There’s a chance you’ve heard of Rivotril, the Canadian brand of a drug called clonazepam. Clonazepam in the United States is more commonly known as Klonopin. Rivotril, like its American cousin, is a benzodiazepine – a sedative and central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Like its counterparts, Rivotril does carry some risk of addiction.
What Does Rivotril Do?
Rivotril is frequently used to control the symptoms of epilepsy. It treats both petit mal and grand mal epilepsy, as well as partial and myoclonic seizures. Rivotril can also be used for panic disorders much like Klonopin is used for anxiety. It is available as either a tablet or injection, although the injectable version is most often reserved for people who experience prolonged or continual bouts of seizures without recovery.
As with most CNS depressants, Rivotril works to slow or calm electrical energy in the brain. It can be very effective when used properly, but it does carry some risks as well as side effects. Some of these side effects include:
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with coordination
- Muscle weakness
- Problems concentrating
- Loss of memory following a seizure (known as anterograde amnesia)
- Vision problems, like blurred or double vision
- Sexual difficulties
- Slow or shallow breathing
In most cases, benzodiazepines like Rivotril are not the first-line treatment for long-term control of epilepsy, but they are effective for occasional use to stop seizure activity.1
Health Risks of Using Rivotril
Benzodiazepines, while useful and effective, are an extremely addictive class of drugs. Even with regular use as recommended by a physician, Rivotril can be habit-forming and cause drug-seeking behavior. You may think the drug is safe because a doctor prescribed it, but there are dangers associated with inappropriate use of the drug. If you are regularly using Rivotril or think you might be developing an addiction, look for the following symptoms:
- Tolerance. Tolerance occurs when your body builds up a resistance to a drug. After using Rivotril for a prolonged period of time, you’ll need more of the drug to achieve the same results. This can quickly lead to drug dependence and addiction. Some benzodiazepine users often combine the medication with alcohol or other drugs in order to enhance the effects of Rivotril.
- Dependence and addiction. While not all experiences with tolerance lead to addiction, there is a high possibility of addiction and dependence occurring with benzodiazepine use. Users who take benzos can become dependent on the drugs to calm them down and feel normal. The sense of reliance, or dependence, is a key factor in developing an addiction.
- Gastrointestinal problems. Benzodiazepines are known to cause a variety of gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, constipation and loss of appetite.
- Neurological issues. Benzodiazepines can also cause loss of orientation, problems with thinking and slurred speech.
- Cognitive issues and memory loss. Benzodiazepines like Rivotril act to sedate the nervous system. They can also act as an amnesiac, causing anterograde amnesia. Benzos depress the brain’s central nervous system (CNS) and act as sedatives.2
Signs of Drug Addiction
If you or a loved one struggle with Rivotril tolerance and you think an addiction might be developing, look for the following symptoms:
- Needing more of the drug before the next dose is due
- Using the drug longer or in larger amounts that prescribed by a physician
- Becoming preoccupied with getting and using the drug
- Doctor shopping for new prescriptions for Rivotril
- Stealing money from family members and friends to buy the drug on the street
Even one of these symptoms can signal a serious problem and the need for treatment.
Addicted to Rivotril? Get Help Now
Although benzodiazepines can be an important part of treatment for epilepsy, using the drugs in ways other than prescribed by a doctor can lead to addiction. Addiction is an illness that can be effectively treated with the right care. If you’re addicted to Rivotril and need assistance, call us here at Michael’s House today. Taking into account your needs and addiction history, our staff will design a treatment plan that best meets your unique situation. It’s our priority to ensure that you can withdraw from benzos in a safe environment and get all the support you need to recover.
Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.
1 “Topic Contents.” Benzodiazepines for Epilepsy | Michigan Medicine. University of Michigan. Accessed 18 December 2017.
2 “Common Side Effects of Klonopin (Clonazepam) Drug Center.” RxList. Accessed 18 December 2017.