Clobazam (Page 5 of 9)

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

Clobazam is excreted in human milk. Postmarketing experience suggests that breastfed infants of mothers taking benzodiazepines, such as clobazam, may have effects of lethargy, somnolence and poor sucking. The effect of clobazam on milk production is unknown. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for clobazam and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from clobazam or from the underlying maternal condition. If exposing a breastfed infant to clobazam, observe for any potential adverse effects.

Clinical Considerations

Monitoring for Adverse Reactions :

Adverse reactions such as somnolence and difficulty feeding have been reported in infants during breastfeeding in postmarketing experience with clobazam. Monitor breastfed infants for possible sedation and poor sucking.


Scientific literature on clobazam use during lactation is limited. After short-term administration, clobazam and N-desmethylclobazam are transferred into breast milk.

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential

Administration of clobazam to rats prior to and during mating and early gestation resulted in adverse effects on fertility and early embryonic development at plasma exposures for clobazam and its major active metabolite, N-desmethylclobazam, below those in humans at the MRHD [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)].

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in patients less than 2 years of age have not been established.

In a study in which clobazam (0, 4, 36, or 120 mg/kg/day) was orally administered to rats during the juvenile period of development (postnatal days 14 to 48), adverse effects on growth (decreased bone density and bone length) and behavior (altered motor activity and auditory startle response; learning deficit) were observed at the high dose. The effect on bone density, but not on behavior, was reversible when drug was discontinued. The no-effect level for juvenile toxicity (36 mg/kg/day) was associated with plasma exposures (AUC) to clobazam and its major active metabolite, N-desmethylclobazam, less than those expected at therapeutic doses in pediatric patients.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of clobazam did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. However, elderly subjects appear to eliminate clobazam more slowly than younger subjects based on population pharmacokinetic analysis. For these reasons, the initial dose in elderly patients should be 5 mg/day. Patients should be titrated initially to 10 to 20 mg/day. Patients may be titrated further to a maximum daily dose of 40 mg if tolerated [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.6 CYP2C19 Poor Metabolizers

Concentrations of clobazam’s active metabolite, N-desmethylclobazam, are higher in CYP2C19 poor metabolizers than in extensive metabolizers. For this reason, dosage modification is recommended [see Dosage and Administration (2.5), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.7 Renal Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of clobazam were evaluated in patients with mild and moderate renal impairment. There were no significant differences in systemic exposure (AUC and Cmax ) between patients with mild or moderate renal impairment and healthy subjects. No dose adjustment is required for patients with mild and moderate renal impairment. There is essentially no experience with clobazam in patients with severe renal impairment or ESRD. It is not known if clobazam or its active metabolite, N-desmethylclobazam, is dialyzable [see Dosage and Administration (2.6), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.8 Hepatic Impairment

Clobazam is hepatically metabolized; however, there are limited data to characterize the effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of clobazam. For this reason, dosage adjustment is recommended in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score 5 to 9). There is inadequate information about metabolism of clobazam in patients with severe hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.7), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


9.1 Controlled Substance

Clobazam tablets contain clobazam, a Schedule IV controlled substance.

9.2 Abuse

Clobazam is a benzodiazepine and a CNS depressant with a potential for abuse and addiction. Abuse is the intentional, non-therapeutic use of a drug, even once, for its desirable psychological or physiological effects. Misuse is the intentional use, for therapeutic purposes, of a drug by an individual in a way other than prescribed by a health care provider or for whom it was not prescribed. Drug addiction is a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that may include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling drug use (e.g., continuing drug use despite harmful consequences, giving a higher priority to drug use than other activities and obligations), and possible tolerance or physical dependence. Even taking benzodiazepines as prescribed may put patients at risk for abuse and misuse of their medication. Abuse and misuse of benzodiazepines may lead to addiction.

Abuse and misuse of benzodiazepines often (but not always) involve the use of doses greater than the maximum recommended dosage and commonly involve concomitant use of other medications, alcohol, and/or illicit substances, which is associated with an increased frequency of serious adverse outcomes, including respiratory depression, overdose, or death. Benzodiazepines are often sought by individuals who abuse drugs and other substances, and by individuals with addictive disorders [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

The following adverse reactions have occurred with benzodiazepine abuse and/or misuse: abdominal pain, amnesia, anorexia, anxiety, aggression, ataxia, blurred vision, confusion, depression, disinhibition, disorientation, dizziness, euphoria, impaired concentration and memory, indigestion, irritability, muscle pain, slurred speech, tremors, and vertigo.

The following severe adverse reactions have occurred with benzodiazepine abuse and/or misuse: delirium, paranoia, suicidal ideation and behavior, seizures, coma, breathing difficulty, and death. Death is more often associated with polysubstance use (especially benzodiazepines with other CNS depressants such as opioids and alcohol).

The World Health Organization epidemiology database contains reports of drug abuse, misuse, and overdoses associated with clobazam.

9.3 Dependence

Physical Dependence

Clobazam may produce physical dependence from continued therapy. Physical Dependence is a state that develops as a result of physiological adaptation in response to repeated drug use, manifested by withdrawal signs and symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dose reduction of a drug. Abrupt discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction of benzodiazepines or administration of flumazenil, a benzodiazepine antagonist, may precipitate acute withdrawal reactions, including seizures, which can be life-threatening. Patients at an increased risk of withdrawal adverse reactions after benzodiazepine discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction include those who take higher dosages (i.e., higher and/or more frequent doses) and those who have had longer durations of use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. In clinical trials, cases of dependency were reported following abrupt discontinuation of clobazam.

To reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions, use a gradual taper to discontinue Clobazam or reduce the dosage [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Acute Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms

Acute withdrawal signs and symptoms associated with benzodiazepines have included abnormal involuntary movements, anxiety, blurred vision, depersonalization, depression, derealization, dizziness, fatigue, gastrointestinal adverse reactions (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, decreased appetite), headache, hyperacusis, hypertension, irritability, insomnia, memory impairment,muscle pain and stiffness, panic attacks, photophobia, restlessness, tachycardia, and tremor. More severe acute withdrawal signs and symptoms, including life-threatening reactions, have included catatonia, convulsions, delirium tremens, depression, hallucinations, mania, psychosis, seizures, and suicidality.

Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome

Protracted withdrawal syndrome associated with benzodiazepines is characterized by anxiety, cognitive impairment, depression, insomnia, formication, motor symptoms (e.g., weakness, tremor, muscle twitches), paresthesia, and tinnitus that persists beyond 4 to 6 weeks after initial benzodiazepine withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal symptoms may last weeks to more than 12 months. As a result, there may be difficulty in differentiating withdrawal symptoms from potential re-emergence or continuation of symptoms for which the benzodiazepine was being used.


Tolerance to Clobazam may develop from continued therapy. Tolerance is a physiological state characterized by a reduced response to a drug after repeated administration (i.e., a higher dose of a drug is required to produce the same effect that was once obtained at a lower dose). Tolerance to the therapeutic effect of Clobazam may develop; however, little tolerance develops to the amnestic reactions and other cognitive impairments caused by benzodiazepines.

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