Clonazepam is an anti-anxiety medication in the benzodiazepine family, the same family that includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), flurazepam (Dalmane), and others. Clonazepam and other benzodiazepines act by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter (a chemical that nerve cells use to communicate with each other) which inhibits many of the activities of the brain. It is believed that excessive activity in the brain may lead to anxiety or other psychiatric disorders. Clonazepam also is used to prevent certain types of seizures.
Clonazepam is in the class of medications known as benzodiazepines. This medication is most often indicated for patients who have seizures. Additionally, it is prescribed for patients who suffer from other conditions such as panic attacks, anxiety, depression and even cancer. It is a widely used medication. Benzodiazepine medications are a group of medicines that are used because of their sedative qualities. They can encourage sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and even put a stop to the occurrence of different types of seizures.
In general, clonazepam produces mild sedation by depressing activity in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). In particular, clonazepam appears to enhance the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a natural chemical that inhibits the firing of neurons and dampens the transmission of nerve signals, thus decreasing nervous excitation.