Klonopin, a brand-name version of clonazepam, belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepine medications such as clonazepam are used to treat seizure disorders and panic attacks -- a symptom of anxiety disorders. There are no known interactions between caffeine, a mild stimulant, and Klonopin that would indicate taking the two drugs at the same time is unsafe; however, you should discuss with your doctor the effects of using caffeine with Klonopin before taking this drug combination.
Effects on Anxiety
Although there are no established drug interactions between Klonopin and caffeine, caffeine may increase symptoms of one of the primary conditions Klonopin is prescribed to treat: anxiety. According to MedlinePlus, caffeine use may increase anxiety symptoms, and caffeine intake should thus be limited if you regularly experience anxiety. If you've been prescribed Klonopin for an anxiety disorder, your doctor may recommend restricting caffeine intake. While research on the combined effects of caffeine on clonazepam is limited, an animal study published in "Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior" in 1989 concluded that, when taken together, caffeine counteracts the anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety, effect of clonazepam in mice.
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Other Effects and Possible Benefits
While combining caffeine with Klonopin may possibly inhibit Klonopin's effectiveness in anxiety treatment, caffeine does not interfere with all of Klonopin's therapeutic effects. A study published by "Pharmacological Reports" in 2006 concluded that although acute caffeine exposure decreases the anti-seizure action of certain other antiepileptic medications, it does not diminish the anti-seizure protection of Klonopin. Additionally, some research, including two 1990 studies published, respectively, in "Sleep" and "Psychopharmacology", indicate taking caffeine with benzodiazepines may provide the benefit of reducing certain side effects of benzodiazepine therapy, including daytime sleepiness and depressed mood.
Klonopin and Pain Medications with Caffeine
Caffeine is included in certain narcotic pain medications as it helps constrict dilated blood vessels in the head to relieve tension headaches. While caffeine itself is not associated with any life-threatening drug interactions with Klonopin, taking Klonopin with certain pain medications containing caffeine may cause dangerous sedation, possibly resulting in unconsciousness or death. Specifically, pain medications such as PC-CAP which combine aspirin, caffeine and propoxyphene -- a narcotic agent related to codeine -- should not be taken in combination with Klonopin, according to Drugs.com.
Major Klonopin Drug Interactions
In addition to PC-CAP, Klonopin has major drug interactions other medications and foods. According to Drugs.com, some medications known to interact with Klonopin include droperidol, olanzapine and sodium oxybate. Before taking Klonopin, you should tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medications or supplements you take, especially if you take other medications for anxiety, depression or mental illness, according to PubMed Health. Additionally, certain herbs, pain medications, antibiotics, antifungal medications, calcium channel blockers, HIV protease inhibitors and cold medications interact with Klonopin. PubMed Health also recommends talking to your doctor about the safety of consuming alcohol and grapefruit juice with Klonopin.
- MedlinePlus; Stress and Anxiety; June 2011
- "Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior"; Anxiolytic Effect of Caffeine and Caffeine-Clonazepam Interaction: Evaluation by NaCl Solution Intake; M. Tang, et al.; March 1989
- "Pharmacological Reports"; Acute Exposure to Caffeine Decreases the Anticonvulsant Action of Ethosuximide, But Not That Of Clonazepam, Phenobarbital and Valproate Against Pentetrazole-Induced Seizures in Mice; J.J. Luszczki, et al.; September-October 2006
- "Sleep"; Daytime Sleepiness, Performance, Mood, Nocturnal Sleep: The Effect of Benzodiazepine and Caffeine on Their Relationship; L.C. Johnson, et al.; April 1990
- "Psychopharmacology"; Benzodiazepines and Caffeine: Effect on Daytime Sleepiness, Performance, and Mood; L.C. Johnson, et al.; 1990
- Drugs.com: Klonopin (Clonazepam) Drug Interactions
- Drugs.com: PC-CAP
- Drugs.com: Drug Interactions Between Aspirin/Caffeine/Propoxyphene and Klonopin