Flexeril: Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, and some common FAQs
Unlike a handful of other muscle relaxers such as carisoprodol (Soma), it’s not currently controlled under the Controlled Substances Act (9). As with all medications, the costs of cyclobenzaprine can vary. Cyclobenzaprine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. Cyclobenzaprine may be used as part of combination therapy.
In this article, we’ll explain what Flexeril is and discuss when it’s effective. We’ll also share the potential risks and side effects of using Flexeril so that you can make an informed choice about how to manage your pain. Call your doctor or local poison control center if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately if your symptoms are severe.
Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, vomiting, fast heartbeats, tremors, agitation, or hallucinations. Do not use Flexeril if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days.
How to take Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)?
It is not an anti-inflammatory drug and does not reduce any inflammation to provide muscle relief. Both of them are used for pain relief but have different mechanisms. In most cases, it is advised not to take an anti-inflammatory drug and a muscle relaxant simultaneously, as they might be contra-indicated. Flexeril usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour to work after being ingested to show relaxation activity. It peaks at around 3 to 4 hours, and then the effects begin to wear off.
- A recent case report documenting the fatal interaction between cyclobenzaprine and the over-the-counter H1R antagonist chlorpheniramine is illustrative of the cautions of combining these agents (Shihata, 2021).
- Cyclobenzaprine is not a narcotic or an opioid, and is not scheduled by the DEA.
- Formulations include immediate-release and extended-release.
Flexeril is used together with rest and physical therapy to treat skeletal muscle conditions such as pain, injury, or spasms. Sometimes, muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine are used “off-label” to treat conditions they’re not approved for, such as fibromyalgia. Physical therapy can help with back pain, knee pain, and neck pain. Especially in the case of back pain, physical therapy is an effective first-line treatment. Physical therapists combine stretches and exercises to strengthen muscles and relieve pressure from joints. A few types of antidepressants can be used for nerve pain, including tricyclic antidepressants, which include Amitriptyline (Elavil), Doxepin (Sinequan), and Nortriptyline (Pamelor).
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Here, for the first time, we present data that demonstrate that cyclobenzaprine exhibits low nanomolar affinity for the cloned human H1R, as well as that expressed in both rat and mouse brain. Using saturation radioligand binding, we also demonstrate that cyclobenzaprine binds to the H1R in a noncompetitive manner. Although the absolute mechanism of action of cyclobenzaprine remains elusive, it is known to mediate its effects centrally, via inhibition of tonic somatic motor function, likely through modulation of noradrenergic and serotonergic systems. While cyclobenzaprine is effective as a muscle relaxant, greater than 30% of patients experience drowsiness and sedative/hypnotic effects, yet, the mechanisms that cause this adverse effect is also undescribed. Using saturation radioligand binding, we also demonstrate that cyclobenzaprine binds to the H1R in a non-competitive manner. Whether cyclobenzaprine is superior to other drugs for the management of acute myofascial strain is unclear and it usually adds more side effects with little therapeutic gain (Turturro et al 2003).
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Call your doctor or local poison control center immediately if you have an allergic reaction. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if your symptoms are severe. Do not take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it.
Cyclobenzaprine is most useful for cases of acute musculoskeletal pain and muscle spasms. It can be used on occasion for chronic pain, though it’s less suited for this kind of pain (5). Cyclobenzaprine is effective for relieving lower back and neck pain (6, 7).
Professionals generally consider Flexeril to be nonaddictive; however, there is evidence that Flexeril addiction is possible. Flexeril depresses the central nervous system, an effect some find desirable, which can lead to misuse. An individual might abuse Flexeril in order to feel relaxed, mildly euphoric, or sedated. Flexeril produces flexeril.live a variety of anticholinergic effects in high doses, altering the activity of brain neurotransmitters. Chronic use of the drug can lead to physical dependence; a person that was simply taking a higher dose of Flexeril due to pain can become accustomed to the presence of the drug in the system and develop an addiction as a result.
Modifying the drug dose without consulting a physician to amplify its impact is also not recommended. When certain drugs are used with cyclobenzaprine, they may cause more severe side effects such as increased drowsiness or sedation. A person should ask their doctor whether it is safe to combine another medication with cyclobenzaprine and take care not to operate any machinery while taking it. Sometimes people will even have a heart attack or develop seizures.