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Muscle Relaxants and Alcohol Interactions

Written by L. Anderson, PharmD on Nov 7, 2017

Skeletal muscle relaxants are a varied group of medications commonly used to treat two different types of conditions:

  • Spasticity from upper motor neuron syndromes
  • Spasms from painful muscle conditions.

Spasticity, pain, and stiffness may occur in cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, or with stroke. Muscles spasms are usually short-lived and linked with conditions like low back pain, tension headaches, or fibromyalgia. These agents work in the central nervous system and block pain sensations between the nerves and the brain. Some agents come combined with an antiinflammatory.

Alcohol should be avoided if you are under treatment with a muscle relaxant.

  • Most of these drugs can lead to additional central nervous system depression when consumed with alcohol.
  • Side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, weakness and problems with judgement or thinking can occur. Avoid hazardous activities such as driving or operating dangerous machinery.
  • Carisoprodol is metabolized to meprobamate and can lead to an opiate-like effect when combined with alcohol.
  • To review specific muscle relaxant interactions with alcohol, visit the Drug Interaction Checker and speak with your pharmacist or doctor.

Common Muscle Relaxants

Generic Name Common Brand Names
baclofen Lioresal
carisoprodol Soma
carisoprodol/aspirin Soma Compound
chlorzoxazone Parafon Forte DSC
cyclobenzaprine Flexeril
dantrolene Dantrium
metaxalone Skelaxin
methocarbamol Robaxin, Robaxin-750
orphenadrine Norflex
tizanidine Zanaflex

*This is not a complete list; always check with your pharmacist for possible drug-alcohol interactions.

Types of Drug Interactions With Alcohol

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.