What if you accidentally took 2 Clonazepam doses? (5+ ADRs)
In this article, we will discuss the potential risks associated with accidental double dosing of Clonazepam. Furthermore, we’ll discuss the ways to prevent accidental double dosing and ways to ensure the safe and effective use of the medication.
What if you accidentally took 2 Clonazepam doses?
If you have accidentally taken 2 doses of Clonazepam simultaneously and you experience any unusual or concerning side effects, it’s advisable to reach out to your healthcare provider. However, taking just 1 extra dose is not likely to cause you significant harm or any life-threatening consequences. (1,4)
Clonazepam is an FDA-approved anticonvulsant or antiepileptic medication. It is also used to treat certain types of anxiety and panic disorders and could be prescribed off-label as a muscle relaxant. (1)
It belongs to the benzodiazepine class and exerts its effects by stimulating an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). It calms down the nervous system and controls the abnormal electrical activity in the brain, thus treating seizures. (1)
It’s important to remember that people are different and everyone may react differently even to a minor overdose of Clonazepam, so you better be aware of the side effects associated with it to recognize the signs of overdosing and seek medical attention.
Symptomatic management in case of overdosing:
If you suspect an overdose or experience the symptoms of an overdose, it’s advisable to contact emergency services or reach out to the nearest hospital. In the case of Clindamycin overdose, the symptomatic management may include gastrointestinal decontamination.
If the overdose is recent your doctor might consider administering activated charcoal to help absorb the medication in the gastrointestinal tract and reduce the gastric symptoms.
In case of excessive vomiting or diarrhoea, intravenous fluids may be administered to prevent dehydration and maintain electrolyte balance. Antiemetic drugs can also be given to counteract severe vomiting. Your healthcare provider will closely monitor your vital signs, electrolyte levels and other relevant parameters to manage the complications
What side effects are associated with taking 2 doses of Clonazepam?
Taking double doses of Clonazepam by mistake can lead to some side effects, however, not as severe or life-threatening as in case of extreme overdose. These may include: (2)
- Sedation and drowsiness
- Impaired coordination (affects motor skills and increases the risk of falls)
- Confusion and disorientation
- Slurred speech
- Respiratory depression
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Gastrointestinal disturbances (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain)
- Erectile dysfunction (in some cases)
- Coma (in rare cases)
The severity of these side effects may vary from person to person depending on the dosage strength of Clonazepam that has been taken twice. Overdosing on low Clonazepam doses might not lead to severe ADRs and is manageable.
What are the dosage recommendations for Clonazepam?
Following are the dosage recommendations for Clonazepam for different conditions. The doctor must keep the individual’s responses to medications and other related factors in consideration while prescribing the dosage regimen. (1)
For panic disorder
For seizure disorders (Adults)
For seizure disorders (children)
How to prevent accidental double dosing?
Accidental double dosing can be prevented by some simple strategies and precautions. Here are some recommendations that might help you reduce the risk of taking more doses than prescribed: (3)
Establish a routine: Take your medication at the same time each day to establish a routine. Linking it to your daily activities like brushing your teeth or having it with a meal can help make it a habit.
Use pill organizers: Consider using a pill organizer with compartments for doses each day of the week. This can help you keep track of whether you’ve taken your medication on a particular day and time.
Set reminders: Set alarms or you may also use smartphone apps to remind yourself to take the medication at the intended time, also add the label of the dose in the reminder note. This will help manage your medication schedule.
Read Labels carefully: Pay close attention to medication labels and instructions. Make sure you understand the prescribed dosage and instructions provided by your doctor.
Create a medication list: Maintain an up-to-date list of your medications, including dosages and schedules. Keep the list in your wallet, pocket or purse so that it’s easily accessible.
Check with healthcare provider: If you ever miss a dose or you’re unsure about whether you’ve taken your medication, it’s advisable to consult your healthcare provider before taking a double dose. They can guide you as per your specific situation.
Pharmacy support: Talk to your pharmacist about your concerns and ask if they can provide additional information or assistance in managing your medications.
Use technology: Consider using automated medication dispensers or smart pill dispensers that can help manage your medication schedule and provide alerts regarding a missed dose or overdose.
Summing up an accidental double dose of Clonazepam:
As a pharmacist, in my opinion, accidental double dosing is more common than you think, especially among older people with deteriorated memory issues. It’s advisable to ask your family members to keep track of your doses if you’re too old and weak to remember the prescribed schedule. In case of taking an accidental dose tell your doctor and seek medical advice.
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Kang M, Galuska MA, Ghassemzadeh S. Benzodiazepine Toxicity. [Updated 2023 Jun 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482238/
FDA. FDA’s Overdose Prevention Framework Aims to Prevent Drug Overdoses and Reduce Death [Internet]. 2021 Nov 17 [cited 2022 Jan 4]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-voices/fdas-overdose-prevention-framework-aims-prevent-drug-overdoses-and-reduce-death
National Library of medicine. MedlinePlus Drug Information, Overdose, [Internet]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007287.htm