Mixing Adderall And Klonopin: Dangers And Side Effects

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 31, 2023

Mixing prescription drugs with different effects may seem like a good idea, especially if you are trying to dull unwanted side effects from one drug with another. However, combining stimulants and depressants does not cancel out any effects and can quickly lead to an overdose.

Dangers Of Mixing Adderall And Klonopin

Although mixing drugs like Adderall and Klonopin is common, it is extremely dangerous. Adderall is classified as a stimulant while Klonopin is a benzodiazepine, which is a depressant.

Some people may believe that if they feel jittery from Adderall, taking Klonopin will calm them down. Conversely, people feeling groggy from Klonopin may take an Adderall to wake up.

Unfortunately, that is not how it works, and these assumptions can be fatal.

What Does Adderall Do To The Brain?

Adderall is an amphetamine and is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. Substances in this classification have a high potential for abuse and can lead to psychological and physical dependence.

As an amphetamine, Adderall causes a surge of dopamine and norepinephrine through the brain. At low doses this effect can be used to treat ADHD.

But when abused at higher doses, Adderall is responsible for feelings of euphoria. This surge is what can cause a person to become addicted to the prescription stimulant.

Klonopin Effects On The Brain

Klonopin is the brand named for clonazepam, a benzodiazepine classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means it has a potential for abuse, but not as high as Schedule II substance like Adderall.

Depressants like Klonopin are sedatives that can help alleviate anxiety and also work as a muscle relaxer. The effects of Klonopin are the opposite of Adderall.

Klonopin raises levels of GABA neurotransmitters in the brain, which are inhibitory neurons, to slow the body and brain.

Dangerous Interactions Of Klonopin And Adderall

Combining Klonopin and Adderall will result in one drug masking the effects of the other.

This is problematic if people want to feel stronger effects of one drug or the other, and decide to take more. Accidental overdoses occur with polysubstance abuse (abusing more than one drug at a time).

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Stimulants speed up the heart, but benzos slow the heart down. The brain sends the heart mixed messages, and this can cause irregular heartbeat, dysrhythmias, tachycardia, or even heart failure.

After abusing both drugs for a time, it can also be dangerous to simply stop taking these drugs. Stopping cold turkey can result in severe withdrawal symptoms and can cause permanent damage.

Adderall Abuse

When people are abusing Adderall, they will likely start behaving in a way that is out of character.

They also may ask to borrow money or sell personal belongings for money. They may withdraw from others, suddenly have a new friend group, and exhibit other drug seeking behaviors.

Some physical signs of Adderall abuse include:

  • excessive energy
  • dilated pupils
  • no appetite
  • dry mouth
  • rapid heartbeat
  • breathing rate increase

Stopping Adderall can be difficult for someone who has become dependent or addicted to the drug.

Symptoms of Adderall withdrawal begin to emerge two to four days after their last dose, and may include:

  • irritability
  • sleep issues
  • dizziness
  • mood swings
  • confusion
  • blurry vision
  • depression
  • headaches
  • paranoia

When a person is suffering from amphetamine withdrawal, they may consider using a benzodiazepine, like Klonopin, in an attempt to manage stimulant withdrawal symptoms.

Klonopin Abuse

Klonopin abuse has a different set of observable, physical symptoms to watch out for.

These symptoms include:

  • trembling
  • depression
  • headaches
  • confusion
  • sleepiness
  • uncoordinated movement
  • dizziness
  • problems with vision

Withdrawal from benzodiazepines largely depends on how long a person has been taking them. Symptoms of benzo withdrawal start one to two days after the last dose.

Mild to severe withdrawal symptoms are:

  • sweating
  • anxiety
  • muscle aches
  • irritability
  • trouble sleeping
  • no appetite
  • restlessness
  • tinnitus
  • headache
  • tremors
  • odd body sensations
  • unsteadiness
  • hyperventilation (rapid breathing)
  • extreme light sensitivity
  • blurred vision
  • delusions
  • hallucinations
  • delirium
  • suicidal thoughts
  • grand mal seizures

Withdrawal Symptoms From Mixing Adderall And Klonopin

Polysubstance abuse symptoms of withdrawal from combining Adderall and Klonopin can result in any or all of the symptoms listed above.

Additionally, the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms is directly related to the amount of drugs used on a daily basis.

When people who are facing addiction to large amounts of Klonopin and Adderall attempt to get sober, it can lead to extremely high blood pressure and painful discomfort.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 31, 2023
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