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Methocarbamol

Generic Name: methocarbamol (oral/injection) (meth oh KAR ba mal)
Brand Names: Carbacot, Robaxin, Skelex, Robaxin-750

Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on Apr 14, 2020.

What is methocarbamol?

Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxer. It works by blocking nerve impulses (or pain sensations) that are sent to your brain.

Methocarbamol is used together with rest and physical therapy to treat skeletal muscle conditions such as pain or injury.

Methocarbamol injection is sometimes used in the treatment of tetanus, (lockjaw) which causes painful tightening of the muscles.

Important Information

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to methocarbamol.

Before using methocarbamol, tell your doctor if you have myasthenia gravis.

You may need to reduce your dose after the first 2 or 3 days of treatment. Follow your doctor's instructions regarding the number of tablets you take each day.

Methocarbamol may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of this medicine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use methocarbamol if you are allergic to it.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Methocarbamol may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Methocarbamol is not approved for use by anyone younger than 16 years old unless to treat tetanus.

How should I use methocarbamol?

Take methocarbamol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Methocarbamol is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include rest, physical therapy, or other pain relief measures.

Methocarbamol oral is taken by mouth. You may need to reduce your dose after the first 2 or 3 days of treatment. Carefully follow your doctor's dosing instructions.

Methocarbamol injection is injected into a muscle or given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

The injection is usually given as a single dose before you start taking the oral form.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when methocarbamol is injected.

This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Methocarbamol dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Muscle Spasm:

ORAL:
Initial Dose: 1500 mg orally 4 times a day
-Doses of 6000 mg per day are generally used for the first 48 to 72 hours
-In severe cases, doses up to 8000 mg per day may be used

Maintenance dose:
500 mg tablets: 1000 mg orally 4 times a day
750 mg Tablets: 750 mg orally every 4 hours OR 1500 mg orally 3 times a day

PARENTERAL:
-For the relief of moderate symptoms: 1 g IV or IM once, then switch to oral
-For relief of severe symptoms or postoperative conditions: 1 g IV or IM every 8 hours
Maximum Dose: 3 g in 24-hours
Maximum Duration: 3 consecutive days; may repeat after a drug-free interval of 48 hours

Comments:
-Higher doses are recommended in the first 48 to 72 hours of treatment, then doses can usually be reduced to approximately 4000 mg per day.
-Oral tablets should be administered whenever feasible; IV/IM therapy should not be administered for more than 3 consecutive days without a drug-free interval of 48 hours.

Use: As an adjunct to rest and physical therapy for the relief of discomfort associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions.

Usual Adult Dose for Tetanus:

Initial dose: 1 to 2 g IV followed by an additional 1 to 2 g via IV infusion
Maximal Initial Dose: 3 g

Repeat initial IV dose every 6 hours until NG tube or oral therapy is possible


Once NG tube is in place, may crush tablets, suspend in water or saline and administer through tube
-Total oral doses of up to 24 g may be needed based on patient response

Comments:
-There is clinical evidence to suggest this drug may have a beneficial effect in the control of the neuromuscular manifestations of tetanus.
-This drug should not replace the usual procedure of debridement, tetanus antitoxin, penicillin, tracheotomy, attention to fluid balance, and supportive care; if used, this drug should be added to the regimen as soon as possible.

Use: To control the neuromuscular manifestations of tetanus.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Tetanus:

Initial dose: 15 mg/kg or 500 mg/m2 IV; repeat initial dose every 6 hours as needed
Maximum dose: 1.8 g/m2/day IV for 3 consecutive days

Maintenance dose: May be given by injection into tubing or by IV infusion with an appropriate quantity of fluid

Comments:
-There is clinical evidence to suggest this drug may have a beneficial effect in the control of the neuromuscular manifestations of tetanus.
-This drug should not replace the usual procedure of debridement, tetanus antitoxin, penicillin, tracheotomy, attention to fluid balance, and supportive care; if used, this drug should be added to the regimen as soon as possible.

Use: To control the neuromuscular manifestations of tetanus.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, extreme drowsiness, fainting, seizure, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking methocarbamol?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how methocarbamol will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.

Methocarbamol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to methocarbamol: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using methocarbamol and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • slow heartbeats;

  • a seizure;

  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes); or

  • pain, bruising, swelling, or skin changes where the injection was given.

Common methocarbamol side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness;

  • fever;

  • confusion, problems with memory;

  • nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;

  • blurred vision, double vision;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • lack of coordination.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect methocarbamol?

Using methocarbamol with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with methocarbamol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use methocarbamol only for the indication prescribed.

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

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