Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Announcements

Visit our Crisis Assistance Link for resources. For immediate help, get to the ER.

*No Dr Outside Contact Please*
Includes Expert Content
Klonopin, mania treatment, and dependency (Dr. G question)
avatar
reneegigliotti posted:
Hi Dr. G,

How exactly does klonopin fit into a medication regiment to manage a severe manic episode? When I begin to show signs of true mania, the first thing my psychiatrist does is put me on klonopin 4x daily (I can't remember the dose. maybe 0.5 mg?). He knows I HATE the drug because I worry about becoming dependent on it if the manic episode is a long one. He always reassures me that this will not happen. I have no addiction history at all, I'm just addiction phobic. I have to confess, the regular doses of klonopin do help when I'm seriously manic. It's actually more effective than increasing my seroquel (except if I am also psychotic at the time). When the episode is resolved to his satisfaction he weans me off the klonopin and I am then klonopin free. He and I have this endless klonopin battle though. I think he'd like it if I let him off the hook. I'd like to understand the drug's effects a bit better. That might help. Feel like educating me?

Renee
Reply
 
avatar
Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
Dear Renee,
Klonopin is a sedative-hypnotic that has some modest antimanic properties, mainly because of its sedative effects, which can help dampen agitation or restlessness and possibly help with sleep. It doesn't particularly treat "core" mania symptoms like expansive mood or grandiosity. We sometimes think of the image of a "slowed down manic" as someone who remains very activity driven but going in slow motion. The core medicines in mania remain mood stabilizers (lithium, Depakote and Tegretol) with or without an atypical antipsychotic. Klonopin (or other benzodiazepines, like Ativan) is to mania what Tylenol is to the flu -- can make things more comfortable on a short-term basis, but more as an accessory treatment than a mainstay.

Dr. G.
 
avatar
reneegigliotti replied to Joseph F Goldberg, MD's response:
Thank you. I think that's what he's aiming for. Reduction in agitation. A serious problem for me when I'm manic. It is effective at that. I have to admit. I like the Tylenol analogy. It fits.


Renee


Featuring Experts

Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. He also maintains a private prac...More

Helpful Tips

Need some advice...
I am 32 with a wonderful family and just found out that I am bipolar. 20 days ago they left me due to one of my outburst. I need them back ... More
Was this Helpful?
8 of 15 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.