Hepatitis and Clonazepam Abuse
Clonazepam is in a group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Clonazepam is used to treat anxiety, panic disorders and seizures. It works in the brain to balance chemicals that may become unstable. According to the National Library of Medicine, the incidence of liver damage or hepatitis from the use of clonazepam is extremely rare, but there have been a few reported cases. This is most likely due to a rarely produced intermediate metabolite, a substance that metabolizes food and converts it to cellular components, that interacts negatively with the clonazepam. According to the National Institutes of Health, all cases of hepatitis associated with clonazepam reported a full recovery. People who use clonazepam are at risk of developing an addiction to the drug, and addiction increases the risk of developing hepatitis.
Clonazepam Abuse Symptoms
When a person is addicted to clonazepam, he or she uses more of the drug for longer periods of time than prescribed by a doctor. This can increase the risk of liver damage, especially if the person using the drug has a history of hepatitis or is also using alcohol. If you suspect your loved one is abusing clonazepam, look for these symptoms:
- Using more of the drug than prescribed to get the same level of relief
- Becoming preoccupied with getting and using the drug
- Needing to have a supply of the drug on hand at all times
- Doctor shopping to get new prescriptions for the drug
- Exhibiting changes in relationships
- Experiencing changes in physical appearance
- Engaging in dangerous or illegal behaviors, such as stealing, to get and use the drug
- Becoming more involved in the drug culture
If your loved one uses clonazepam and you notice any of these behaviors, it is time to get help.
Clonazepam and Hepatitis
According to the National Library of Medicine, hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver and also to a viral infection of the liver. Many medications can cause drug-induced hepatitis. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, can cause hepatitis, as well as other drugs. If you or a loved one uses clonazepam, look for these symptoms of liver inflammation:
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- White or clay-colored stools
Since there is a link between clonazepam and hepatitis, people who use the drug should have regular blood tests to determine if their liver is functioning properly.
Finding Help for Clonazepam Abuse
Clonazepam is a highly addictive drug used to treat anxiety disorders and seizures. If you use more of the mediation for longer periods of time than prescribed by a doctor, you could be at risk of addiction. Call our toll-free, 24-hour number to speak to a trained helpline counselor. We are here to answer your questions about addiction and help you find a treatment program to meet your needs.