Flexeril is a prescription muscle relaxant and also known as cyclobenzaprine. It is able to reduce pain by stopping nerve impulses and is generally considered a short-term fix. The medication tends to be combined with physical therapy and other treatments to provide more relief. Fibro mialja patients have reported that this drug helps them reduce muscle spasms.
Fibromyalgia and Flexeril treatment
A study, published in The Journal of Rheumatology, reveals that low doses of Flexeril helped patients with fibromyalgia. The double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled study found that taking cyclobenzaprine at bedtime helped reduce pain and other symptoms. Patients reported a decrease in their fatigue, tenderness and pain. In addition, they noted that their moods improved and they had better sleep.
Insomnia and muscle pain are some of the most common complaints associated with fibromyalgia. Flexeril appears to provide relief for both problems. It is important to note that researchers used low doses of the drug that ranged from 1 mg to 4 mg. The researchers were concerned that higher doses of the medication would lead to fatigue the next day.
Side Effects Associated with the Medication
Flexeril has several side effects that need to be considered before you take the medication. If you are concerned, then it is important to discuss the medication and its issues with a doctor. The most common side effects are rapid heartbeat, chest pain, arm or shoulder pain, headache, confusion, weakness, nausea, seizure and fever.
Flexeril can also interact with other medications, so you should tell your doctor about everything you take. Flexeril is not recommended for people who take MAO inhibitors and irritable bowel medications. In addition, cyclobenzaprine should not be used by patients who have heart rhythm disorders or other heart problems.
Other Factors to Consider
In general, muscle relaxants such as Flexeril are not meant to be long-term solutions. They are prescribed for a short period of time and should not be taken beyond the doctor’s recommendations. They may be used in combination with other drugs or treatments, so it is important to consider all of your options before you make a decision.
Dr. Robert Katz shares: “Muscle relaxants do help reduce tenderness and may relax patients or ease their anxiety. I tend to prescribe Zanaflex and low dose Flexeril and use them quite often in the treatment of fibromyalgia. I tell patients I don’t want them sedated, but I also do not want their muscles so tender; I want their muscles relaxed.”
Your doctor may suggest that you start with a low dose, and it is important to follow the directions. You can overdose on Flexeril and end up with serious health problems such as convulsions, hallucinations, tremors or seizures. Another concern is that higher doses of Flexeril can have a sedative effect and leave patients feeling tired during the day. It is also possible that an overdose of this medication can be fatal.
It is crucial to consider a variety of treatment options as you battle fibromyalgia. Flexeril has helped some patients, but it is not the only treatment that is available. You may want to consult your doctor as you investigate this medication and discuss dosage levels.