Klonopin or Clonazepam is a medicine of choice for treating diseases like epilepsy in the acute stage as well as being used as a common treatment for anxiety. Manic conditions, insomnia, akathisia, restless leg syndrome and bruxism can also be treated with the use of this medication. Klonopin or Clonazepam is primarily a benzodiazepine and it helps in altering the transmission of gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA in the brain.
The medicine is able to attach itself to the receptors in the brain and this allows it to be effective. After this phase, it allows the channels for chloride ions to open and GABA activity is increased. This allows the feeling of being sedated as well as drowsy. People who are anxious and have psychiatric problems are prescribed Klonopin or Clonazepam to produce this relaxing effect to the brain.
The only disadvantage of the medicine is that long term use of this drug could lead to some side effects. There are several research articles that have published evidence of dementia occurring because of long term use of this medicine. So, memory is impaired and there could also be depression leading to poor quality of life and performance. Many people voluntarily stop using this medicine to get rid of these side effects.Image source via commons wikimedia
How much time does the body take to get rid of Klonopin?
If you have suddenly stopped using this medicine, you may have a series of symptoms that are called as withdrawal symptoms. So, if you are planning to stop using this medicine, it is only right that you do so with proper medical guidance. It should not be stopped suddenly. On the other hand, if you have consumed Klonopin, you may be thinking how much time the body takes to get rid of the drug and its effects.
Usually, the half life of the medicine should be taken into account. Clonazepam is the main ingredient in Klonopin. The half life of this medicine is about 40 hours. What this means is that you will have to wait 40 hours for the effect of the medicine to reduce to half. Again from this time, the next half life is calculated. This way, when it is calculated, the drug will be completely eliminated from your body in about 7 to 9 days after last ingestion of the medicine. There are also researchers who provide evidence of the half life being between 18 to a whooping 60 hours. This could mean that you will suffer from the effect of the drug anywhere between 4 to 14 days.
When you consume Clonazepam, ‘7-aminoclonazepam’ is produced in the body. This too has a similar half life like Clonazepam and could also be eliminated in about 2 weeks after you have stopped using Klonopin.
How Long Does Klonopin Stay In Your System?
Though it is common knowledge that Klonopin can be excreted in about 14 days after the last dose, the time taken for the complete wearing away of effects can vary based on various factors. Some of these factors are listed here.
1. Factors that are unique to an individual: Two different people consuming the same dose of Klonopin at the same time, which could be 1 mg, may exhibit different levels of the drug in their body when tested. The age of the individual, liver functions, genetics and body mass could all play a role in this.
a. The age of the person: The metabolism of an individual varies based on their age. This means that the time for which the Klonopin stays in the body could be more for older individuals because of slower metabolism. Research has shown that this clearance time could even be up to 1.8 times slower for older people than young adults. Other than the slow metabolism, poor blood flow to the lover, decreased plasma protein levels, use of other medicines, changes in the functioning of the body systems could all play a role in the longer time taken to get rid of Klonopin.
b. Genetics: The genes in the body also play a role in the longer duration taken to metabolize Klonopin. Isozyme CYP3A4 is present in the liver that metabolizes the Clonazepam. The variation in the levels of this isoenzyme could also be a reason for changes in the levels of this drug in different people. Those with lesser levels of CYP3A4 will store the drug in the body for many weeks. Whereas, a person with higher levels of this isoenzyme can get rid of the drug in quick time.
c. Weight of body and fat levels: If the person is well built, it is easy for the body to get rid of Klonopin. On the other hand, a smaller built person with lesser height and lesser weight can retain the drug for longer periods of time. Taller and heavy set people will be able to get rid of Klonopin from their system in quick time. Also, it should be noted that the Klonopin is fat soluble. So, a person with excessive fat stored in the body will have more Klonopin. A person who has lesser fat in the body will get rid of Clonazepam from the body in quick time.
d. Intake of food: Consuming Klonopin with no food in the stomach will help to get rid of it from the system in quick time. On the other hand, when you use this medicine after having a meal, it is likely to stay in your system for a longer time. The duration for which the effects of this drug will linger will depend on the size of the meal and also on the type of food that was consumed.
e. Liver functions: Good liver function will help in getting rid of the effects of Klonopin quickly. Klonopin is a drug that can be absorbed very slowly if the liver functions are not normal and are slower than usual. Poor liver function causes reduced CYP3A4 functions. This will result in slower metabolization of Klonopin. To overcome this issue, many patients who have pre existing liver problems are prescribed a small dose than usual.
f. Rate of metabolism: Each person will have a different Basal Metabolic Rate, also known as BMR. Higher BMR will mean faster metabolism in the body. So, any person with a high BMR will be able to get rid of the Klonopin from the body quickly. Slower metabolism due to lesser BMR will cause Klonopin to stay in the system for longer time.
g. pH of urine: Low pH of urine means that the urine is acidic in nature. If the urine is acidic, it will get rid of Klonopin from the system quickly. The quantity of Clonazepam that is emitted from the body is also higher. On the other hand, alkaline urine will prevent excessive excretion of Clonazepam and will get rid of the medicine slowly from the body. The medicine in the body will be reabsorbed if there is alkaline urine.
2. Administration of the medicine:
As with any medicine, the duration for which the drug was consumed plays a major role in the duration for which it stays in the body. A person who has been regularly using the medicine for more than a year will have the medicine staying in the body for longer time. On the other hand, if the person is using the drug only for a few weeks, it is easily emitted from the body.
The reason for this is that long term users will have traces of the drug in various tissues and systems. On the other hand, short term usage would not have allowed Clonazepam to seep through to all the body systems. For those who have just started on this medicine and have used it for less than a week, it will not even reach a normal level of concentration and can easily be emitted from the body and bloodstream based on the half life. So, progressive increase in duration of using the medicine will cause the drug to stay in the system for longer periods of time and prevent the medicine from going out of the system in quick time.
One important fact that needs to be remembered is that most of those who use this medicine will take progressively high doses because the lower doses may not be effective for them due to acclimatization to the existing dose. So, progressive higher doses of Clonazepam intake will cause it to remain in the body for longer periods of time. This is another reason why short term users will get rid of the drug in quick time. They usually are using lower doses because of the tolerance levels. These users will get rid of the drug in 5 days from their body, while long term users who regularly consume Clonazepam will take up to 2 weeks to get rid of the medicine from the body.
3. High or Low dose: A small amount of drug which is about 0.50 mg will need only short time to get the drug out of the body. If a person takes 2mg of the medicine, it will take that much more time to emit the medicine. The higher dose will cause the liver to slow down metabolism of the medicine. Smaller dose will not affect the liver function and metabolism of Klonopin in any way. So, smaller doses will maintain optimal or normal liver function, but a higher dose will slow down the liver function and cause it to process Clonazepam in a slow manner. A higher effort is needed from the liver and this could put a strain on liver functions.
Also, the high dose of Clonazepam will cause the drug to circulate all over the body through the blood. So, there is a higher chance of it being absorbed by fat deposits in the body. This will again prevent the medicine from being excreted from the body and increase the duration of the effect of the medicine in the body.
4. Administration of other drugs with Clonazepam
If you have had to consume some other drug for any other condition, it is important to assume that these drugs could also interfere with the metabolism of Klonopin. There are several drugs that could affect the CYP34A system. These isoenzymes may act as fast metabolizers or slow metabolizers of Clonazepam, when other drugs are consumed.
Some of the drugs that could reduce the effect of the CYP34A system are Indinavir, Nelfinavir, Ketoconazole, Saquinavir, Ritonavir, Clarithromycin, Chloramphenicol and certain others. This will reduce the amount of Clonazepam that is processed by the body. On the other hand, there are other drugs that could increase the effects of the CYP34A system and these drugs are called as the inducers. These will cause the CYP34A system to metabolize the Clonazepam in a much quicker manner. Examples of the inducers of the CYP34A system are drugs such as Efavirenz, Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Rifampicin and others. If any of these drugs are consumed when you are also using Clonazepam, you will be able to get rid of Clonazepam very quickly from the body.
Absorption of Klonopin, its metabolism and excretion
When Klonopin is consumed, the Clonazepam component in it is absorbed in the gastric system. Since it is in the gastric system, 90% of the medicine is available. The use of just 2mg will have about up to 13.5ng//ml concentration in the blood. It takes only an hour or two to reach such levels.
There are other research studies that show that these levels may be reached only in 4 to 8 hours after the ingestion of the medicine. If a person uses about 6 mg of the drug, the blood concentration could reach about 20 to a maximum of 80ng/ml. Since the Clonazepam actually binds to the plasma in the body, it can reach almost any part of the body.
Once it is spread to different parts of the body through the blood, it can be mixed with the fat deposits and can be absorbed too. After the initial intake of the medicine, the levels may gradually increase because of this absorption and the peak levels may be reached in a weeks’ time. There is no data about the exact method in which Clonazepam is metabolized, but it is thought that the hepatic enzymes cause nitro reduction acetylation of the Clonazepam by NAT2 and CYP3A4.
Some research talks about the change of Clonazepam into 7-aminoclonazepam, which is the main metabolite. This seems to be again converted into 7-acetaminoclonazepam by NAT2. These metabolites are then excreted when a person urinates.
Most of the dose of Clonazepam that has been consumed is excreted as metabolites from the body, but there is a chance that up to about 2% of the drug is not metabolized and is excreted as it is, in the form of Clonazepam. The half life of Klonopin or Clonazepam could vary based on the various factors that have been mentioned here. So, one or more of these factors in combination could affect the half life of the medicine and it could vary between a minimum of 18 hours to a maximum of even 60 hours. So, with the minimum half life calculation, we can assume that the Klonopin or Clonazepam will be removed from the system in about a week to 10 days. At the same time, it could take up to about 2 weeks to get rid of it from the body, after you have last consumed a dose of the medicine.
Different drug tests for Klonopin
If you have been using the medicine, it is necessary to check if the medicine is still in your system. There are some ways in which you will be able to check for the traces of the metabolites of Clonazepam and the presence of Clonazepam itself. There are saliva tests, blood tests, urine tests and even hair tests to check the presence of the Klonopin in the body.
Fresh urine has to be collected and it has to be transported without contamination to a laboratory. The screening for the presence of Klonopin metabolites is then done. Since the levels of Clonazepam is very less in the urine (only about 2%), most of the urine tests check for the presence of 7-aminoclonazepam, which is a metabolite of Clonazepam. It is understood that the presence of 7-aminoclonazepam or 7-ACLo can be detected in the urine for up to 5 days after the use of the drug, but other research has also said that it could remain in the system for a much longer period of time. Studies that have used methods like gas chromatography have identified the presence of 7-ACLO in the urine even after 21 days after consumption of the medicine.
The urine tests are preferred over other methods like blood tests because in the urine, presence of the metabolites can be identified for a very long time. Also, urine tests are not invasive and they are also convenient. These fast tests have proved than even a person with a single dose of Klonopin can have traces of the medicine about 30 days after consumption of the dose. So, it can safely be said that those who have used a higher dose or a regular user of the medicine can have traces of these metabolites for more than 30 days.
Even the test on the hair follicles in the body can result in identification of consumption of Clonazepam. The advantage of using this method to test consumption of Clonazepam is that you can perform these tests even many days after the person has consumed the medicine. There has been evidence through research that even after 4 months after consumption of Clonazepam, it can be identified through these hair tests. The disadvantage of using the hair test is that it is inaccurate in recent consumption of Clonazepam. If a person has used the medicine within the past hour or even within the past day, it is not identified through hair tests because the main metabolite 7-ACLO will not yet have reached the hair follicles. It may be present in adequate content only about a week or more after consumption of Clonazepam.
Just like in many other aspects of medical science, there was a research that found traces of the 7-ALCO in hair follicles within a few hours of consuming the drug. This is also the reason for many crime police to use hair follicles to test drug addiction. At least 20 hair follicles are needed for this kind of testing.
Oral fluid or saliva is easily collected and tested to see if Clonazepam is present in the system. A level of about 1ng/ml is not considered significant and is considered to be a false positive test. On the other hand, it should also be noted that the presence of Clonazepam as well as 7-ALCO can be detected in the saliva only after at least 5 days of ingestion of the medicine. For any saliva test to identify Clonazepam, at least 0.4ml of saliva is needed. This volume of saliva is mixed with 0.8ml of other fluids and then mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography is performed. Even with all these precautions, it is not always possible to detect 7-ALCO in the test. The advantage of the saliva test is that is very easy to perform and it is also non invasive in nature. The disadvantage is that the accuracy of the test result is questionable. On the other hand, in case a person is intoxicated with this drug, Clonazepam as well as 7-ALCO can be identified with the test of the oral fluid. In acute drug addiction or intoxication, saliva test as well as urine tests are the best methods of testing.
This is the best method of testing for identifying Clonazepam especially if the blood is collected within about 2 hours after the drug has been consumed. This is when the level of this drug is at its peak in the blood stream. The advantage of using blood test for identifying presence of Clonazepam in the system is that this is a very effective method of testing. Even small amounts of the drug in the system can be detected with this method of testing. Even if the peak levels of Clonazepam have dropped and there is a decrease in the amount of this drug in the blood stream, still it can be detected.
Even after many days after consumption of Clonazepam, this drug will be detected in the blood stream because it will be present in the blood and it also has a very long half life. Since the drug can also get itself attached to the tissues life fat deposits, it will be identified with blood tests.
There are two major disadvantages of using blood tests to identify Clonazepam. Though blood test is highly sensitive to the presence of Clonazepam, this test is not as effective as urine tests. Urine tests will identify the presence of Clonazepam in the body for longer periods of time, unlike blood tests. Also, blood test is highly invasive and a puncture of the skin is needed. This is the reason why blood tests are not used commonly in field settings. Only in hospital settings, patients’ blood is collected for testing, especially in situations when urine collection is not easy.
Who needs to undergo tests for Klonopin presence?
The testing for the presence of Klonopin is not done as a routine affair. On the other hand, there are some groups of people who may have to undergo this test as a routine affair. Some people who are likely to undergo tests for presence of Klonopin in their system are pilots, drug addicts, sports persons, military men and even truck drivers.
Testing in Athletes: Athletes may have to undergo testing to check for presence of Klonopin in the blood stream. This may not be done as a routine matter because of the high cost of blood testing and other testing. On the other hand, it may be thought that the use of Klonopin by athletes is not actually for performance enhancement. The use of this drug will reduce anxiety of performance and this is why the use of this drug is considered to be an advantage.
Criminals: Usually criminals may be administered a routine drug test and if the test is positive, there are additional tests performed to check the presence of various drugs in their system. If the individual has been found to have the presence of 7-ALCO in the blood stream without the drug being prescribed for a medical condition, the criminal may have to undergo additional punishment.
Drug addicts: Drug addicts are usually in rehabilitation once they feel the need to reduce intoxication. At the same time, it should also be noted that these drug addicts may soon want to get high on any drug. They might even want to use prescription drugs like Clonazepam. If they are seen to have consumed this drug, they will have to undergo rehabilitation for a longer period of time.
Employees: Regular employees in some occupations may be required to be sober at all times and they cannot use drugs like Clonazepam that suppress emotions to cause depression. There are several professionals who will have to avoid drugs like Clonazepam and these include truck drivers, those working with heavy machines and even pilots. Most of these professionals have to regularly undergo testing for the presence of these drugs in their system. If they have been found to have consumed these drugs, they will be suspended or dismissed from service.
Patients in hospitals: In hospital patients, the doctors may want to check the levels of Clonazepam that is present in the system. This information may be required by health professionals to avoid interaction between other drugs being consumed by patients and Clonazepam. This information may also be needed to see if the patient has had any overdose of the drug.
Military troops: Those who are part of the military have to ensure that they are in top physical and mental condition. If they have consumed Clonazepam, they will not be in their top condition because the use of this drug will reduce their normal levels of functioning. They will not be fully alert and this can cause them to make several mistakes. This could lead to their death as well as the death of others in their platoon. The military troops should not be using any drugs when they are on duty and this includes use of Clonazepam. If they are found to be using these drugs while on duty, they will be delisted.
Best methods to get rid of Klonopin from the body
For those who have been used to consuming Klonopin, once they have decided to get rid of this drug from the body, they need to detoxify as soon as possible. There are several methods in which this goal can be achieved. The person has to start drinking as much water as possible as this could dilute the Klonopin levels. They person should also start consuming a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. Other than this increasing the amount of exercises and consuming supplements that can help in reducing the effects of Klonopin in the system. The other thing that is possible is to seek the help of a health professional who will be able to advice you on the best methods of getting rid of Klonopin from the system.
1. Stop taking the drug: The first and the most important method in which you will be able to get rid of Klonopin from the system is by stopping to consume it. This will at least help in starting the process of getting Klonopin out from your system. It is not easy for a person to just stop using the medicine. It has to be understood that you will have to seek proper medical advice and guidance to help you stop consuming it. You should also remember that if it has to be out of your system in quick time, you will have to stop taking the drug as soon as possible and you should also completely stop consuming the drug.
2. Burn fat from your body: It is understood well that the Klonopin system can be in your body for long time because it gets attached to the fat deposits in your body. This happens all over the body where fat is present. If you have been long term user of Klonopin, it could have accumulated in the fat cells to a great extent and you will have to do a lot of exercises to get rid of it from the system. If a lot of good exercises are done to get rid of the fat deposits from the body, it will also help you in getting rid of Klonopin from the body in quick time.
3. Charcoal that is activated: Activated charcoal is one of the best remedies that will help you to get rid of Klonopin from your system in a very quick time. The use of activated charcoal will help in detoxification of the system. Even after a person has stopped using Clonazepam, it will still be circulating in the system because of the long half life. This cannot be easily removed from the system, but when the activated charcoal is consumed, it will get rid of this drug being circulated in the body. So, it should be understood that the use of activated charcoal can be considered to be the best method of getting rid of Klonopin. This is also a very effective health supplement to get rid of this drug.
4. Acidification: It is a common misconception that alkalinization of the body will help in getting rid of various toxins and drugs from the body. The fact is quite the contrary. When your body is full of Clonazepam, it is not possible for get rid of this drug through alkaline means. When you acidify the body, the Klonopin will be removed from your body in very quick time. The urine will be able to get rid of the Clonazepam and all the metabolites. Acidification of the body is possible with use of cranberries and other acidifying foods.
5. Effective hydration: Enough amount of Clonazepam from the body is removed from the system with urine. So, to increase the amount of Clonazepam being removed through urine, you will have to consume a lot of water. The pH of the urine will be reduced and there will be increased urine output. Both these methods will help in getting the drug out of your body quickly.
How much time can Klonopin stay in your body after you stop consuming it?
You will need to know how long Klonopin can stay in your body even after you stop using it. The fat deposits and use of other drugs can also play a role in the presence of Klonopin. If you feel that your body is still storing Klonopin even after trying all these methods, please let us know through your comments.
You can also add other methods that have helped you to get rid of Klonopin from your body. It can help others who are trying to get rid of this drug from their system. Usually, 10 days should suffice to get rid of this drug from your body, but in some people it may take up to more than 2 weeks. Also, let us know about your success in getting rid of Klonopin from your body.