Skeletal muscle relaxants: Nursing Pharmacology
There are several alternative therapies to skeletal muscle relaxants, depending on the reason for use. TABLE 3 gives a summary of possible alternatives.17 For patients with lower back pain, it is important to understand that most pain resolves on its own and does not require medical treatment. Skeletal muscle relaxants are a sedating class of medications used to treat spasticity and pain. Their sedative properties can pose a risk for geriatric patients who are predisposed to falls.
Baclofen dissipates rapidly after administration (due to its short half-life), and so must be administered every hours for optimal effect. People who use baclofen often require dosage increases over time to maintain the same therapeutic effects (2). Your doctor will help you determine the right dose for your particular case.
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Muscle relaxers (also called muscle relaxants) are prescription medications that affect muscle function. Healthcare providers prescribe them to treat several symptoms, such as muscle spasms, spasticity and musculoskeletal pain. This medication is typically used to treat muscle spasms and other symptoms in sufferers with disease or injury of the spinal cord. Also, it is used to treat muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis (an autoimmune disease that attacks the brain and central nervous system), including pain, spasm, and stiffness. Patients with low back pain or fibromyalgia may benefit from treatment with cyclobenzaprine. Higher doses of cyclobenzaprine or tizanidine would be appropriate to promote sedation in cases of more severe discomfort or perceived muscular spasm.
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However, more severe cases, these primary treatments may prove insufficient. For persistent pain, your primary care physician may recommend muscle relaxants. If you have acute back or neck pain due to a musculoskeletal injury or fibromyalgia, flexeril half life time cyclobenzaprine is the best treatment option. If you have spasticity or persistent pain as a result of neurological disease or injury, such as multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury, baclofen may be the best option for you.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco. Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary.
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If you take them together, the side effects are much more intense, which can be dangerous. The two main possible complications of taking muscle relaxers are the potential for overdose and dangerous interactions with alcohol. This means they have addiction potential and can cause withdrawal symptoms if you develop a dependence and stop taking them. You should avoid these medications if you have a personal or family history of substance use disorder. Yes, prescription muscle relaxers can make you sleepy due to how they affect your central nervous system. Because of this, you should be cautious about operating heavy machinery, such as driving a car, or making important decisions while taking these medications.
Home Remedies For Muscle Spasms
Lioresal is a popular and first-choice treatment for muscle spasticity caused by spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis. Apart from the specific muscle spasms caused by brain injury or multiple sclerosis, Lioresal is not the best medicine to take. There are many alternatives available to Baclofen, but they treat only a specific type of muscle pain. Conservative treatment, such as physical therapy, exercise, and NSAIDs, should always be the first choice for remedying muscle spasms and related pain.
It is also indicated in spinal cord problems, treating alcoholism, and CNS lesions. There is decreased susceptibility to CNS depression with this antispastic agent. Both baclofen and Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) are skeletal muscle relaxants that work in different ways to relieve muscle spasm. Both carry significant adverse effects and should only be used for short-term treatment. The evidence suggests that cyclobenzaprine is an effective treatment for musculoskeletal conditions and outperforms placebos, especially in patients with acute lower back or neck pain (1, 4). Short duration studies show that cyclobenzaprine is also effective in reducing pain from fibromyalgia (10).
- It is thought that baclofen acts like GABA and blocks the activity of nerves within the part of the brain that controls the contraction and relaxation of skeletal muscle.
- Selection of a skeletal muscle relaxant should be individualized to the patient.
- Flexeril doesn’t have a lot of potential for misuse when taken on its own since it doesn’t provide the user with any psychoactive effects.
- It is a drug with the brand name of Lioresal that belongs to two groups of drugs known as antispastics and muscle relaxants.
Skeletal muscle relaxants are widely used in treating musculoskeletal conditions. However, evidence of their effectiveness consists mainly of studies with poor methodologic design. In addition, these drugs have not been proven to be superior to acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain. Comparison studies have not shown one skeletal muscle relaxant to be superior to another. Cyclobenzaprine is the most heavily studied and has been shown to be effective for various musculoskeletal conditions.
The peak plasma concentration can be achieved in 2 to 3 hours after intake. HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare.