Klonopin's Dosage: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCP

This drug has boxed warnings, the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Boxed warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Risk of misuse and addiction. Taking benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, can increase the risk of misusing or becoming addicted to the medication. (Misuse means taking a drug differently from how your doctor prescribed it. This is sometimes called abuse.) Misusing benzodiazepines can result in serious complications, including overdose and, in some cases, death.

Risk of dependence and withdrawal. Taking benzodiazepines, including Klonopin, for an extended period may lead to dependence. (With dependence, your body needs the drug in order to function like usual.) Physical dependence can cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the medication abruptly. (Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can happen after you stop taking a drug that your body is dependent on.) Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and life threatening in some cases. To minimize this risk, your doctor will gradually decrease your dosage if you’ve been taking high Klonopin dosages or taking the medication long term.

Risk of serious injury or death when taken with opioids. Taking benzodiazepines, including Klonopin, with opioids can lead to serious side effects. These may include slowed breathing, excessive sleepiness, coma, and in some cases, death. Due to this risk, doctors may not prescribe Klonopin with opioids unless other treatments do not work. If your doctor prescribes Klonopin with an opioid, they’ll monitor you closely for signs of serious side effects.

For more information, see the “Klonopin: Misuse” and “Klonopin: Withdrawal and dependence” sections below.

Klonopin: Introduction

Klonopin is a brand-name prescription medication that contains the active drug clonazepam. This medication belongs to the class of drugs called benzodiazepines. It is available in a generic form.

This medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the following:

Klonopin is available as follows.

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 0.5 milligrams (mg), 1 mg, and 2 mg

In this article, you’ll find additional information about Klonopin’s dosage and details on how to take the drug. For a comprehensive overview of Klonopin, view this article.

Dosage summary

For details about the drug’s dosage, see the “Klonopin: Dosage” section below. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage of Klonopin that’s right for your condition.

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking Klonopin, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

This article describes typical recommended dosages for Klonopin. These dosages are provided by the drug’s manufacturer.

Always follow the dosage of Klonopin that your doctor prescribes.

Klonopin: Dosage

Commonly recommended dosages for Klonopin are shown below. However, your doctor will prescribe the Klonopin dosage that’s right for you.

Klonopin’s form and strengths

Klonopin comes as a tablet that you take by mouth.

Klonopin tablets are available in the following strengths:

  • 0.5 milligrams (mg)
  • 1 mg
  • 2 mg

Typical recommended dosages

Usually, doctors will prescribe a low dosage of Klonopin at the start of treatment. Then, they’ll adjust the dosage over time if needed. If your doctor needs to increase your dosage, they’ll likely do so slowly every 3 days until they reach a dosage that’s right for you. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe the smallest dosage of Klonopin that gives the desired effect.

The dosage chart below shows the recommended adult dosages for Klonopin. This includes the lowest dose (starting dosage) and highest dose (maximum dosage) that the drug’s manufacturer recommends.

ConditionStarting dosageMaintenance dosageMaximum dosage
seizure disorders0.5 mg three times per dayvaries per person, based on how well seizures are managed20 mg per day, divided into three doses per day
panic disorder0.25 mg twice per day0.5 mg twice daily4 mg per day, divided into two doses per day

Children’s dosage

The following dosage chart shows recommended Klonopin dosages for treating seizure disorders in children. For children ages 9 years or younger or who weigh up to 30 kilograms (kg), the Klonopin dosage is based on their weight. One kg is equal to about 2.2 pounds (lb). Your child’s doctor will calculate their dosage using their weight in kg.

ConditionStarting dosageMaintenance dosageMaximum dosage
seizure disorders in children ages 9 years or younger or who weigh up to 30 kg0.01 to 0.03 mg/kg/day (total daily dose is divided into two or three doses per day)0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg/day, divided into two or three doses per day0.2 mg/kg/day, divided into two or three doses per day
seizure disorders in children ages 10 years or older or weighing more than 30 kg0.5 mg three times per dayvaries per person based on how well seizures are managed20 mg each day, divided into three doses per day

Length of treatment

Klonopin may be used short term or long term. However, clinical studies have not shown if Klonopin works for longer than 9 weeks.

You and your doctor will decide how long you’ll take Klonopin. If your doctor prescribes this medication long term, you’ll likely periodically discuss with them whether it’s safe and effective to continue your Klonopin treatment.

If you and your doctor decide to decrease your Klonopin dosage or try a different treatment, they’ll slowly lower your Klonopin dosage.

Klonopin: Common questions about dosage

Below are some common questions related to Klonopin’s dosage.

Is Klonopin used for sleep? If so, what’s the dosage for sleep?

Klonopin is not approved to treat sleep disorders. However, it is sometimes used off-label for sleep. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.

Because Klonopin is not approved to help with sleep, there’s no recommended dosage for this use. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about taking Klonopin to help you sleep.

What’s the recommended dosage of Klonopin for panic attacks or anxiety?

Klonopin is not approved to treat panic attacks. However, it is approved to treat panic disorder in adults, and panic attacks can be a symptom of this condition.

For panic disorder, the starting dosage is typically 0.25 milligrams (mg) twice per day. Your doctor may gradually increase your dosage until you have the desired effect from the drug.

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. However, there’s no specific Klonopin dosage for anxiety. That said, your doctor may prescribe this dosage if panic attacks are a symptom of your anxiety disorder.

For details about the dosage of Klonopin for panic disorder, see the dosage chart in the “Klonopin: Dosage” section above.

Klonopin: Dosage considerations

Your doctor will consider several factors when prescribing the dosage for Klonopin. These factors include:

  • your age
  • your weight
  • the condition you’re taking Klonopin to treat
  • the severity of your condition

Your prescribed dosage may also vary based on other medical conditions you have.

Recommended adjustments in dosage

If you are age 65 years or older, you may be started on a lower dosage of Klonopin to treat your condition. Older people may have an increased risk of side effects. These may include sleepiness, lack of coordination, or dizziness. Your doctor will likely monitor you more closely for side effects.

If you have kidney or liver problems, be sure you let your doctor know before starting Klonopin. Kidney or liver problems may affect how well your body breaks down the drug and increase your risk for side effects. Your doctor will likely prescribe a lower dose of Klonopin if you have kidney or liver problems.

Klonopin: How to take

Klonopin comes as a tablet that you swallow. You should swallow Klonopin tablets whole with a glass of water.

You can take Klonopin with or without food.

Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this medication. They’ll tell you how often you should take Klonopin each day. They’ll also let you know how much time between each dose is safe for you.

If it’s difficult for you to swallow tablets, see this article for information on taking this form of medication. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist and ask if they have other suggestions to help you take the medication.

ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS

If you find it challenging to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies provide medication labels with large print or braille. They may also offer labels containing a scannable code that your smartphone can convert from text to speech. If your pharmacy doesn’t provide these choices, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If it’s difficult for you to open medication bottles, ask your pharmacist if they can dispense Klonopin in an easy-open container. They also may recommend ways to help make it easier to open the bottles.

Klonopin: Missing a dose

If you miss a dose of Klonopin, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then, take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two Klonopin doses together to make up a missed dose. Doing this can increase your risk of side effects.

View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm or download a reminder app on your phone.

Klonopin: Misuse

Klonopin has a boxed warning for the risk of addiction and misuse. (Misuse means taking a drug differently from how your doctor prescribed it. This is sometimes called abuse.)

Taking benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin, can increase the risk of misusing or becoming addicted to the medication. This can happen even if you take Klonopin as your doctor prescribes it.

Misusing benzodiazepines can result in serious complications, including overdose and, in some cases, death. It’s important to take this medication exactly as your doctor prescribes it.

Due to this risk, doctors will evaluate anyone taking Klonopin for risk of misuse or addiction. They’ll make assessments before prescribing Klonopin and periodically during treatment.

If you have questions about risk of misuse with Klonopin, talk with your doctor.

Klonopin: Withdrawal and dependence

Klonopin has a boxed warning for the risk of dependence and withdrawal. (With dependence, your body needs the drug to function like usual. Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can happen after you stop taking a drug that your body is dependent on.)

Taking benzodiazepines, including Klonopin, for an extended period may lead to dependence. Stopping Klonopin suddenly or decreasing your dosage too quickly can lead to withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and life threatening in some cases. Symptoms of withdrawal can include:

The risk of dependence and withdrawal increases with longer treatment duration and higher daily Klonopin doses. To minimize this risk, your doctor will gradually decrease your dosage if you’ve been taking high Klonopin dosages or using the medication long term. Usually, your doctor will slowly decrease your dosage about every 3 days.

If you have questions about dependence and withdrawal with Klonopin, talk with your doctor.

Klonopin: Overdose

If you take more than the recommended dosage of Klonopin, serious effects can occur. Do not take more Klonopin than your doctor prescribes. 

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms that an overdose of Klonopin could cause include:

What to do in case of overdose

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Klonopin: What to discuss with your doctor

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for additional information about Klonopin’s dosage. Keep in mind that the dosages presented in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Klonopin that’s right for you and your condition. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.

As with any medications you’re taking, do not change your Klonopin dosage without a recommendation from your doctor.

In addition to discussing Klonopin with your doctor, you may find the following articles helpful in learning more:

  • Overview of Klonopin. For comprehensive details on Klonopin, see this article.
  • Drug comparisons. To learn how Klonopin compares with Xanax, read this article.
  • Information on side effects. If you’d like to know about possible side effects of Klonopin, view this article.
  • Details about Klonopin’s uses. To learn more about the conditions Klonopin is used to treat, see these articles on seizures and panic disorder.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Medical Reviewer: Melissa Badowski, PharmD, MPH, FCCP
Last Review Date: 2022 Jul 16
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.