How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Clorazepate belongs to the class of medications known as benzodiazepines. It is used for the short-term relief of anxiety symptoms. It may also be used under medical supervision to help with alcohol withdrawal. It works by slowing down the nervous system.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each hard gelatin capsule with an iron gray opaque body and a white opaque cap, imprinted "3.75" in black pharmaceutical ink, contains 3.75 mg of clorazepate dipotassium. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose monohydrate cornstarch and stearic acid; capsule shell: black iron oxide, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and pharmaceutical ink.
Each hard gelatin capsule with an iron gray body and maroon opaque cap, imprinted "7.5" in black pharmaceutical ink, contains 7.5 mg of clorazepate dipotassium. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose monohydrate cornstarch and stearic acid; capsule shell: black iron oxide, titanium dioxide, gelatin, D&C Red No. 33, D&C Yellow No. 10, and pharmaceutical ink.
Each hard gelatin capsule with an iron gray opaque body and cap, imprinted "15" in black pharmaceutical ink, contains 15 mg of clorazepate dipotassium. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose monohydrate cornstarch and stearic acid; capsule shell: black iron oxide, titanium dioxide, gelatin, and pharmaceutical ink.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of clorazepate usually ranges from approximately 15 mg to 60 mg daily in divided doses. The usual adult daily dose is 30 mg. Seniors should be started at a dose of 3.75 mg at bedtime, with the dose being slowly increased depending on how you respond to and tolerate the medication. This medication is habit-forming when used for extended periods of time. Do not use this medication in higher doses or for longer periods than prescribed.
When it is used to treat alcohol withdrawal, the starting dose is between 30 mg and 90 mg in divided doses on the first day and then is quickly decreased to taper off while controlling symptoms.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones above, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take clorazepate if you:
- are allergic to clorazepate, any ingredients of the medication, or any other medications belonging to the benzodiazepine class (e.g., diazepam, lorazepam)
- have myasthenia gravis
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- dry mouth
- upset stomach
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
- slow, shallow, or weak breathing
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Alcohol and other medications that cause drowsiness: Do not combine this medication with alcohol or other medications that cause drowsiness such as sleeping pills, anxiety medications, or narcotic pain relievers. Doing so can cause additional drowsiness and reduced breathing as well as other side effects, which can be dangerous and potentially fatal.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Since clorazepate causes drowsiness and sedation, avoid activities that require mental alertness and physical coordination, such as driving or operating dangerous machinery, if the medication affects you in this way. The effects of alcohol on such activities may be increased.
Falls and fractures: Clorazepate can cause drowsiness or dizziness that can affect your balance and increase your risk of falling. This can result in fractures or other injuries. Your risk of falls is increased if you drink alcohol or take sedatives while taking this medication, if you are a senior, or if have a condition that causes weakness or frailty.
Glaucoma: This medication may cause the symptoms of certain types of glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) to become worse. If you have glaucoma, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Report any changes in vision to your doctor as soon as possible while you are taking this medication.
Medical conditions: If you have depression, psychosis, or an addiction to alcohol or other drugs, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Performing activities while not fully awake: People taking clorazepate may perform activities such as sleepwalking, driving, preparing and eating food, and making phone calls while not fully awake and unaware of their actions. The next morning, they may not remember what happened. This may be more likely to occur if you also use alcohol or other sedative medications. If you discover this has happened to you, contact your doctor immediately.
Withdrawal: Clorazepate can become habit-forming. Withdrawal symptoms similar to those occurring with other medications of this class, including alcohol, have been observed after stopping the medication suddenly (after having taken it regularly over a period of time). The symptoms include:
- abdominal cramps
- extreme anxiety
- irregular heartbeat
- memory impairment
- muscle pain
- sleep problems
Reducing the dose gradually can help prevent or decrease these withdrawal symptoms. Do not try to do this on your own - ask your doctor for help.
Pregnancy: The safety of using this medication during pregnancy has not been established. Clorazepate may cause harm to the developing baby if it is taken by the mother during pregnancy. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding and are taking clorazepate, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: Seniors may have a higher risk of drowsiness and poor coordination while taking this medication. This may increase the risk of accidents such as falls. Ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk of falls.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be in interaction between clorazepate and any of the following:
- antihistamines (e.g., bilastine, cetirizine, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine, rupatadine)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam)
- chloral hydrate
- kava kava
- muscle relaxants (e.g., baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, methocarbamol, orphenadrine)
- narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, tapentadol, tramadol)
- seizure medications (e.g., carbamazepine, clobazam, levetiracetam, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone, rufinamide, topiramate, valproic acid, zonisamide)
- theophyllines (e.g., aminophylline, oxtriphylline, theophylline)
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, imipramine)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Clorazepate-by-AA-Pharma