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Flexeril - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Flexeril: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What Is Flexeril?

Flexeril is a medication belonging to a class of skeletal muscle relaxants used to treat muscle spasms. These spasms may be induced by significant injuries of the musculoskeletal system or even due to usual physiological activities. Cyclobenzaprine is the generic name of Flexeril. Other brands apart from Flexeril are Amrix and Fexmid. This muscle relaxant works by blocking the pain signals and relieves the discomfort caused by muscle spasms. It is available in the form of tablets and extended-release capsules.

What Are The Uses of Flexeril?

Flexeril is an anti-spasm medication used short term. The medicine treats the condition by providing intermittent relief to the pain caused due to the spasms. It blocks the pathway of neurotransmitters that are responsible for the sensation of pain. It relaxes only the muscles and not the actual causative nerves behind the pain. Therefore, Flexeril is of no use for Cerebral Palsy. For best results, doctors recommend combining the use of Flexeril with rest and physical therapy.

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What Are The Side Effects of Flexeril?

Common side effects of Flexeril include;

  • Nausea, 
  • Dizziness, 
  • Drowsiness, 
  • Fatigue, 
  • Dry mouth, 
  • Upset stomach. 

Serious side effects include heart problems and serotonin syndrome. In such cases, the symptoms to look out for are; 

  • Hallucinations, 
  • Restlessness, 
  • Confusion, 
  • Numbness of the arms and legs, 
  • Afflicted vision and speech, 
  • Fainting and 
  • Irregular heartbeats or palpitations. 

Another rare side effect is an allergic reaction to the drug, manifested by hives and trouble breathing. 

Overdosing on Flexeril is also a potential side effect.

This list is not exhaustive. For a thorough understanding of potential side effects, please consult a physician.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Flexeril

1. Is flexeril addictive?

The drug Cyclobenzaprine, sold under the brand Flexeril, is structurally very similar to a class of Antidepressants called Tricyclic Antidepressants. Flexeril is commonly prescribed to induce pain relief from muscle spasms and improve motor skills, sleep, and energy levels by generating pain relief. These feelings may potentially be a cause for misuse of Flexeril and lead to addictive effects.

2. Is flexeril a narcotic?

Flexeril is not a narcotic drug or an opioid. It is not controlled under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), either. However, since Flexeril has properties that suppress pain, people may overuse it to amplify those feelings. The activity of Flexeril that depresses the Central Nervous System (CNS) makes it potentially addictive and dangerous.

3. Which is better for back pain - flexeril or diazepam?

Flexeril and Diazepam are both used to treat muscle spasms. They belong to two different drug classes - muscle relaxant and benzodiazepine, respectively. Both are advised for short-term use only. The only salient difference is that Valium has a higher potential to cause drug dependency than Flexeril. However, your physician can better decide which drug is better for your back pain.

4. How long does it take for flexeril to work?

Flexeril usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour to work after being ingested to show relaxation activity. It peaks at around 3 to 4 hours, and then the effects begin to wear off. This timeline is appropriate for an immediate-release formulation. In the case of an extended-release formulation, the effects last for up to 24 hours.

5. Is flexeril safe?

Since Flexeril is a muscle relaxant that shows the depressive activity of the CNS, it is not recommended to drive or do any dangerous activity under the influence of Flexeril. Combining this drug with alcohol may worsen the side effects you may observe. Modifying the drug dose without consulting a physician to amplify its impact is also not recommended.

6. Is flexeril an anti-inflammatory?

Flexeril is a muscle relaxant and works by blocking the pathways of the neurotransmitters that signal pain. It is not an anti-inflammatory drug and does not reduce any inflammation to provide muscle relief. Both of them are used for pain relief but have different mechanisms. In most cases, it is advised not to take an anti-inflammatory drug and a muscle relaxant simultaneously, as they might be contra-indicated.

7. Can a dog take flexeril?

Dogs can take muscle relaxers such as Flexeril for pain relief. Veterinarians suggest short-term treatments with Flexeril for dogs and cats with acute muscle spasms. However, the dosage strength differs for humans and dogs, and dogs are at risk for addiction. Please consult a veterinarian for more information.

8. Does flexeril cause diarrhea?

Diarrhea or an upset stomach is one of the more common side effects of taking Flexeril. This is because Flexeril is a muscle relaxant that may sometimes depress the Central Nervous System and the areas that control the reflexes associated with bowel movements. However, it has been reported only in about 1% to 3% of patients.

9. Is flexeril a pain killer?

Flexeril is a muscle relaxant, not a pain killer. It blocks the pathways of neurotransmitters that signal pain and diminishes the sensations of pain. It is also much more addictive than conventional painkillers or Over-the-counter (OTC) Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) available in the market that are pain relievers in action.

10. Is flexeril a strong muscle relaxer?

Flexeril is a strong muscle relaxant used with rest and physical therapy to treat muscle spasms. However, it is only for short-term relief from acute muscle pain and other skeletal conditions. It works by directly reducing muscle hyperactivity and decreasing the transmission of pain.

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References
  1. How Long Does Flexeril Stay in Your System? (no date). Available at: https://www.usarx.com/drug/cyclobenzaprine-hcl/how-long-does-flexeril-stay-in-your-system 
  2. Compare Flexeril vs. Valium – Iodine.com (no date). Available at: https://www.iodine.com/compare/flexeril-vs-valium 
  3. Flexeril vs. Valium Prescription Treatment for Back Pain, Muscle Spasms: Differences and Side Effects (no date). Available at: https://www.rxlist.com/flexeril_vs_valium/drugs-condition.htm 
  4. Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) – Side Effects, Interactions, Uses, Dosage, Warnings | Everyday Health (no date). Available at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/cyclobenzaprine 
  5. Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) Side Effects, Alcohol Interactions & Dosage (no date). Available at: https://www.medicinenet.com/cyclobenzaprine/article.htm 
  6. Flexeril Addiction And Abuse – Addiction Center (no date). Available at: https://www.addictioncenter.com/stimulants/antidepressants/flexeril/ 
  7. Cyclobenzaprine: Side Effects, dosage, uses, and more (no date). Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cyclobenzaprine-oral-tablet 
  8. Flexeril, Amrix (cyclobenzaprine) dosing, indications, interactions, adverse effects, and more (no date). Available at: https://reference.medscape.com/drug/flexeril-amrix-Flexmid-cyclobenzaprine-343338 
  9. ‘FLEXERIL (CYCLOBENZAPRINE HCl) Tablets’ (no date).
  10. Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine Hcl): Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions, Warning (no date). Available at: https://www.rxlist.com/flexeril-drug.htm 
  11. Flexeril Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Warnings – Drugs.com (no date). Available at: https://www.drugs.com/flexeril.html 
  12. Cyclobenzaprine – Wikipedia (no date). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclobenzaprine 
  13. Flexeril Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD (no date). Available at: https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-11372/flexeril-oral/details

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.

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