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box of Rivotril tablets

Rivotril is a brand-name prescription medication (generically known as clonazepam) that is used to treat epilepsy, symptoms of other seizure disorders, and panic disorders. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved clonazepam in 1975. Rivotril belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. It affects the central nervous system by blocking certain neurotransmitters, and essentially lessening electrical activity in the brain. When taken exactly as directed by a qualified medical professional, it can be a highly effective medication and an individual that is prescribed Rivotril can experience panic disorder and/ or seizure disorder symptom-related relief. Rivotril is intended for short-term use only. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “psychical dependence may develop after 2 or more weeks of daily use.” Long-term Rivotril abuse could lead to a plethora of adverse short and long-term consequences, including addiction. 

Side Effects

Every individual is different and each person that struggles with Rivotril abuse will experience a unique combination of side effects. The duration and severity of presenting side effects will be dependent upon a number of contributing factors (e.g., personal health history, how long the individual abuses Rivotril, the frequency of use, dosage abused if the individual mixed Rivotril with other substances, etc.). Commonly reported side effects associated with Rivotril abuse can include but are not limited to the following examples, as provided by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gastrointestinal complications
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Impaired cognition
  • Reduced libido
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor coordination
  • Aggression
  • Violent behavior
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches 

Other potential effects of long-term Rivotril abuse can include: brain atrophy, tremors, lowered sex drive, and weakened immune system. In addition to the variety of adverse short-term side effects, an individual struggling with Rivotril abuse could develop, the list of potential long-term side effects should not be overlooked. For example, Psychology Today states cerebral ventricular enlargement –which can further neurological impairment—has been noted as a side effect of long-term benzodiazepine use.

How Does It Work?

Benzodiazepines, such as Rivotril, work within one’s brain by producing a chemical similar to that of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a natural relaxing agent that works with one’s central nervous system. When GABA is increased in one’s system, the natural amount of one’s depressant neurotransmitters is increased, which results in the user experiencing a neurological slowdown, hence he or she will most likely experience excessive feelings of serenity and/ or calmness. One of the primary dangers of benzodiazepine abuse is that it can shut down one’s ability to manufacture dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with one’s pleasure and reward center. In order for an individual to continue to function, once this has happened, he or she will need to rely on benzodiazepine intake and continuously increase his or her dose of the drug. This can lead to the development of physical and psychological drug dependence for the user.

For Information and Support 

Substance abuse and addiction can be incredibly dangerous and can result in severe short and long-term consequences. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. There is no reason to go through this alone, and we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at:

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