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Cyclobenzaprine Patient Tips

How it works

  • Cyclobenzaprine acts on the brain stem more than the spinal cord to relax muscles and reduce muscle hyperactivity. It belongs to a class of drugs known as muscle relaxants. Cyclobenzaprine will not reduce muscle spasm due to central nervous system (CNS) disease, such as cerebral palsy.

Upsides

  • Most studied skeletal muscle relaxant.
  • Relieves skeletal muscle spasm without interfering with muscle function.
  • Long-lasting effects.

Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Sedation is a major side effect. May impair reaction skills and affect a person's ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid alcohol.
  • Common side effects include dry mouth, difficulty with urination, increase in eye pressure, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, or nausea.
  • Not recommended for use in older individuals due to anticholinergic side effects (anticholinergic side effects include constipation, blurred vision and increase in eye pressure).

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

    Cyclobenzaprine is a skeletal muscle relaxant used short-term in addition to other therapies for muscle spasm and back pain. Use is limited by sedation and other potentially serious adverse effects such as seizures.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, thyroid disease, liver disease, glaucoma or a problem with urination before starting treatment.

Tips

  • Effective dosage varies between individuals.
  • Use for longer than two to three weeks is not recommended; you may need to stop cyclobenzaprine slowly to avoid side effects; ask your doctor.
  • Avoid operating machinery, driving, or performing tasks that require mental alertness while taking this medicine; although sedation may help sleeplessness due to muscle spasm.
  • Avoid alcohol while taking this medicine.

Response and Effectiveness

  • Time to peak concentration varies depending on formulation (around 7 hours for extended-release form). Duration of action varies (7 to 37 hours). Drug accumulates with repeated dosing.
  • 5mg dose reportedly as effective as 10mg dose, with fewer side effects.
  • Ineffective in muscle spasm due to brain injury or disease.

References

Cyclobenzaprine [package insert]. Revised 12/2015. Aidarex Pharmaceuticals LLC. https://www.drugs.com/pro/cyclobenzaprine.html Accessed 02/2016. See S, Ginzburg R. Choosing a Skeletal Muscle Relaxant. Am Fam Physician. 2008 Aug 1;78(3):365-370. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2008/0801/p365.html

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

  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2017 Drugs.com. Revision Date: 2015-12-16 23:05:18

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