FDA Drug Profile: Klonopin vs. Cannabis
Old Hippie | May 22, 2011 | Comments 13
When you think of pop music in the 1970s and 1980s, you think of Fleetwood Mac. And when you think of Fleetwood Mac, you often (especially if you’re male) think of Stevie Nicks, the lead singer for many of their biggest hits.
Many Fleetwood Mac personnel have had their substance troubles over the years, but Stevie Nicks was over the top, often using cocaine right on stage. Unfortunately, the cure was worse than the disease: in attempting to get cured of her cocaine addiction, she ended up losing eight years of her life to a much worse problem — addiction to a perfectly legal, FDA-approved drug called Klonopin.
How Does Klonopin Compare To Medical Marijuana?
Even though Klonopin is an FDA-approved drug, it has many side effects, some quite serious, and some which might make you even question the sanity of those prescribing it. For instance, why take Klonopin for panic or anxiety disorders, when withdrawing from it can cause panic attacks or anxiety?
For this reason, we’ve taken the following information from Wikipedia, and highlighted in bold green any side effects or uses that match those known for cannabis. I think most people would be more willing to try a safer drug like cannabis for anxiety or panic than risk side effects such as depression, seizures, or long-term/permanent cognitive impairment. I bet Stevie Nicks would.
Trade Name: Klonopin
Generic Name: Clonazepam
Some Typical Uses:
- Anxiety disorders
- Panic disorder
- Initial treatment of mania or acute psychosis (used with other drugs)
Very Common Side Effects:
- Interference with cognitive and motor performance
Less Common Side Effects:
- Irritability and aggression
- Psychomotor agitation
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of libido
- Impaired motor function
- Impaired coordination
- Impaired balance
- Cognitive impairments
- Short-term memory loss
- Anterograde amnesia (common with higher doses)
- May cause or worsen depression
Occasional Side Effects:
- Serious dysphoria
- Serious psychological and psychiatric side-effects
- Induction of seizures
- Personality changes
- Behavioral disturbances
Long Term Effects:
The long term effects of clonazepam can include depression, disinhibition, and sexual dysfunction. Long-term use of benzodiazepines is also associated with cognitive impairments that can persist for at least 6 months post-withdrawal, but it is unclear whether these impairments take more than six months to abate or if they are permanent.
- Anxiety, irritability, insomnia
- Panic attacks, tremor
(Special thanks to Joe Klare for the heads-up on the Stevie Nicks angle — OH)