List of Common Muscle Relaxers

Muscle relaxers are used in addition to rest, physical therapy, and other measures to relieve discomfort. They are typically prescribed for short-term use to treat acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions. Muscle relaxers are occasionally prescribed for chronic pain (pain lasting longer than 3 months).

Muscle Relaxant List
Muscle Relaxant List

Muscle relaxers are not a class of drugs—meaning they do not all have the same chemical structure or work the same way in the brain. Rather, the term muscle relaxer is used to describe a group of drugs that act as central nervous system depressants and have sedative and musculoskeletal relaxant properties.

Muscle relaxers may be prescribed to treat back pain:

  • Early in the course of back pain, on a short-term basis, to relieve pain associated with muscle spasms
  • When back pain causes insomnia (for their sedative effect)

Muscle relaxers are also prescribed for other conditions such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and seizure disorders.

There are several types of muscle relaxer medications commonly used to treat back pain.

Common Muscle Relaxants

Muscle relaxers are usually prescribed to treat back pain in conjunction with rest and physical therapy. Common muscle relaxants include:

  • Baclofen. Muscle tightness and muscle spasms, including those related to spine injuries, may be eased with baclofen. The medication may be helpful in treating multiple sclerosis and stabbing nerve pain. It is available as a tablet and can be taken by children as young as 12 years old. Some common side effects could include nausea and vomiting, confusion, drowsiness, headache, or muscle weakness. Baclofen is rated C in the FDA’s A through X pregnancy safety ranking for medications, with A being the safest. The C category means that the medication should only be used if the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Benzodiazepines. In addition to treating anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, benzodiazepines can also treat muscle spasms and skeletal pain. Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and temazepam (Restoril), are typically only intended for short-term use. This limitation is due to their habit-forming potential and because they alter sleep cycles, leading to sleep difficulties once the drug is stopped. Benzodiazepines are sold as tablets, liquid, injections, and rectal gels. People who have myasthenia gravis, severe liver disease, serious breathing troubles, or some forms of glaucoma, should avoid taking diazepam. All benzodiazepines are rated D by the FDA for safety during pregnancy and are not recommended for women who are pregnant.
  • Carisoprodol (Soma). Carisoprodol relaxes muscles and eases pain and stiffness caused by acute bone and muscle problems, often caused by an injury. It is taken by mouth in tablet form and is also available in combination with aspirin or aspirin and codeine. Carisoprodol can be habit-forming, particularly if used in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs that have a sedative effect, including opioids (such as codeine). Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. People with a history of blood disorders, kidney or liver disease, and seizures may need to avoid Carisoprodol. It is rated C in the FDA’s pregnancy safety ranking for medications.
  • Chlorzoxazone (Lorzone). Chlorzoxazone is used for the relief of discomfort from acute, painful, musculoskeletal conditions. Chlorzoxazone is available as a tablet. Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea. Chlorzoxazone is not recommended for people with liver disease. It has not been rated by the FDA for safety during pregnancy.
  • Cyclobenzaprine (Amrix, Fexmid, FlexePax Kit, FusePaq Tabradol). Cyclobenzaprine eases stiffness and pain from muscle cramps, also called muscle spasms. It is available as a tablet and extended-release capsule. Cyclobenzaprine itself is not intended for long-term use (more than 2 to 3 weeks). Cyclobenzaprine ( Generic Flexeril )Common side effects include blurred vision, dizziness or drowsiness, and dry mouth. It is not advised for those with an overactive thyroid, heart problems, or liver disease. Cyclobenzaprine is rated B by the FDA for safety during pregnancy, making it the safest muscle relaxant to use while pregnant.
  • Dantrolene (Dantrium). Dantrolene helps control chronic spasticity related to spinal injuries. It is also used for conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. Dantrolene is taken as a capsule or intravenous powder for injection. Drowsiness and sensitivity to light are common side effects. It can cause severe liver problems, and should not be taken by people with active liver disease. The FDA has given dantrolene a C rating for safety in pregnancy.
  • Metaxalone (Skelaxin, Metaxall, and Metaxall CP, Lorvatus PharmaPak). Metaxalone targets pain and muscle spasms from sprains, strains, and muscle injuries. It is available as a tablet or injection. Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Metaxalone is generally not recommended for people with a known tendency to become anemic, and who have kidney or liver disease. Metaxalone may affect blood sugar tests for people with diabetes. The FDA has not rated metaxalone for safety during pregnancy.
  • Methocarbamol (Robaxin, Robaxin-750). Methocarbamol eases acute muscle and bone pain. It can be taken as a tablet or by injection.Methocarbamol (Generic Robaxin) Common side effects include dizziness, headache, nausea, flushing, and blurred vision. Methocarbamol is generally not recommended to people with renal disease or failure, or a history of allergic reaction to the medication. The FDA has given methocarbamol a C rating for safety during pregnancy.
  • Orphenadrine. Orphenadrine is a medication used to relieve pain and stiffness caused by muscle injuries. It is available as an extended-release tablet. Common side effects include dry mouth, lightheadedness, difficult urination, heartburn, nausea and vomiting. It is generally not recommended to people with previous sensitivities to the ingredients, myasthenia gravis, those with glaucoma or certain types of ulcers. The FDA has given orphenadrine a C rating for safety during pregnancy.
  • Tizanidine (Comfort Pac with Tizanidine, Zanaflex). Tizanidine is used to treat muscle spasms caused by spinal cord injuries and other conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Tizanidine is available in tablet and capsule form and absorbs differently depending on whether it is taken on an empty stomach or with food. Zanaflex (Generic Tizanidine)
  • Common side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, constipation and tiredness. It should not be used by people taking fluvoxamine or ciprofloxacin or those who have liver disease. Tizanidine is rated in the C category for safety during pregnancy.

Sometimes the first muscle relaxers a doctor prescribes does not work as well as expected. It may be necessary to try an alternative if the initial prescription is not effective. Many drugs interact with muscle relaxers and a person should keep their health care provider informed of all prescription and non-prescription medications he or she is taking.

There is very little research regarding which muscle relaxers are most effective, so the choice of which medication—or whether to use one at all—is based on factors such as a person’s reaction to the medication and personal preferences, potential for abuse, possible drug interactions, and adverse side effects.

Medication is just one part of pain relief. These medications are intended to be one element, usually on a short-term basis, of an overall recovery strategy that includes rest, stretching, physical therapy, and other exercise.

About Soma ( Carisoprodol )

Carisoprodol, sold under the brand name Soma among others, is a medication used for musculoskeletal pain.  Use is only approved for up to three weeks.  Effects generally begin within half an hour and last for up to six hours. It is taken by mouth.

Common side effects include headache, dizziness, and sleepiness. Serious side effect may include addiction, allergic reactions, and seizures. In people with a sulfa allergy certain formulations may result in problems. Safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not clear. How it works is not clear. Some of its effects are believed to occur following being converted into meprobamate.

Carisoprodol is meant to be used along with rest, physical therapy and other measure to relax muscles after strains, sprains and muscle injuries. It comes in tablet format and is taken by the mouth three times a day and before bed.

Carisoprodol was approved for medical use in the United States in 1959. Its approval in Europe was withdrawn in 2008.  It is available as a generic medication. In the United States the wholesale cost is less than US$0.10 per dose.  In 2017, it was the 255th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than one million prescriptions. In the United States, it is a Schedule IV controlled substance.

Soma ( Carisoprodol ) is a controlled prescription and we can not sell it online. It is also illegal for you to buy Soma ( Carisoprodol ) online.

 

Side Effects Associated with Muscle Relaxers

Side effects of muscle relaxers include:

  • Sleepiness or grogginess
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

More serious side effects include:

  • Light-headedness or fainting
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Urinary retention

Any serious side effects should be reported to a doctor immediately.

Warnings for prescription muscle relaxants

Muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol and diazepam can be habit forming. Be sure to take your medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Muscle relaxants can also cause withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures or hallucinations (sensing things that aren’t real). Do not suddenly stop taking your medication, especially if you’ve been taking it for a long time.

Also, muscle relaxants depress your central nervous system (CNS), making it hard to pay attention or stay awake. While taking a muscle relaxant, avoid activities that require mental alertness or coordination, such as driving or using heavy machinery.

You should not take muscle relaxants with:

  • alcohol
  • CNS depressant drugs, such as opioids or psychotropics
  • sleeping medications
  • herbal supplements such as St. John’s wort

Talk to your doctor about how you can safely use muscle relaxants if you:

  • are older than 65 years
  • have a mental health problem or brain disorder
  • have liver problems

Off-label medications for spasticity

Doctors can use certain medications to treat spasticity even when the drugs are not approved for that purpose by the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA). This is called off-label drug use. The following drugs are not actually muscle relaxants, but they can still help relieve symptoms of spasticity.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are sedatives that can help relax muscles. They work by increasing the effects of certain neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that relay messages between your brain cells.

Examples of benzodiazepines include:

  • clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • lorazepam (Ativan)
  • alprazolam (Xanax)

Side effects of benzodiazepines can include drowsiness and problems with balance and memory. These drugs can also be habit forming.

Clonidine

Clonidine (Kapvay) is thought to work by preventing your nerves from sending pain signals to your brain or by causing a sedative effect.

Clonidine should not be used with other muscle relaxants. Taking it with similar drugs increases your risk of side effects. For instance, taking clonidine with tizanidine can cause very low blood pressure.

Clonidine is available in brand-name and generic versions.

Gabapentin

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is an anticonvulsant drug typically used to relieve seizures. It’s not fully known how gabapentin works to relieve muscle spasticity.  Gabapentin is available in brand-name and generic versions.

Over-the-counter options for muscle spasms

OTC treatment is recommended as first-line therapy for muscle spasms caused by conditions such as acute lower back pain or tension headache. This means you should try OTC treatments before prescription medications.

OTC treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, or a combination of both. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you choose an OTC treatment.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs work by blocking your body from making certain substances that cause inflammation and pain. NSAIDs are available in generic and brand-name versions. They’re typically sold over the counter. Stronger versions are available by prescription.

NSAIDs come as oral tablets, capsules, or suspensions. They also come as chewable tablets for children. Side effects of these drugs can include upset stomach and dizziness.

Examples of NSAIDs include:

  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • naproxen (Aleve)

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is thought to work by blocking your body from making certain substances that cause pain. Acetaminophen is available in generic and brand-name versions. It comes as immediate-release and extended release oral tablets and capsules, orally disintegrating tablets, chewable tablets, and oral solutions.

The more common side effects of acetaminophen can include nausea and upset stomach.

Can cannabis be used to treat muscle spasticity or spasm?

Yes, in some cases.

Cannabis, more commonly known as marijuana, is legal in certain states for medicinal uses. Muscle spasm is one of the health conditions that cannabis is used to treat. It helps relieve muscle spasms by reducing pain and inflammation.

Cannabis has also been used to treat muscle spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS). In many research trialsTrusted Source, cannabis has been shown to be effective alone and in combination with other treatments for reducing muscle spasticity symptoms.   However, there’s limited information available on the use of cannabis for muscle spasticity that’s not associated with MS.

If you’re being treated for MS and still have muscle spasms or spasticity, adding cannabis may help. Talk to your doctor about whether it’s a good option for you.

You should keep certain factors in mind. The more common side effects of cannabis include dizziness, vomiting, urinary tract infections, and a relapse of MS. Also, limited information is available about drug interactions and other usage warnings.

Risks Associated with Muscle Relaxers

Muscle relaxers are a group of drugs that have a sedative effect on the body. They work through the brain, rather than directly on the muscles. Muscle relaxants are generally used for a few days and up to 3 weeks, but are sometimes prescribed for chronic back pain or neck pain.

To minimize risk, the doctor should be informed of any history of seizures, liver disease, and any other medical conditions or concerns. Women should inform their doctors if they are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.

  • Sleepiness. Because muscle relaxers are total body relaxants, they typically induce grogginess or sleepiness. As a result, it is not safe to drive or make important decisions while taking muscle relaxers. Muscle relaxers are often suggested for evening use due to their sedative effect.
  • Interactions with alcohol. Drinking alcohol can be especially dangerous when taking muscle relaxers. The sedative effect of the medication is intensified with alcohol use, and combining the two can be fatal.See Alcohol Avoidance
  • Allergic reactions. No medication should be taken if the person has had an allergic reaction to it in the past, even if the reaction seemed mild. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling in the throat or extremities, trouble breathing, hives, and chest tightness.
  • Potential for abuse. Muscle relaxers have a risk of misuse and abuse. Some muscle relaxers, such as cyclobenzaprine, can be habit-forming on their own. Others may be taken in conjunction with other drugs, such as opioids, to create a high, and are therefore more likely to be abused.See Opioids for Back Pain: Potential for Abuse, Assessment Tools, and Addiction Treatment
  • Tapering off. Stopping a muscle relaxer abruptly can be harmful. Instead, the doctor will prescribe a gradual reduction in dosage.

Concern About Overuse of Muscle Relaxants

The use of muscle relaxers is controversial in the medical community. The growing use of these medications has drawn concern about overuse, adverse side effects, and limited evidence of their effectiveness—especially when used on an ongoing basis for a chronic condition.

Research is mixed on muscle relaxers. A number of research studies and analyses have found muscle relaxants to be more helpful than a placebo in easing symptoms of nonspecific acute low back pain in the short term.1,2 Other research, however, found that people visiting an emergency room for back pain received no additional benefit from taking muscle relaxers.3

What is the best muscle relaxer?

It’s difficult to declare one muscle relaxant better than all others because each type has its own advantages and uses. In general, pain relief treatments fall into one of three categories: over-the-counter (OTC), prescription, and natural. Determining the best muscle relaxer depends entirely on your specific condition and pain level. When in doubt, consult your healthcare provider.

Over-the-counter remedies: OTC pain relievers are often the first line of defense against pain, inflammation, and tension. They can work wonders for milder conditions like neck and lower back pain. Typically, your doctor might start you out on an OTC medication, and if that doesn’t provide the relief you need, he or she may write a prescription for something higher-grade.

Prescription drugs: For more chronic pain and conditions where OTC medications just won’t cut it, your doctor may prescribe something stronger. Because of their more serious side effects, prescription muscle relaxers are designed for short-term use, after which your doctor will transition to other drugs or treatments.

Natural remedies: For minor soreness and stress-related symptoms, the only treatment you need might be drawn straight from nature. Before rushing off to the doctor for an examination and potential prescription, you might be able to administer an effective plant-based therapy right from home.

What is the best over-the-counter (OTC) medicine for muscle pain?

These are the medications that you can find while perusing the aisles at your local pharmacy or convenience store. Most of them are household names, and it’s not uncommon to keep them on hand, stashed in a medicine cabinet, just in case. Even though OTC medications are easy to obtain, they’ll do the job for many aches and pains, and doctors often recommend them prior to prescribing stronger treatment options.

“OTC NSAIDS, like ibuprofen and naproxen, are a good first line agent to decrease inflammation surrounding an injury,” recommends Joanna Lewis, Pharm.D., creator of The Pharmacist’s Guide. They might not have the same potency of high-grade muscle relaxants, but they’re still effective and have very few side effects. If you roll your ankle at the gym or wake up with back pain, try one of these before asking your doctor for a prescription.

  1. Advil (ibuprofen): This is a staple of parents, doctors, and athletes alike. Ibuprofen is one of the most widely used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) available. As such, Advil doesn’t just remedy pain, but also inflammation as well. It’s highly versatile. Use it to treat low back pain, osteoarthritis, menstrual cramps, fever, headaches, migraines, sprains, and other minor injuries. Low doses are available over the counter, but a doctor can prescribe higher doses as well.
  2. Motrin IB (ibuprofen): Don’t be fooled by the different brand name. Motrin IB and Advil are the same drug. Therefore, they shouldn’t be taken together, as it could increase the risk of overdose.
  3. Aleve (naproxen): Another medicine cabinet staple, naproxen is similar to ibuprofen in many ways. It’s also an NSAID, so it works by reducing inflammation. It’s useful in treating muscle pain, headaches, migraines, osteoarthritis, fever, cramps, and minor injuries. The main difference between naproxen and ibuprofen is their dosing. You can take naproxen every eight to 12 hours and ibuprofen every four to six, so Aleve is slightly longer-lasting.
  4. Aspirin: One more NSAID for you. Aspirin treats many of the same conditions, relieving pain and reducing inflammation. However, daily doses of aspirin have been proven effective at reducing the risk of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks in some people. Ask your doctor before using for clot prevention. If you’re a candidate, you will likely take a “baby” aspirin, or 81 mg, coated tablet daily. Common brand names include Bayer or Ecotrin.
  5. Tylenol (acetaminophen): Unlike NSAIDs, acetaminophen focuses solely on treating pain—not inflammation. It’s used for muscle aches, headaches, migraines, back and neck pain, fevers, etc. However, if swelling and inflammation is the underlying cause of your pain, acetaminophen will not be nearly as effective as NSAIDs like those listed above. Acetaminophen’s wide range of uses and relatively few side effects make it the most popular OTC pain reliever worldwide.

 

Antispasmodic drugs are better for relieving muscle pain due to uncontrolled muscle contractions.

The following are muscle relaxants classified as antispasticity drugs:

  • baclofen (Lioresal)
  • dantrolene (Dantrium)

The following muscle relaxants are considered antispasmodic drugs:

  • carisoprodol (Soma)
  • chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte)
  • cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix)
  • methocarbamol (Robaxin)
  • orphenadrine (Norflex)

The following medications are classified as both antispasticity and antispasmodic medications:

  • diazepam (Valium)
  • tizanidine (Zanaflex)

Remedies For Muscle Pain

Muscle spasms occur when a muscle is irritated and they begin to spasm in order to protect themselves from further injury. A muscle may be used over and over for and tighten over time, but the muscle may not go into spasm until a simple movement occurs. So even the simplest task such as picking up a cup could lead to a painful muscle spasm. This can feel like tightness in the muscles of the affected area. If the initial injury is not treated the spasms will continue.

The common symptoms of stiffness, pain and swelling in joints could easily affect the surrounding muscles and give you mixed signals. Therefore , recognizing whether the pain comes from a joint or a muscle may not be an easy task for someone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

There are also some homes remedies to relieve muscle pain. These include treatments like putting ice packs, engaging in physical aides such as wrist, wraps or back braces that tend to minimize muscle strain via helping to hold joints and bones in correct positions.

muscle pain after exercise:

1 . Amino Acids – These are very inexpensive and can be purchased at your local vitamin store for less than $ 7 for a 15 day supply.

2 . Fish Oil – Fish oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids and will reduce inflammation in the joints as well as shorten the length of your muscle pain.

3. Aspirin – This is a tried and true pain reliever. 2-4 aspirin tablets taken a few hours after a workout will help reduce DOMS.

4. Stretching – Performing a few minutes of stretching before a workout or sports activity will not only help eliminate later muscle pain but will also help prevent serious injury.

With this cause of lower back muscle pain, the reason you feel it in this region is because the lower back muscles are the ones that do the extra work when lifting and carrying things. If you had a stronger core, however , you would feel the deep abdominal muscles engage when you properly lifted items and would be able to avoid lower back muscle pain.

The best treatment protocol is to never allow the muscle pain to start but with chronic pain patients it’s rare for any patient to have effective intervention prior to the muscle pain starting. Muscle pain is generally a secondary pain originating due to guarding, shielding, and posturing due to original pain sourcing.

To reduce muscle pain you can have regular massages, use ice packs, or resting periods. There are also certain lotions and balms that provide muscle pain relief.

Natural Remedies to Reduce Muscle Pain

1 . Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
2 . Take a green-lipped mussel oil supplement.
3. Massage a blend of essential oils of arnica, Calendula and St John’s work into the affected painful area.
4. Eat a whole food, mineral rich diet with plenty of vegetables and whole grains.

There are many causes of joint pains making you restless and bothersome. Joint pain is not the disease itself but the symptom of mild to serious disease. Fever can be the cause of generalized joint pains. It can be caused due to sprain or ligament injury, cartilage tearing, dislocations and sports injuries such as tennis elbow and swimmers shoulder in the case of injuries with swelling and redness around the injured part.

Another way to control the pain is by simply applying ice on the affected muscle. Cold temperature can relax the muscle and make the swelling controllable. It can manage the pain quickly because the ice will reduce the inflammation of the muscle. Use cold compress method within the first 72 hours of muscle pain.

There are several herbal oils that can have a wonderful effect on muscle pains. Some of the oils that are prevalently used for muscle pain massages include castor oil and olive oil. The massage must be done by an expert, always moving the hands in the direction of the pain. The idea is to allow the muscle wastes to enter the circulatory stream of the body and then go out with the other wastes. Done properly, a single massage session should be great for muscle pain relief.

Cures:

Chronic pain in the upper back that is not relieved by any of the above treatments can be a sign of a more serious condition. If this is the case, consult a doctor. You might be suffering from scoliosis (misalignment of the spine), which can be corrected surgically. If you have seriously injured your back muscles, your doctor might also try ultrasound treatments for a deep muscle massage.

What is the most popular muscle relaxant?

Some of the popular and commonly prescribed muscle relaxants are briefly described below. These are prescription drugs and are typically only used when other medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), have not provided sufficient pain relief from muscle spasms.

BACLOFEN

Brand names: Lioresal, Lioresal Double Strength.

Best for: Muscle spasms and tightness caused by spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis.

Dosage forms: Tablet, solution, suspension, packet.

Common side effects: Drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and muscle weakness.

CARISOPRODOL

Brand names: Soma, Vanadom.

Best for: Painful muscle and bone conditions like acute low back pain or neck pain.

Dosage forms: Tablet.

Common side effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, headache.

Note: Carisoprodol (Soma) tablet is a Schedule IV controlled substance with abuse potential (it can be habit-forming).

METHOCARBAMOL

Brand names: Robaxin, Robaxin-750.

Best for: Painful muscle and bone conditions like back pain.

Dosage forms: Tablet, injection.

Common side effects: Dizziness, headache, blurred vision, flushing, nausea.

TIZANIDINE

Brand names: Zanaflex, Comfort Pac with Tizanidine.

Best for: Muscle cramping and tightness caused by multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury.

Dosage forms: Tablet, capsule.

Common side effects: Fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, constipation.

CHLORZOXAZONE

Brand names: Lorzone, Remular-S, Parafon Forte DSC.

Best for: Painful musculoskeletal conditions.

Dosage forms: Tablet.

Common side effects: Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea.

CYCLOBENZAPRINE

Brand names: Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid, FusePaq Tabradol.

Best for: Muscle spasms, pain, stiffness, and discomfort caused by strains and sprains.

Dosage forms: Tablet, extended-release capsule, suspension.

Common side effects: Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision.

METAXALONE

Brand names: Skelaxin.

Best for: Painful bone and muscle conditions like sprains, strains, and muscle injuries.

Dosage forms: Tablet, injection.

Common side effects: Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting.

ORPHENADRINE

Brand names: Norflex.

Best for: Pain, discomfort, stiffness (increased muscle tone) caused by strains, sprains, and muscle injuries, shaking or trembling in Parkinson’s disease.

Dosage forms: Extended-release tablet.

Common side effects: Dry mouth, dizziness, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, difficulty urinating.

DANTROLENE

Brand names: Dantrium.

Best for: Muscle cramps and tightness associated with conditions like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and spinal cord injuries.

Dosage forms: Capsule, injection.

Common side effects: Drowsiness, light sensitivity.

 

 

What are Skeletal Muscle Relaxants?

Muscle relaxers, or muscle relaxants, are medications used to treat muscle spasms or muscle spasticity.

skeletal Muscle Relaxants-classification
skeletal Muscle Relaxants-classification

Skeletal muscle relaxants are drugs that are used to relax and reduce tension in muscles. They are more simply referred to as muscle relaxants.

Some work in the brain or spinal cord to block or dampen down excessively stimulated nerve pathways. These are called centrally acting muscle relaxants and examples include baclofen, methocarbamol, and tizanidine.

skeletal Muscle Relaxants
skeletal Muscle Relaxants

Others act directly on muscle fibers and are classified as peripherally acting muscle relaxants. Examples include dantrolene and the different types of botulinum toxin. Although dantrolene acts directly on the muscle itself, it also appears to indirectly act on the central nervous system and can cause drowsiness.

Cannabis extract also has muscle relaxing properties and is thought to act both centrally and peripherally.

Muscle spasms or cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions of a muscle or group of muscles. They can be caused by too much muscle strain and lead to pain. They’re associated with conditions such as lower back pain, neck pain, and fibromyalgia.

Muscle spasticity, on the other hand, is a continuous muscle spasm that causes stiffness, rigidity, or tightness that can interfere with normal walking, talking, or movement. Muscle spasticity is caused by injury to parts of the brain or spinal cord involved with movement. Conditions that can cause muscle spasticity include multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Prescription drugs can help relieve the pain and discomfort from muscle spasms or spasticity. In addition, certain over-the-counter medications may be used to treat aches and pains associated with muscle spasms.

What are skeletal muscle relaxants used for?

Skeletal muscle relaxants are mainly used to treat:

  • spasticity, which is another term for stiff and rigid muscles caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or stroke
  • muscle spasms which are temporary muscular contractions that are often associated conditions such as tension headache, low back pain, or fibromyalgia
  • cervical dystonia – a painful condition where the neck muscles involuntarily contract, causing your head to uncontrollably tilt forward or backward.

Which Prescriptions are  skeletal muscle relaxants?

Skeletal muscle relaxants differ in the way they work (centrally or peripherally as discussed above), their side effects, and their effectiveness for certain conditions.

Note that several other medicines, notably diazepam, may also be used as a muscle relaxant and are not listed below.

Note that several other medicines, notably diazepam, may also be used as a muscle relaxant and are not listed below.

Generic name Brand name FDA approval (spasm-related)
abobotulinumtoxinA Dysport Cervical dystonia, Muscle spasms
baclofen Gablofen, Lioresal General spasticity
carisoprodol Soma, Vanadom Muscle spasms
chlorzoxazone Lorzone Muscle spasms
cyclobenzaprine Amrix, Flexeril, Fexmid Muscle spasms
dantrolene Dantrium General spasticity
onabotulinumtoxinA Botox Cervical dystonia, Muscle spasms
orphenadrine Norflex Muscle spasms
metaxalone Skelaxin Muscle spasms
methocarbamol Robaxin Muscle spasms
rimabotulinumtoxinB Mybloc Cervical dystonia
tizanidine Zanaflex General spasticity

Are skeletal muscle relaxants safe?

Evidence supporting the effectiveness of skeletal muscle relaxants for muscle spasm is sparse; most trials are old and not of good quality.

Skeletal muscle relaxants consist of a varied range of medicines and some may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions such as an enlarged prostate, epilepsy, glaucoma, intestinal problems, liver or kidney disease, or myasthenia gravis. Many also interact with other medications.

Some, like dantrolene, can adversely affect the liver and blood samples should be taken before treatment to check for any pre-existing liver disease or to establish how well the liver is functioning before treatment, and what effect the drug subsequently has.

Muscle relaxants can affect overall muscle tone and may be dangerous if muscle tone is needed for safe balance or movement. Alcohol can enhance these effects. Many muscle relaxants need to be tapered off slowly, rather than abruptly stopped.

For Muscle Pain Rely Only on Muscle Relaxers

What would you do if someone asks your advice to deal with their muscular pain? Well in all probability you will advise him or her to talk to their doctor. Most doctors recommend something like Tramadol pain medication to their patients whenever they complain of any physical pain. They may also offer a muscle relaxant to a person suffering from a muscular injury. These relaxants are specially designed to relax the muscles and help one get rid of the pain that ails them in various parts of their body.

The market has two major muscle relaxants that are prescribed by physicians all over the world. They are the Flexeril muscle relaxer and the Soma muscle relaxer. Both of these muscle relaxers have a dedicated fan base. Both medicines are preferred by physicians and patients alike throughout the world. The medicines are known to offer a prolonged effect on the various muscular pains.

The various muscular pains occurring in the different parts of the body are easily taken care of with these relaxants. The Soma muscle relaxer is very popular. It is the go to medicine for all sorts of physical pains. The patients often state that it works like magic. Well the relaxant has been developed to offer instant relief in all sorts of physical pains.

It has come up as the preferred muscle relaxant for a number of people. This is because of the low cost and easy availability. These two factors have contributed a lot to its popularity. In fact the cost factor goes even lower when one buys the medicine at discounted prices. On the other hand the Flexeril muscle relaxer has slowly but surely been gaining its own ground. It has come up as a popular alternative to the various costly muscle relaxants. In fact , the cost is meant to fit in all sorts of budgets without causing the patients to squirm.

The medicine also works instantly with long lasting effects. It simultaneously works on relaxing the muscle and dealing with the pain. The soma muscle relaxer and the Flexeril muscle relaxer are both very safe to consume. The fact is that the medicines are prescribed by the physicians around the globe. That itself is a big testament to their quality. One does not have to say too much as in their case as the effects speak for themselves.

What are Muscle relaxants?

Muscle relaxants (also called skeletal muscle relaxants) are a diverse group of medicines that have the ability to relax or reduce tension in muscle. Some (such as baclofen, methocarbamol, Cyclobenzaprine, and tizanidine, ) work in the brain or spinal cord to block over-excited neuronal (nerve) pathways. Others (such as dantrolene and botulinum toxin) act directly on muscle. Cannabis extract is thought to have a dual effect.

Muscle relaxants treat two main conditions: spasticity (stiff, rigid muscles) caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and stroke; or muscle spasms which are typically temporary and associated with conditions such as tension headache, low back pain, or fibromyalgia.

Only three muscle relaxants – baclofen, dantrolene, and tizanidine are FDA approved to treat spasticity; however, six (carisoprodol, chlorzoxazone, cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone, methocarbamol, and orphenadrine) are approved to treat muscle spasm.

Botulinum toxin is only approved to treat spasticity in certain muscle groups of the upper and lower limbs. Many other medications are also used to treat spasticity or muscle spasm although most are not approved for this indication.

Evidence supporting the effectiveness of skeletal muscle relaxants for muscle spasm is sparse; most trials are old and not of good quality. For this reason, skeletal muscle relaxants should only be used to treat muscle spasm if other treatments fail.