Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) vs Valium (Diazepam)

Flexeril(Cyclobenzaprine) vs Valium(Diazepam)
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Muscle spasms are treated with Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) and Valium (diazepam). Valium is also prescribed for anxiety, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Valium and Flexeril belong to separate drug classes. Valium is a benzodiazepine, while Flexeril is a muscle relaxant (Basmajian, J.V., 1978).

Which One is Better?

Cyclobenzaprine is a common treatment for muscular spasms that is also available as a generic, although it should not be used for an extended period. Valium is beneficial for anxiety and muscle spasm when used infrequently or for a short period. Valium is particularly fast-acting when compared to cyclobenzaprine.

Difference between Cyclobenzaprine and Valium

Valium and cyclobenzaprine belong to separate pharmacological classes. Valium is a benzodiazepine and cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant.

Diarrhea, rash, exhilaration, loss of balance, excitability, muscle spasm, lack of sleep, rage, and speech issues are some of the side effects of Valium that differ from cyclobenzaprine (Aker, P., 2004).

Similarities between Cyclobenzaprine and Valium

Cyclobenzaprine and Valium are both used to treat muscle spasms. Side effects of cyclobenzaprine and Valium that are similar include drowsiness, fatigue, vision problems, and confusion (Elenbaas, J.K., 1980).

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Age Restrictions

For Cyclobenzaprine-Cyclobenzaprine is not recommended for children under the age of 15.

For Diazepam- Use is not recommended for children under the age of six months.

Conditions Treated

By Cyclobenzaprine

  • Relaxes muscles
  • Relives pain from strains
  • Relives pain caused by sprains
  • Relives pain caused by muscle injuries
  • Chronic Myofascial Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraine

By Valium 

  • panic disorder
  • a feeling of restlessness with the inability to sit still
  • symptoms from alcohol withdrawal
  • psychosis caused by sudden alcohol withdrawal
  • inducing of a relaxed, easy state
  • muscle spasm
  • anxiety

Availability and Cost

Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) vs Valium (Diazepam)

Cyclobenzaprine

Cyclobenzaprine pills are available in three dosage strengths.

  • 5 milligrammes (mg)
  • 7.5 milligrammes (mg)
  • 10 milligrammes (mg) tablets

Cyclobenzaprine is also available as a generic or under the brand name Amrix in 15 mg or 30 mg extended-release capsules.

Dosage for muscle spasms 

For adults and teenagers 15 years and older – For muscle spasms, take 5–10 mg up to three times per day as required for up to three weeks.

Maximum recommended dosage – For a maximum of three weeks, take no more than 10 mg three times each day.

Amrix and Fexmid are two brand names for cyclobenzaprine. Depending on the drugstore you visit, cyclobenzaprine oral tablet 10 mg costs roughly $10 for a supply of three tablets.

Valium

Valium (diazepam) comes as an intramuscular injection, an intravenous injection, and a tablet. It’s usually prescribed as a tablet, and it’s taken that way.

The tablet is available in the strength of

  • 2mg
  • 5mg
  • 10mg

Intramuscular injection: the amount varies. Intravenous injection: the amount varies.

Dosage 

For Adults to treat muscle spasms – 3-4 times a day, take a 2-10 mg pill.

For children six months and older – The standard dose is 0.1 to 10mg a day, and the maximum dose is 30mg.

Diazepam is a generic name for Valium. Valium oral tablet 2 mg costs roughly $364 for a 100-tablet supply, depending on the drugstore you go to.

Mechanism of Action

Cyclobenzaprine

Cyclobenzaprine is a centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxant with a tricyclic antidepressant-like structure. Cyclobenzaprine reduces localized skeletal, muscular spasms without impairing muscle function.

According to research, it predominantly functions in the brain stem of the central nervous system. Although an overlapping action on the spinal cord may contribute to its total skeletal muscle relaxant activity, cyclobenzaprine does not work directly on skeletal muscle or the neuromuscular junction. 

The evidence suggests that cyclobenzaprine causes a decrease in tonic somatic motor activity, impacting both the gamma() and alpha() motor systems. According to recent research, cyclobenzaprine is a (5-HT2) receptor antagonist, and its antispasmodic activity is due to this extra action.

Valium

Valium is a benzodiazepine that has anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, muscle relaxant, and amnestic properties. The majority of these effects are assumed to be due to a facilitation of the action of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a central nervous system inhibitory neurotransmitter.

How to take them?

Cyclobenzaprine

Cyclobenzaprine is available as a tablet and an extended-release capsule for oral administration. The tablet is normally taken three times a day, with or without food. 

The extended-release capsule is typically taken once a day, with or without food. Do not take this medication for longer than three weeks without consulting your healthcare professional. 

Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and if there is anything you don’t understand, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain it to you. 

Take cyclobenzaprine exactly as prescribed by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less of it, or take it more frequently than your doctor has suggested.

Valium

With a glass of water, take diazepam tablets or liquid. They can be consumed with or without meals.

Typically, you’ll take your medicine one to three times per day.

Your healthcare professional will determine the most appropriate dose for you. It’s critical to take diazepam exactly as prescribed by your doctor (Hall, A.M., 2017).

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Common Side Effects

Cyclobenzaprine

  • Blurred vision, Dry mouth, or Throat.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.

Valium

  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • spinning sensation
  • Exhaustion
  • Constipation
  • ataxia (loss of balance)
  • memory issues
  • Constipation

Drug Warnings

Cyclobenzaprine

Serotonin syndrome is a potentially fatal side effect of this medication. This occurs when your body produces too much serotonin due to your drugs. If you have any signs of this ailment, contact your doctor immediately. Agitation, hallucinations, convulsions, and nausea are some of these symptoms. If you combine cyclobenzaprine with other drugs that enhance the risk of serotonin syndrome, such as antidepressants, your risk may be increased.

This medication has the potential to cause cardiac arrhythmias. If you use a depressive medication or already have cardiac problems, your risk may be increased. These problems can lead to a heart attack or stroke if they aren’t addressed.

Valium

Diazepam has the potential to become addictive. Do not take a higher dose, take it more frequently, or take it for a longer period than your doctor recommends.

Tell your doctor if you’ve ever drunk a lot of alcohol, if you use or have used illicit drugs, or if you’ve ever taken too many prescription prescriptions.

During your treatment, refrain from drinking alcohol or using illegal substances. When you drink alcohol or use illegal substances while taking diazepam, you increase your chances of developing these significant, life-threatening side effects.

Also, tell your doctor if you are currently suffering from or have ever suffered from depression or a similar mental disorder.

Diazepam, especially if taken for several days to weeks, can create physical dependency. Do not stop taking this drug or reduce your doses without consulting your doctor.

Stopping diazepam abruptly might aggravate your health and create withdrawal symptoms that can last anywhere from a few weeks to over a year. Your healthcare professional will most likely progressively reduce your diazepam dosage (Hincapie-Castillo).

Scientific Study

In patients with long-term intractable pain of cervical and lumbar origin increased by skeletal muscle spasm and soreness, the effectiveness of cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride, a novel tricyclic skeletal muscle relaxant, was demonstrated. The study compared cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride (10 mg three times a day) to diazepam (5 mg three times a day) and placebo in a double-blind, randomised trial.

The 16 patients in the cyclobenzaprine group showed an overall improvement in pain variables after two weeks of treatment, as did the 16 patients in the diazepam group. In the trial, no significant side effects from cyclobenzaprine were observed. However, the anticholinergic activity of cyclobenzaprine caused dry mouth and mild sleepiness, which were more common than with diazepam or placebo (Jackson, J.L. and O’Malley, P.G., 2001).