What Is Cyclobenzaprine
Approved by the FDA in 1977, cyclobenzaprine, known by its brand name Flexril, is manufactured by PD-RX Pharmaceuticals. Cyclobenzaprine has become a top of the line treatment for muscles spasms and all other syndromes related to acute painful musculoskeletal conditions. It is closely related to the tricyclic antidepressants, and therefore should be monitored closely for any side effect that happens as a result of taking it. The pain from muscle spasms is caused by strains on the muscle through exercise or other forms of movement. It can result in muscle spasms or chronic pain, particularly in the lower back. A vast amount of exercise without helping to repair or replenish those muscles can greatly increase your chances of spasm or strains. After sustaining an injury, muscle spasms occur to prevent further damage but also generate pain in the process. Cyclobenzaprine works on the central nervous system, blocking the nerve impulses or any pain that are sent from the sore muscle to the brain.
Cyclobenzaprine is the best-studied drug or first line of treatment for this application in treating muscle spasms. Despite being the first line of treatment for muscle spasms and other acute painful musculoskeletal conditions, cyclobenzaprine decreases pain in the first two weeks and peaks in the three to seven days. After two weeks, cyclobenzaprine has not been proven to show any long-term benefit because of the dependence the body will acquire once the drug is taken often. Therefore, physicians suggest weekly therapy after taking the drug to decrease the chance of muscle spasms and wean the patient off the dependence for the drug. Cyclobenzaprine has not been found to be greater than tizanidine, orphenadrine and carisoprodol in the treatment of lower back pain and none of the drugs have been proven for long-term use.
Besides treating chronic back pain and muscle spasms, cyclobenzaprine has been found to help the treatment of fibromyalgia, but it is not suggested as the first line of treatment. In high doses, it seems not to be effective against fibromyalgia because of the fatigue that one gets the day after taking the high doses, but in low doses it has seemed quite effective in recent studies. Patients with fibromyalgia that have taken cyclobenzaprine in low doses have seen a decline in fatigue, anxiety, and depression while increasing the patient’s sleep. The low dose helps with the aid of the pain that comes from fibromyalgia.
Cyclobenzaprine Side Effects
Cyclobenzaprine / Flexeril has a number of side effects most of which are not life threatening. Increased drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness are among the most common associated with cyclobenzaprine. These side effects increase when the patient takes a larger dose. Cyclobenzaprine also has a sedative effect on many parts of the body. Patients have experienced an increase in agitation towards others due to the effect that the drug often blocks serotonin and muscarinic receptors, not allowing chemicals of the brain to be released. Treatments with the drug should be closely monitored for any change in behavior because the drug is very closely related to the structure of tricyclic antidepressants. Doctors also recommend that the elderly do not use the recommend dose or the drug at all. In the elderly, the drug has often shown signs of increased side effects and the side effects becoming more relentless. The motor functions of older adults severely decreases more than younger adults who take the drug, especially when mixed with other antidepressants. Cyclobenzprine high / Flexeril high dosage can lead to severe adverse reactions.
Cyclobenzprine side effects are increased when other antidepressants are used, such as alcohol. Alcohol can accelerate the affect of drowsiness, fatigue, and loss of motor functions. If the patient is taking cyclobenzaprine, all other MAOIs should be avoided two weeks after taking the drug to avoid causing any life-threatening illnesses. MAOIs or monoamine oxidase inhibitors are used to treat depression and Parkinson’s disease. MAOIs that should not be taken with the drug: marplan, zyvox, nardil, azilect, emsam, and parnate. As well as avoiding MAOIs, a patient should not take this drug if they have a history of heart problems, including blockages or previous heart attacks. Although there are many side effects that can come as a result of the drug, cyclobenzaprine is a non-benzodiazepine and has been found to have a lower risk of abuse among patients after the treatment was completed.
If a patient overdoses on cyclobenzaprine, the most common side effects are drowsiness and tachycardia, which is an abnormally rapid heart rate. In very rare cases, side effects can cause cardiac arrest, cardiac dysrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat, severe hypotension as well as seizures. If a patient has one of these severe symptoms they should contact their physician immediately and let them know the symptoms they have. Cyclobenzprine high doses, may cause severe ataxia, a neurological condition in which the patient can lose control over their muscle movements. During pregnancy, one should consult the physician or pharmacist before taking the drug. In most cases involving pregnancy, cyclobenzaprine should only be taken if the benefits from the drug outweigh the future consequences. If the patient is breastfeeding or plan to in the future, one needs to consult with a doctor on whether she should be taking the drug or not. It is known that cyclobenzaprine passes into breast milk from studying what happens to similar drugs.
Doses for the drug can depend based on age or other medications the patient is taken and in most cases Cyclobenzaprine is taken orally. Orally, cyclobenzaprine is marketed as felxeril, felxmid and novo-cycloprine and also available in a generic form called amriz. Cyclobenzaprine has also been used by multiple pharmacies in topical creams. For patients that are 15 years of age and older, the initial dose is cyclobenzaprine 5 mg taken orally three times a day. A dose can be increased to seven to ten milligrams a three times a day but that needs to be approved by the patient’s physician. An alternate dose includes a cyclobenzaprine 10mg extended release pill that the patient can take orally once a day. In elderly patients, the dose is strictly five milligrams with the physician discretion whether he or she would increase the dose based on the patient’s response.