Cyclobenzaprine is a tricyclic amine salt that can be used to treat skeletal muscle spasms as well as acute musculoskeletal pain associated with a variety of conditions. Because this medication works directly with the skeletal and muscular systems, there is a risk of unwanted effects in addition to the management of your symptoms. Cyclobenzaprine is intended to be used alongside other forms of treatment to make your condition more manageable, not to cure any diseases that affect the skeletal, nervous or muscular systems.
Indications and Usage
Cyclobenzaprine is sold under the brand names Amrix, Fexmid, FusePaq Tabradol and Flexeril. Cyclobenzaprine is used to treat pain and spasms that are associated with cerebral or spinal cord disease as well as sprains, strains and other injuries. It may also be used to assist children with cerebral palsy. This medication is intended to relax the muscles so the stiffness and pain stemming from your condition can be eased. Patients should use this in addition to whatever therapy, exercise, rest and additional medications your doctor recommends.
Dosing and usage for this medication will vary greatly depending on what kind of condition you are using cyclobenzaprine to treat. If the instructions from your doctor vary from those listed on the package, follow what your doctor says. Do not change your dosage or stop taking your medication without instructions from your doctor to do so. If you miss a dose then you will need to take it as soon as you remember. You should not double up doses to make up for those you have missed. Your doctor may need to schedule regular visits to determine how cyclobenzaprine is affecting your condition. Be consistent with this follow up care to determine how you are progressing.
In most cases cyclobenzaprine will be given three times a day in tablet form. The standard dose for those starting their prescription is 5mg per dose, or 15 mg per day. This may be increased to 10 mg per dose, or 30 mg per day depending on the condition of the patient. Doses should not exceed 60 mg per day. The minimum effective dose is 5 mg per day.
Children who are being diagnosed this medication will need to work closely with a doctor in order to determine what the most appropriate. Doses will be based on the size of the child, the severity of their condition and their rate of development. Research on the effects of cyclobenzaprine on children under the age of 15 has not yet been determined.
Seniors and those with liver or kidney disease are often given lower doses because they are at a higher risk for developing side effects. Those with a history of glaucoma or urine retention will also be given a lower dose in order to avoid potential side effects or the worsening of their condition. People in these categories will be started at doses of 5 mg per day, which will be increased as your doctor feels appropriate. You will also need to inform your doctor about other conditions, including cardiac events you have experienced, as well as any other medications that you are taking to help avoid potential conflicts.
Pregnant women are not directly forbidden from using cyclobenzaprine. However, because no research has directly been done on human subjects there is no guarantee that there is no risk. In the studies that have been done on animals, there were no reports of impaired fertility or harm to the unborn fetus. At this time, there is no confirmation regarding whether or not cyclobenzaprine can be excreted into breast milk. If you are using this medication while you are breastfeeding, talk with your doctor about the potential risks that may be involved. You may need to lower your dosage to help eliminate this concern.
Cyclobenzaprine Side Effects
Side effects from cyclobenzaprine are not common. Some of the most common include blurred vision, drowsiness, dizziness and dry mouth. These often become better once the body has gotten used to the medication. Taking the time to rest and adding cyclobenzaprine to your exercise, rest and therapy routine can help avoid these symptoms. If you find your symptoms are interfering with your ability to function, then contact your doctor to have your prescription adjusted.
Less common side effects include muscle twitching, constipation, diarrhea, nervousness, pounding heartbeat, general feeling of discomfort, trouble speaking and trembling. These symptoms may not be permanent and get better as your body adjusts to your new dosage. If at any time you feel like your side effects are severe or life threatening, then contact your doctor. If you feel as though you may lose consciousness or are having trouble breathing then contact emergency medical services.
In very rare cases, patients reported trouble urinating, confusion, clumsiness, yellow eyes or skin, rashes or ringing in the ears. In most cases, these results were the result of conflicts with other conditions or medications in the patient's system. Make a point of telling your doctor about every aspect of your medical history before starting on cyclobenzaprine to avoid these issues. If you begin to develop any of these symptoms, then contact your doctor to determine how best to proceed. If you begin got develop a rash or symptoms that may be part of an allergic reaction, and then contact help right away to determine how to proceed.
If you do not take cyclobenzaprine properly you run the risk of having an overdose. If at any time you develop convulsions, flushed sin, severe drowsiness, hallucinations, muscle stiffness, vomiting or trouble breathing then you might be dealing with a severe condition which could be life threatening. Watch carefully for these symptoms after your dosage has been increased. If at any time these symptoms develop then contact poison control and emergency medical services for help immediately.
Cyclobenzaprine is known for interacting with MAO inhibitors. This reaction may continue up to 14 days after you have stopped taking these medications. Patients who take MAO inhibitors alongside their prescription are at a much higher risk for developing seizures.
You should not drink alcohol while on cyclobenzaprine. This along with other CNS depressants, barbiturates or antidepressants may block the active compounds in your medication. When this happens you may not be able to absorb your medications properly, so it will not be able to assist you with your condition. When you combine these substances you may lose your ability to function proper, both mentally and physically.
Patients who are recovering from a myocardial infarction (heart attack), or those who suffer from congestive heart failure, arrhythmia or have develop a heart block or conduction disturbance may not be able to take cyclobenzaprine. These conditions can be made worse due to the drug combinations in cyclobenzaprine that affect your circulations. Tell your doctor about any of these conditions in your history, including information about their severity and your rate of recovery to help avoid developing a more serious condition.