Rivotril is a drug composed of Clonazepam as an active ingredient, belonging to the group of benzodiazepines. It acts on the electrical activity of the brain, specifically on the central nervous system, being very effective in cases of childhood or adult epilepsy, to prevent tremors or seizures.
In addition, it is often used to combat panic disorders, depression, anxiety and some phobic syndromes. The use of this drug should be treated with caution, in order to avoid possible side effects that will be mentioned at the end of the post.
Main uses of rivotril
This drug helps prevent seizures because it intervenes directly on the electrical activity of our brain, so its use results in great benefits for the treatment of conditions that involve seizures, know some of them:
- It contributes to the prevention of seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, as well as by focal or generalized epilepsy.
- It favors in the control of panic and anxiety disorders.
- It is sometimes used to control sleep disorders such as sleepwalking.
- It is quite beneficial in some of the bipolar disorders.
- Controls the effects of alcohol withdrawal.
- Useful to prevent seizures caused by the use of other medications.
- In addition, it is used in cases of grand mal, which involves violent seizures including loss of consciousness caused by epilepsy and which can trigger high fever, stroke, or extremely low blood glucose levels.
- Also in the case of Petit mal, which is a state of seizures in the absence of consciousness.
Of course, the most important thing before starting treatment with this drug is to follow all the indications provided by your doctor, in addition, everything will depend on the age and weight of the patient, as well as the degree of involvement of the disease, however, here We provide you with a brief description of the dose that you should take as the case may be.
In adults the starting dose will be 1.5 mg in three doses a day. Subsequently, it will be increased by 0.5 mg every three days, until the seizures are controlled as much as possible or their side effects prevent continuing to increase said dose. For no reason should the daily dose exceed 20 mg. The maintenance dose will be established by the doctor according to the patient’s condition.
In the case of infants and children under 10 years of age, the starting dose will be between 0.01 to 0.03 mg in three doses a day. The maximum maintenance dose will be 0.1 mg / kg per day, it should never exceed 0.2 mg / kg.
For children and adolescents from 10 to 16 years of age, the starting dose will be 1 to 1.5 mg taken three times a day. This dose will increase from 0.25 to 0.5 mg per three days until reaching the maintenance dose, which is generally 3 to 6 mg per day.
In case of wanting to suspend the treatment, it should not be done abruptly, any medication used in the treatment of epilepsy should be reduced in a stepwise manner to avoid subsequent risks.
Like any other medicine, it must be administered under the strict supervision of the treating physician, since its adverse effects in patients are frequent. We invite you to know a list of them:
- In the central nervous system you can experience slow reflexes, disorientation, confusion, drowsiness, tiredness, difficulty in concentration and coordination of movements, muscle weakness, dizziness, problems with the articulation of words, among others.
- Increased frequency of seizures.
- Psychiatric disorders such as agitation, aggressive behavior, nervousness, depression, irritation, sleep disorders such as recurring nightmares, among others.
- It can cause anterograde amnesia.
- Nystagmus (rapid, repetitive and involuntary movements of the eyes).
- Significant reduction in the number of platelets.
- On the skin it can cause hives, rashes, itching and alteration in the natural pigmentation of the skin. You may also experience temporary hair loss.
- Possible heart attacks and heart failure.
- Epigastric discomfort especially in the upper belly area and nausea.
- In boys it can trigger incomplete precocious puberty. Also, bronchial secretions in nursing children and increased amount of saliva.
- Anaphylactic shock.
- When administered intravenously, it can cause respiratory depression in patients with obstructed airways or previous brain damage.
- Drug dependence and withdrawal syndrome.
- In elderly patients, the risk of falls and possible fractures increases.
- Decreases sexual desire (libido).
- Urinary incontinence
- Decreased residual muscle tension.
- Body temperature below normal levels.
Cautions and Warnings.
It is important that before taking this drug consider the following precautions:
- If you suffer from kidney or liver problems.
- If you are taking other medicines such as pain relievers or hypnotic, neuroleptic, antidepressant or any other medicines to treat epilepsy.
- If you have depression or dependence on alcohol or drugs.
- If you suffer from porphyria, which causes greater sensitivity in the skin, making it almost impossible to sunbathe, and which tends to affect the nervous system.
- If you suffer from any other illness.
- In the case of the elderly, if they have sleep apnea, muscle weakness or difficulties in the respiratory tract.
- A small number of people have come to experience suicidal thoughts while under the treatment of this drug, so it is essential to consult a doctor if this situation occurs.
With other medicines, since their effect could decrease. In the case of tranquilizers or those that induce sleep, they tend to increase the effect of this drug. Only your doctor will be able to determine if they can give you other medications to treat epilepsy. The combination of this medicine with alcohol can modify its effect causing a decrease in its effectiveness.
- During pregnancy or lactation period: it is important to consult your doctor before using this medicine.
- Long-term continuous use of benzodiazepine-containing medications tends to induce dependency risks.
- Using and driving machinery: Because it causes dizziness, drowsiness, decreased ability to react, or visual disturbances, you should wait for your doctor to evaluate your response to the medicine.
- If you suffer from lactose intolerance: as this drug contains lactose.
Rules for administering Rivotril
- Under no circumstances should you ingest it with alcoholic beverages.
- The presentation of the tablet allows it to be divided into equal doses.
- In case you forget to take a dose, never take double your amount, wait for the next dose and take the one that is due.
- If you think the effect is too strong or too weak, check with your doctor.
Rivotril is a medicine belonging to the group of benzodiazepines, with clonazepam as an active ingredient that is used in the treatment of epilepsy mainly, to control seizures. Its composition allows it to be used in the treatment of infants, children and adolescents with a specific dose determined by the specialist. It is vitally important to always use it with the supervision of the treating doctor, since it could trigger dependence as well as a series of undesirable adverse effects.
Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.