Can you take Klonopin and Ambien together


What is Klonopin? What is the drug Klonopin used for?

Klonopin is a Brand name for a medicine that contains benzodiazepine anxiolytic drug clonazepam as an active ingredient.  Clonazepam is used as anti-seizure and anti-anxiety medicine in adults and children.


Klonopin is most commonly prescribed as an antiepileptic drug in the treatment of the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which is epileptic petit mal variant, but also akinetic and myoclonic seizures and for the treatment of panic disorders including agoraphobia. Klonopin indications are:

·        Akinetic seizures

·        Essential tremor


·        Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

·        Manic Episode

·        Panic disorder

·        Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Disorder

·        Tardive dyskinesia

·        Tourette Syndrome

·        burning mouth syndrome

·        mixed episode

·        myoclonic seizures

·        refractory absence seizure

·        restless leg syndrome

This drug is available in the form of tablet tablet and disintegrating tablet that should be taken by mouth in doses of 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg.  FDA approved clonazepam in 1975 under the brand name Klonopin. It is originally manufactured by Roche drug company.

Clonazepam is listed as a controlled substance because it’s possible for people to abuse the drug and cause dependency. In 2011, there were 76,557 emergency room visits resulting from the abuse or misuse of clonazepam, an increase of 122 percent from 2004.

What is Ambien? What is Ambien used for?

Ambien is a Brand name for a sedative or hypnotic medicine that contains short-acting nonbenzodiazepine drug named zolpidem as an active ingredient. Ambien is used for the short-term management of insomnia. It works very fast in most cases within 15 minutes and has a short half-life (2-3 hours) in the body.

Chemically it is imidazopyridine compound. For anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant activity, it begins to work in 10 to 20 times higher doses required for sedation, respectively. That is why Ambien has never been approved for muscle relaxation or seizure prevention. Recently, zolpidem has been researched in waking persistent vegetative state (PVS) patients, and dramatically improving the conditions of patients with brain injuries.

Ambien is available in the form of immediate release tablets in doses of 5 mg and 10 mg and also in the form of extended release tablets in doses of 6.25 mg and 12.5 mg. FDA approved Ambien in 1992 and it is originally manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis.

Can you take Klonopin and Ambien together?

Ambien and Klonopin Drug Interactions

The combination of these two drugs should be generally avoided.  Both medicines are CNS depressants, so if they are used together their effects will become additive. Using Klonopin together with Ambien may increase the risk of side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some predisposed patients, especially the elderly, may experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination.

If these drugs are taken together and overdosed they may cause respiratory depression and even death. Alcohol should be also avoided during treatment of these drugs.  Also patients should avoid activities that require mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery.

But, in some rare cases, your physician may prescribe you these two drugs together if you really have problems with insomnia. You should never take these drugs together without your doctor monitoring.

Klonopin Vs Ambien Side Effects

Klonopin Side EffectsAmbien Side Effects
Somnolence (37%)Dizziness (5-12%)
Abnormal coordination (5-10%)Headache (7-19%)
Ataxia (5-10%)Drowsiness (6-15%)
Depression (5-10%)Allergy (4%)
Dizziness (5-10%)Hallucinations (4%)
Fatigue (5-10%)Myalgia (4%)
Memory impairment (5-10%)Sinusitis (4%)
Upper respiratory infection (5-10%)Memory disorder (3%)
Confusion (1-5%)Visual disturbance (3%)
Dysarthria (1-5%)Pharyngitis (3%)
Rhinitis (1-5%)Lightheadedness (2%)
Coughing (1-5%)Palpitation (2%)
Urinary frequency (1-5%)Rash (2%)
Impotence (1-5%)Constipation (2%)
Decreased libido (1-5%)Depression (2%)
Drowsiness (2%)
Asthenia (1%)
Diarrhea (1%)
Dry mouth (1%)
Flu-like symptoms (1%)

The risk of causing such side effects can be far more higher if those drugs are taken together or overdosed.

Ambien high and withdrawal

There are many online and also anecdotal reports suggesting that some people abuse Ambien for a narcotic-like “high.”

In addition to being addictive or habit-forming, Ambien abuse can result in:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Euphoria
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of coordination
  • Fatigue

Patients should take Ambien only as directed by doctor, and keep this and all other drugs away from children, teenagers, and anyone for whom the drug has not been prescribed.

Ambien can cause dependence. Patients should never stop Ambien use abruptly without talking with their doctor. Symptoms of Ambien withdrawal may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Cravings
  • Delirium
  • Seizures

Klonopin Withdrawal

If Klonopin is used during a long term period, there is some chance you will become dependent on this drug. If this occurs, it is always dangerous to stop taking clonazepam abruptly. Stopping Klonopin suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms and a seizure attack.

Withdrawal symptoms of Klonopin may include: hallucinations, anxiety, shaking, cramps, sweating, and difficulty sleeping.

Klonopin and Ambien during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Use of Klonopin during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, should be avoided at all costs, because of potential risk of congenital abnormalities. Klonopin is classified in the category D by the FDA pregnancy list of drugs, which means that it can be only used in life threating emergencies when no safer drug available.

Studies showed positive evidence of human fetal risk. Women who want to become pregnant and who are taking Klonopin must be warned of potential risks to the fetus. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid taking Klonopin, as this drug can pass into breast milk.

The FDA classifies Ambien and its extended release form as a Pregnancy Category C drug which means that there are concerning information about Ambien use and pregnancy. Pregnant women are highly warned in the use of Ambien and other sleep medications during pregnancy. Thus Ambien should be avoided during pregnancy.

Some animal studies found that Ambien may cause some side effects on the fetus such as problems with bone formation. Ambien is also carries the risk for miscarriages. It is also noted that t in these animal studies high doses of this drug resulted in maternal toxicity such as poor weight gain which may be also associated with the fetal problems.

Studies found that Ambien can be excreted into milk, thus this medicine should be avoided during breastfeeding.

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