Muscle Relaxants

There are a variety of muscle relaxers that can be prescribed to manage a variety of different conditions. Understanding how these are to be used will help you and your doctor determine the most appropriate for your condition.

Skeletal muscle relaxants are used to relax any striated muscle tissue in the body. These are considered a different type of drug from those used during surgery such as anesthesia that are used to facilitate intubation. Listed below are 8 common muscle relaxants for different uses, some are available over the counter and some are prescribed.

Common Muscle Relaxants

1. Baclofen (Lioresal)

Description

Baclofen is used to treat muscle cramping and spasms and is occasionally prescribed to manage conditions such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis.

How to take

This medication can be taken orally and should be swallowed with water. Take this medication as indicated on the label and as your physician describes. Children may require special care when using this medication.

Interactions

Alcohol, pain medication, phenobarbital, antihistamines.

Precautions

Baclofen can lower blood sugar levels which can impact diabetes patients negatively. It may also cause dizziness, particularly when changing doses. You should not stop taking this medication suddenly as this can cause a negative reaction. Your doctor will prescribe you a schedule for reducing your dosage.

Side effects

Hallucinations, chest pain, seizure, allergic reactions including itching, hives, skin rash and swelling of the tongue, lips and face.

Source

http://www.healthline.com/goldcontent/baclofen


2. Carisoprodol (Soma)

Description

Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxer that is applied to treat the stiffness and pain that comes along with muscle injuries such as sprains or strains.

How to take

This medication is intended to be taken orally with water, but you can also take it with food if it upsets your stomach. Take this medication as directed by your doctor. You should not give carisoprodol to children under 12.

Interactions

Alcohol, depression medication, pain medication, sleep medication, antihistamines.

Precautions

This medication will cause dizziness, particularly in large doses. You should let your doctor know if your condition does not improve after 1-3 weeks while using carisoprodol.

Tell your doctor if you have liver disease or kidney disease, or if you are pregnant of breastfeeding.

Side effects

Nausea, vomiting and headache.

Source

http://www.healthline.com/goldcontent/carisoprodol


3. Chlorzoxazone (Paraflex)

Description

Chlorzoxazone is a medication prescribed for spasms and stiffness. In some cases this medication is prescribed for other purposes, but you should check with your doctor for this information.

How to take

This medication should be consumed orally with a full glass of water. It can also be taken with milk or food if the medication upsets your stomach.

Interactions

Alcohol, antihistamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, other muscle relaxants, phenothizines.

Precautions

This medication may cause dizziness. Do not operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication will affect you. Older patients should take care when standing to ensure they will not lose their balance.

Side effects

Dark brown urine, fever, difficulty sleeping, nausea, weakness, fatigue, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin and eyes and allergic reactions.

Source

http://www.healthline.com/goldcontent/chlorzoxazone


4. Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)

Description

Flexeril is a muscle relaxer that is prescribed to manage spasms, stiffness and pain.

How to take

This medication should be consumed with a glass of water and it can be taken with food if it causes an upset stomach. Take doses at regular intervals.

Interactions

Flecainide, cisapride, droperidol, levomethadyl, pimozide, sertindole, alcohol, octerotide, tramadol, palonosetron.

   

Precautions

This medication may also cause drowsiness or dizziness so take care when standing or operating machinery. Drink plenty of water or suck on sugarless candies and gum as this medication is known to cause dryness of the mouth.

Side effects

Allergic reactions, hallucinations, vomiting, seizure, chest pain and fast heartbeat.

Source

http://www.healthline.com/goldcontent/cyclobenzaprine


5. Diazepam (Valium)

Description

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine medication that is used as a muscle relaxer and to treat seizures, alcohol withdrawal, anxiety and nervousness.

How to take

This medication should be taken with water and food if it upsets the stomach. Doses should not be taken more often than directed. Take this medication in even intervals without altering your dosage as this can increase your risk of side effects.

Interactions

Cimetidine, anxiety medication, grapefruit juice, rifampin, depression medication and medication for sleeping problems.

Precautions

This medication may cause dependency so you should talk to your doctor if you will be using this mediation for long periods of time. It may also cause dizziness or drowsiness. Talk to your doctor before using medications for allergies, coughs or colds as these medications may negatively interact with diazepam.

Side effects

Unusual weakness, difficulty with balance, restlessness, drooling, nausea, mood changes, feeling faint, muscle cramps, and allergic reactions.

Source

http://www.healthline.com/goldcontent/diazepam


6. Metazalone (Skelaxin)

Description

Metazalone is a medication used to treat muscle pain and stiffness from injury.

How to take

Consume this medication with water according to the directions on the label. Consult your doctor about special instructions for providing this medication to children.

Interactions

Alcohol, depression medication, other pain medications, phenobarbital.

Precautions

This medication may cause dizziness, particularly when changing doses. Take care when operating machinery or when you stand up to avoid injury. Talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

Side effects

Skin rash, difficulty breathing, unusual fatigue, vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eyes, swelling of the tongue, face or lips.

Source

http://www.healthline.com/goldcontent/metaxalone


7. Methocarbamol (Robaxin)

Description

Methocarbamol is used to treat pain and stiffness caused by muscle injury.

How to take

Consume this medication with a full glass of water in regular intervals. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate doses for children.

Interactions

Any medications that can cause drowsiness, cholinesterase, ambenonium, pyridostigmine.

Precautions

This medication will cause drowsiness. Avoid alcohol and take care until you know how the medication will affect you.

Side effects

Allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, changes in vision, fainting spells, confusion, seizures.

Source

http://www.healthline.com/goldcontent/methocarbamol-1


8. Orphenadrine (Norflex)

Description

Orphenadrine is used to treat muscle stiffness, spasms and pain.

How to take

Consume this medication with a full glass of water as directed by your doctor. Children and patients over 65 may require a smaller dose as they are more prone to a negative reaction.

Interactions

Antihistamines, alcohol, barbiturates, cyclobenzaprine, other pain medications.

Precautions

This medication causes mouth dryness so you should consume water or suck hard candy to relieve this symptom. It may also cause dry eyes so it may be necessary to apply lubricating drops.

Orphenadrine causes dizziness, so take care when operating machinery and standing until you know how this will affect you.

Side effects

Allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, changes in vision, hallucinations, palpitations, lightheadedness, fainting spells, vomiting.

Source

http://www.healthline.com/goldcontent/orphenadrine-1


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