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klonopin for panic disorder

Managing treatment-resistant panic disorder using Klonopin

Klonopin also known as Clonazepam is often prescribed for the treatment of seizures and panic disorders

Panic disorders are a severe chronic disorder characterized by unwarranted panic attacks. They are known to affect an estimated 3.5 to 5 percent of the general population at some point in their lives.

A clinical study has shown that neurobiological alterations (including distorted cognition) in key brain areas are important in keeping panic disorders under check. A disruption in the neurological network causes a delay in the activation of the “alarm” connected via projections to the brainstem, hypothalamus and amygdala responsible for mediating fear and panic attacks.

How does Klonopin help patients suffering from treatment resistant panic disorders?

A few patients do not respond fully to the treatment offered to them. They also do not experience a drop in severity and frequency of panic attacks even after a week on therapy. At this stage administering a few doses of Klonopin may help the patient recover from the initial symptoms within a short period of time.

Following recovery from panic attack symptoms, reduction in anticipatory anxiety and phobic anxiety should be on track within six to eight weeks. However, the patient may take several months to see full recovery.

A few patients, who still remain symptomatic even after the initial treatment, may require re-consideration of the diagnosis, treatment method and intensity. Unrecognized substance or alcohol abuse should be addressed here. It is however important to remember that patients do fail in a few given tests and may require treatment involving a combination of physical therapy and anti-anxiety meds such as Klonopin of different dosages and time period depending on their medical condition.

The effectiveness of Klonopin is backed by scientific research

In a study performed among 26 patients suffering from treatment-resistant panic disorder, they were subjected to regulated treatment with Klonopin and placebo. Nearly ten patients who were prescribed high dosages of 12mg of Clonzepam had begun to show signs of improvement within the third week of the study. The patients also did not report any major side effects besides headaches and drowsiness clearly indicating the effectiveness of Klonopin in this regard.

What procedures are followed in order to aid the long term recovery of the patient?

There is no evidence addressing the adequacy of treatment (both psychological and medication) in panic disorders. So a more balanced approach involving a combination of one-to-one sessions along with medication such as Klonopin or any allied drug is carried out. The effectiveness of the treatment will depend on the comorbidity, severity of the panic attacks and inter-current psychosocial stressors. You must also understand that it takes substantial time to realize treatment gains. The only indication of improvement with Klonopin medication is usually reduction seen in the severity and frequency of panic attacks experienced by the individual, with a gradual suppression of fear and anticipatory anxiousness.

Pharmacological treatment should be accompanied by appropriate patient education providing a support system for the individual to recover quickly. A periodic decrease in Klonopin may be carried out in order to aid long term treatment.

Moreover for treating panic disorders, psychological sessions along-with the prescribed dosage of Klonopin may prove helpful. This approach ensures that the therapist gains a more holistic view on the patient’s condition and offers the right treatment.

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