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Does Zanaflex help with anxiety in addition to relax muscle spasms?

9 Answers

Inactive 13 Apr 2010

the answer I think would be no
Zanaflex is used for: Treating muscle spasms. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Votes: +1
psych major 13 Apr 2010

Is it zanax or zanaflex as zanax works wonders for treating anxiety but Ive never heard of zanaflex, posssibly generic...

Inactive 13 Apr 2010

Zanaflex is found on seaech, top of this page

jblt83 13 Apr 2010

I have anxiety and muscle spasms or what my specilaist calls periodic limb movement disorder. It mainly occurs at night when I'm sleeping. I take klonopin and lexapro which treat both of my conditions. I would recommend asking your doctor about combining these two if you have both anxiety and muscle spasms.

Votes: +0
psych major 13 Apr 2010

Hey, whats the difference between restless leg and what you have-they seem to be pretty close as I have restless leg and it only occurs at night so really disturbs the trying to sleep...

jblt83 13 Apr 2010

restless leg from what i've researched seems to be more restlessness and irritation. Web MD describes the sensations as similar to "they are not painful, but an uncomfortable, "itchy," "pins and needles," or "creepy crawly" feeling deep in the legs." PLMD only occurs when you are trying to sleep or rest whereas RLS can be anytime throughout the day. PLMD is more just spasms and twitching rather than feeling restless. You can look them both up on web-md and it describes both conditions in more detail.

jblt83 13 Apr 2010

restless leg from what i've researched seems to be more restlessness and irritation. Web MD describes the sensations as similar to "they are not painful, but an uncomfortable, "itchy," "pins and needles," or "creepy crawly" feeling deep in the legs." PLMD only occurs when you are trying to sleep or rest whereas RLS can be anytime throughout the day. PLMD is more just spasms and twitching rather than feeling restless. You can look them both up on web-md and it describes both conditions in more detail.

Inactive 13 Apr 2010

your studding. LOL Double statement

kellyandtodd 13 Apr 2010

No zanaflex is just for muscle spasms if your having anxiety you should talk with your doc and he or she can give you something that can help while your taking zanaflez,hope this helps

Votes: +0
freeborn81 1 Mar 2011

My doctor prescribed zanaflex for me for muscle spasms, as well as for anxiety. Several medications have secondary benefits. Most American doctors, except some neurological movement specialists, do not indicate it for this use due to the slow advance of medical research in our country. However, in countries with medical research development based on scientific informational need and not pharmaceutical company fiscal advances (such as Germany and France), studies have shown it to decrease certain types of anxiety. Eventually when the drug brings in money more studies will be completed here.

Votes: +0
brian25503 27 Apr 2011

No zanaflex does not help with anxiety, it is only a muscle relaxer and helps with spasms, and will also help with sleep as it will make about 90 to 95 percent of the people taking it very drowsy, you would need something like xanax, ativan, klonopin, or valuim to help with anxiety, hope this helps.

Votes: +0
emberleigh 6 Feb 2012

Freeborn81 is so correct! I see a neurologist and have a team of neuromuscular specialists. I suppose most non-neuro or psychiatric doctors may not realize this, but it does in fact help with at least some of the physiological symptoms of anxiety (a long-time enemy of mine). I am on Zanaflex for BOTH reasons, and as a sedative. I also take Klonopin (which isn't just for anxiety... it also actually helps some nerve pain and is used as an anti-epileptic). If anxiety is something you experience on a daily basis, Zanaflex will likely not help you too much and you may benefit from a low dose of something like klonopin, ativan, valium, etc. I listed those 3, since I know for a fact they are safe to take w/Zanaflex (I take klonopin every day and valium PRN). The biggest risk in mixing these, though, is the sedating effect.

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If you are concerned about you anxiety and don't feel benzodiazepines are meds you'd try (they can be habit-forming, but as long as u stick to the doc's orders you'll be fine), maybe inquire about Gabapentin. It helps pain (another one I take every day for muscle pain) PLUS it's actually a mood stabilizer (and let's face it... some of us get moody when in pain) so that *could* be worth inquiring about. Hope this makes sense. I am lacking in the sleep department.

Best wishes!

Votes: +0
KyleFontenot 24 Aug 2016

I know this is a late response but when I Googled to see what people thought, it was among the first results.

Tizanadine DOES help for mild anxiety issues which are not daily and do not occur often. While it is not the ideal med (hydroxyzine, Xanax, Ativan, Valium are) it is safer to use in the short term than Benzos.

It can help with anxiety as it has sedating effects. Some even use it as a sleeping med, but people often use the other meds I mentioned as well for such. However, if you can tolerate the sedating effects without becoming a zombie (which is rare anyway) then the med can help as the sedating effects are often great for calming someone down and help halt overly thinking. This medication however probably shouldn't be used often for anxiety; if you have anxiety to where you feel you need a medication to help, I would say benzodiazepines, in particular Ativan, Xanax, and Valium are better options.

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Also hydroxyzine(Vistiril) is helpful as it is actually a strong antihistamine which its sedative effects are helpful for panic attacks. For mild-moderate panic attacks I'd say go for hydroxyzine. For moderate-severe I'd say try a benzodiazepine. But for simply mild and rare anxiety, especially if it's not a panic attack but rather increased anxiety, I think tizanadine is a good option.

The medical community is beginning to explore different medications to help with anxiety. While personally I think benzodiazepines will always triumph in anxiety from any level, many tricyclic and different meds are being seen to help. In the U.S. studies of medications traditionally dont look for potentials to be used off-label for other indications. In Europe this is not the case. There are two studies I know of that showed improvement for mild anxiety using tizanadine. However American Psychiatrists likely won't prescribe it for such as they typically have their own traditional ideas on how to treat. Doctors will often prescribe just a few antidepressants as they've seen their patients benefit. Benzodiazepines have been the number one and definitely most effective class of medications for anxiety. Hydroxyzine has become increasingly popular. Even small doses of Seroquel. This is the norm for most docs. Gabapentin is also being used by many doctors for anxiety. But tizanadine is just not something you hear people commonly on and if so, it's not for anxiety. I believe, based on data I've seen from Europe, that this med would be great for rare and mild anxiety.

So to sum: Yes, I believe it can help with anxiety due to its sedating effects. I believe it is good in calming someone down and helping to stop their thoughts from going overboard. I would ask your doctor to try this med as a first resort and to get a small prescription of it and also give hydroxyzine or benzodiazepines in a very small script as backup. Please note that my ideal way for doctors to do that would cause lots of sedation and sleepiness if you end up having to take both!

Votes: +0
Jeanea knight 4 Jul 2018

I have panic attacks and severe nerve damage in bk and ive taken 2 doses and both times it actually MADE me have a panic attack increased heart rate palpitations and according to drs i have a fairly healthy heart and yet.. found it hard to breathe and speak anything
Does this mean im allergic to it ?

Votes: +0
RhondaB48 28 Sep 2018

The 1st time I ever had a panic attack with the shaking, then sweating and vomiting I thought that zanaflex had xanax in it so I took one to stop it. It worked. I had to wait until the vomiting subsided a little bit but it stopped it cold. I then found out there’s no xanax in it and had another panic attack. It stopped it too. So for those of you, Dr’s too that say it doesn’t help, it does! Dr’s need to rethink using muscle relaxers for anxiety issues. Btw, it was a 2 mg zanaflex that I took. It took approximately 15-20 mins to work and I was back to my same old self. It’s a miracle drug as far as I’m concerned!!!

Votes: +0
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