Upsides of Taking Flexeril
- May be used for the short-term relief of muscle spasm associated with acute, painful, musculoskeletal conditions.
- Improves pain, tenderness, and range of motion associated with muscle spasm and increases a person’s ability to perform their day-to-day activities.
- Relieves skeletal muscle spasm without interfering with muscle function.
- The sedative effects of Flexeril may help people sleep who are experiencing insomnia as a result of muscle spasm.
- Flexeril’s effects are long-lasting.
- Flexeril has not been associated with addiction; however, abrupt discontinuation may produce symptoms such as nausea, a headache, and a general feeling of discomfort. The dosage of Flexeril is best tapered off slowly on discontinuation.
- Flexeril is available as a generic under the name cyclobenzaprine.
Downsides of Taking Flexeril
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 that may impair reaction skills and affect a person’s ability to drive or operate machinery. Alcohol should be avoided.
- Dry mouth, tiredness, dizziness, headache, difficulty with urination, nausea, an increase in eye pressure, and blurred vision have also been reported.
- Heart palpitations, seizures, and an increased risk of a heart attack have rarely been associated with Flexeril.
- Effects may be similar to those seen with tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) as Flexeril is structurally related to TCAs.
- Abrupt cessation of Flexeril may cause sickness, headache, and tiredness; however, these are not indicative of addiction.
- Should only be used short-term (for periods of up to two to three weeks only).
- Not effective for muscle spasm occurring as a result of cerebral or spinal cord disease, or in children with cerebral palsy.
- Flexeril should never be given within 14 days of monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor antidepressants, as the combination may be fatal.
- Interaction with other drugs that also increase serotonin (such as antidepressants, tramadol, St John’s Wort, bupropion) may cause serotonin syndrome. Symptoms include mental status changes (such as agitation, hallucinations, coma, delirium), fast heart rate, dizziness, flushing, muscle tremor or rigidity, and stomach symptoms (including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea).
- Flexeril may enhance the effects or side effects of tricyclic antidepressants (for example, amitriptyline and imipramine), alcohol, and other CNS depressants.
- May not be suitable for people with arrhythmias, heart block or conduction disturbances, heart failure, hyperthyroidism, or immediately following a heart attack.
- The dosage of Flexeril should be reduced in people with mild liver disease. It should not be taken by people with moderate-to-severe liver disease.
- Flexeril may also not be suitable for people with glaucoma or increased intraocular pressure, a history of urinary retention, or taking other drugs that also have anticholinergic side effects (anticholinergic side effects include constipation, blurred vision, and an increase in eye pressure).
- Elderly people may be more sensitive to the effects of Flexeril, and the dosage should be kept low if the benefits of using it in seniors outweigh the risks.