Sunday, October 25, 2015

Petril tablets uses and side effects

Petril ® is a clonazepam (benzodiazepine) brand manufactured in India. It is prescribed in epilepsy, anxiety disorders and in sleep problems. Most commonly reported side effects are drowsiness, dizziness, light headedness and problems in walking (ataxia).

In addition to the side effects mentioned above it has habit forming properties (Needing more dose to get the same effect especially sleep and getting unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when it is stopped) in long term use.

Petril 2mg tablets from MICRO pharma

Uses of Petril ®

This medication is used primarily to treat epilepsy. However, it is used in combination with other types of anti-epileptic medications. In psychiatry practice, it is used to calm down disturbed patients and to treat sleep problems.

In treating sleep problems, it is important to identify the cause for sleep problems and practice sleep hygiene techniques before getting pharmaceutical treatment.

Most common causes for sleep problems are psychiatry and medical problems. Common psychiatry problems are depression and anxiety disorders. Sleep problem settle once the underlying cause is treated.

Sleep hygiene techniques should be tried before taking this medication

Sleep hygiene techniques that could be tried before taking this medication

  1. Use the bed only for sleep
  2. Do not sleep in the day
  3. Do not take alcohol, coffee, coke or chocolate (Caffeine) just before sleep
  4. When you are unable to sleep then get up from the bed and do something else for some time
  5. Try to make the sleeping environment comfortable, quiet and calm 
  6. Overall exercise improves sleep, but try not to do vigorous exercise just before sleep

Dosage and how to take it

Petril ® is prescribed in 0.5mg to 4mg dose range. Most common dose is 1mg and 2mgs. It is taken at night therefore drowsiness would not interfere with day to day activities. Since this medication has long half-life (30 – 40 hrs), it is prescribed once a day.

To minimize side effects do not crush the medication. Take it with a meal and with a full glass of water. Do not exceed the dose prescribed by the doctor. Since it has abuse potential, do not take this without doctor’s prescription.

This medication should be taken long term with close medical supervision. It is because of its habit forming properties and quite severe withdrawal reaction.

Side effects of Petril ®

A list of common side effects

  1. Drowsiness
  2. Dizziness
  3. Unsteady gait (walking)
  4. Muscle weakness
It is very important that drowsiness and lightheadedness may persists into next day when you have taken this medication at night. Therefore, it is very important that you need to be very careful when driving or operating machinery.

IMPORTANT ! Operating machinery can become problematic when you are on this medication

IMPORTANT ! You should be careful when driving vehicles while on this medication

Uncommon side effects of Petril ® 

  1. Headache
  2. Vertigo
  3. Slurred speech
  4. Low blood pressure or hypotension
  5. Tremors of hands and body
  6. Urine incontinence and retention: - Common in elderly people
  7. Rare side effects 
  8. Respiratory depression: - It is important to tell whether you have respiratory problems such as Asthma, before getting the prescription. 
  9. Blood disorders
  10. Skin reactions
  11. Paradoxical excitation: - Can cause disinhibition and increased activity in certain group of people.

What to tell your doctor before getting the prescription?

If you have following problems or medical condition, it is very important that you tell your doctor about them.
  1. Liver disease
  2. Kidney disease
  3. Heart disease
  4. Whether you are snoring in the night: - It is an indication that you have obstructive sleep apnea. When this medication is given in obstructive sleep apnea, it can result in dangerous lowering of respiration and blood oxygen levels in sleep that may result in brain damage. People with snoring complaint about poor sleep which make it a dangerous combination. 
  5. Your work and occupation
  6. Any medications you are on including street drugs
  7. Whether you are pregnant or breast feeding

Snoring due to sleep apnea can cause sleep problems and prescribing sleep inducing medications in them can cause serious problems. 


Petril ® is a benzodiazepine class medication and its generic name is clonazepam. It is prescribed for epilepsy and in sleep problems. Main problems associated with this medication are drowsiness, lightheadedness and habit forming properties. This medication should not be a long term solution for sleep problems.

Pictures  Courtesy : Wikimedia

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