How does Clonazepam affect serotonin levels?
Clonazepam is a type of anticonvulsant medication used to treat seizures and panic disorders. It is also used as a muscle relaxant, sedative, and an anti-anxiety drug.
The exact mechanism by which it works is not fully understood, but it may be due to its effect on chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send messages from one neuron (brain cell) to another. Some neurotransmitters have been found to be involved in anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.
Neurotransmitters are made from amino acids, which are molecules that make up proteins. Clonazepam affects serotonin levels by reducing the amount of serotonin being released by neurons. This can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, but can also cause drowsiness and dizziness if taken too high a dose or for too long of a time period.
Serotonin and Anxiety
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, plays a role in regulating mood and anxiety. When serotonin levels are low, you may feel anxious or depressed. There are several things you can do to boost your serotonin levels:
- Eat a diet rich in carbohydrates, which can increase serotonin production.
- Eat foods high in tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to create serotonin. Tryptophan-rich foods include turkey, tuna fish and soybeans.
- Exercise regularly because it releases endorphins, which also increase serotonin levels.
- Get enough sleep—the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours per night for adults between 18 and 64 years old.
It’s normal for your body to produce less serotonin as you get older—about half of all people over the age of 60 have lower levels of this neurotransmitter than younger people do.
Does clonazepam affect neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are released by one neuron and travel across the synapse to another neuron, where they act as messengers. They help to send signals from one neuron to another and help regulate our moods, sleep patterns, and other functions.
Benzodiazepines work by increasing the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps to slow down brain activity, so when you take clonazepam it slows down your brain’s activity levels even more than normal, which can make you feel more relaxed or sedated.
Because clonazepam also affects dopamine release in your body, this can cause some side effects like drowsiness, fatigue, confusion, and memory loss—all things that may make it difficult for you to function properly during the day while taking this medication.
What is considered long term use of clonazepam?
The long-term use of clonazepam is not recommended by the manufacturer because it can cause physical dependence, which means that you will need to take the medication for longer than intended to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
It is important to note that the manufacturer does not recommend the use of this medication for longer than 4 weeks.
If you develop a physical dependence on clonazepam, your doctor will help you determine whether or not you should continue taking it.