based on the involvement of the cytochrome P-450 3A family in clonazepam metabolism, inhibitors of this enzyme system, notably oral antifungal agents (e.g., fluconazole), should be used cautiously in patients receiving clonazepam because they may impair the metabolism of clonazepam leading to exaggerated concentrations and effects.
The CNS-depressant action of the benzodiazepine class of drugs may be potentiated by alcohol, narcotics, barbiturates, nonbarbiturate hypnotics, antianxiety agents, the phenothiazines, thioxanthene and butyrophenone classes of antipsychotic agents, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and the tricyclic antidepressants, and by other anticonvulsant drugs.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Carcinogenicity studies have not been conducted with clonazepam.
The data currently available are not sufficient to determine the genotoxic potential of clonazepam.
Impairment of Fertility
In a two-generation fertility study in which clonazepam was given orally to rats at 10 and 100 mg/kg/day, there was a decrease in the number of pregnancies and in the number of offspring surviving until weaning. The lowest dose tested is approximately 5 and 24 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 20 mg/day for seizure disorders and 4 mg/day for panic disorder, respectively, on a body surface area (mg/m2) basis.
Pregnancy Exposure Registry
There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to AEDs, such as Klonopin, during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to recommend that pregnant women taking Klonopin enroll in the NAAED Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-888-233-2334 or online at http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org/.
Neonates born to mothers using benzodiazepines late in pregnancy have been reported to experience symptoms of sedation and/or neonatal withdrawal (see WARNINGS: Neonatal Sedation and Withdrawal Syndrome, and Clinical Considerations). Available data from published observational studies of pregnant women exposed to benzodiazepines do not report a clear association with benzodiazepines and major birth defects (see Data).
Administration of clonazepam to pregnant rabbits during the period of organogenesis resulted in developmental toxicity, including increased incidences of fetal malformations, at doses similar to or below therapeutic doses in patients (see Animal Data). Data for other benzodiazepines suggest the possibility of long-term effects on neurobehavioral and immunological function in animals following prenatal exposure to benzodiazepines at clinically relevant doses.
The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated risk of major birth defects and of miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
Benzodiazepines cross the placenta and may produce respiratory depression, hypotonia and sedation in neonates. Monitor neonates exposed to Klonopin during pregnancy or labor for signs of sedation, respiratory depression, hypotonia, and feeding problems. Monitor neonates exposed to Klonopin during pregnancy for signs of withdrawal. Manage these neonates accordingly (see WARNINGS: Neonatal Sedation and Withdrawal Syndrome).
Published data from observational studies on the use of benzodiazepines during pregnancy do not report a clear association with benzodiazepines and major birth defects.
Although early studies reported an increased risk of congenital malformations with diazepam and chlordiazepoxide, there was no consistent pattern noted. In addition, the majority of more recent case-control and cohort studies of benzodiazepine use during pregnancy, which were adjusted for confounding exposures to alcohol, tobacco and other medications, have not confirmed these findings.
In three studies in which clonazepam was administered orally to pregnant rabbits at doses of 0.2, 1, 5, or 10 mg/kg/day during the period of organogenesis, a similar pattern of malformations (cleft palate, open eyelid, fused sternebrae and limb defects) was observed at all doses, in a low, non-dose-related incidence. The lowest dose tested is less than the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 20 mg/day for seizure disorders and similar to the MRHD of 4 mg/day for panic disorder, on a mg/m2 basis. Reductions in maternal weight gain occurred at doses of 5 mg/kg/day or greater and reduction in embryofetal growth occurred in one study at a dose of 10 mg/kg/day.
No adverse maternal or embryofetal effects were observed in mice or rats following oral administration of clonazepam during organogenesis of doses up to 15 or 40 mg/kg/day, respectively (4 and 20 times the MRHD of 20 mg/day for seizure disorders and 20 and 100 times the MRHD of 4 mg/day for panic disorder, respectively, on a mg/m2 basis).
Data for other benzodiazepines suggest the possibility of adverse developmental effects (long-term effects on neurobehavioral and immunological function) in animals following prenatal exposure to benzodiazepines.
Clonazepam is excreted in human milk. There are reports of sedation, poor feeding and poor weight gain in infants exposed to benzodiazepines through breast milk. There are no data on the effects of clonazepam on milk production.The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for Klonopin and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from Klonopin or from the underlying maternal condition.
Infants exposed to Klonopin through breast milk should be monitored for sedation, poor feeding and poor weight gain.
Because of the possibility that adverse effects on physical or mental development could become apparent only after many years, a benefit-risk consideration of the long-term use of Klonopin is important in pediatric patients being treated for seizure disorder (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients with panic disorder below the age of 18 have not been established.
Clinical studies of Klonopin did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Because clonazepam undergoes hepatic metabolism, it is possible that liver disease will impair clonazepam elimination. Metabolites of Klonopin are excreted by the kidneys; to avoid their excess accumulation, caution should be exercised in the administration of the drug to patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased hepatic and/or renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to assess hepatic and/or renal function at the time of dose selection.
Sedating drugs may cause confusion and over-sedation in the elderly; elderly patients generally should be started on low doses of Klonopin and observed closely.
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