Is Cyclobenzaprine A Benzo?

Is Cyclobenzaprine A Benzo
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Table of Contents

What is Cyclobenzaprine?

Cyclobenzaprine is used to treat muscle pain and comes under the skeletal muscle drug class. It is primarily used to treat muscle pain, acute pain, physical injuries and strains.

It was approved in the year 1977 by the FDA. Cyclobenzaprine works by preventing the pain receptors signal from reaching the brain, thus decreasing the pain. (Herman, C.R., Schiffman, E.L., Look, J.O. and Rindal, D.B., 2002.)

What are Benzos?

Benzos are also called benzodiazepines. They are CNS (Central Nervous System) depressants. Benzos work on the Central Nervous System by slowing down the brain activity.

Benzos enhance the GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid) in a person. Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, is a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect.

The muscles of the body relax and sleep is induced. It helps in decreasing panic disorders, anxiety, seizures, nervousness, insomnia, etc.

Eureka!

Benzodiazepines were discovered in the year 1955 accidentally by Hoffmann-La Roche. Librium is their branded counterpart. It is considered to be one of the most sedative medicines.

What is the Difference between Cyclobenzaprine and Benzodiazepine?

Cyclobenzaprine and Benzodiazepine are different on several parameters. Cyclobenzaprine is used to relax muscle pain and chronic pain. (Herman, C.R., Schiffman, E.L., Look, J.O. and Rindal, D.B., 2002.)

Benzodiazepine is used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, seizures, nervousness, muscle spasms, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, sedation, etc.

Different Body Mechanism

  • Cyclobenzaprine blocks the signals of pain receptors, so the patients feel less pain.
  • Benzodiazepine works as a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant, enhancing the neurotransmitter Gamma-Aminobutyric acid. This makes the patient sleepy and relaxed.

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Different Side Effects

For Cyclobenzaprine, the side effects include

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Fainting

For Benzodiazepine, the side effects include

  • Confusion
  • Panic attack
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction and dependence
  • Headache

Are Muscle Relaxers Considered as Benzos?

No, Muscle relaxers are not considered as Benzos, the working mechanism differs from each other and also have different drug classes. You can check above for detailed info.Hence Muscle relaxers are not considered as Benzos. (CUNHA, C.D.D.A. and LIMA, R.D.C., 2013.)

What Are The Forms and Dosages of Cyclobenzaprine and Benzodiazepine?

Cyclobenzaprine comes in the following forms

  • Tablets: 5 mg, 10 mg
  • Capsules: 15 mg, 30 mg

Cyclobenzaprine Dosage Patterns

  • For 15 and plus age: 5mg every 8 hours
  • Under 15: Should be avoided

 Benzodiazepine comes in the following forms

  • Tablet
  • Liquid

Benzodiazepine Dosage Patterns

As Benzodiazepine is a prescription only drug, the dosage pattern varies from person to person.

What Drugs Interact With Cyclobenzaprine And Benzodiazepine?

Common drugs that interact with Cyclobenzaprine are:

  • Benadryl
  • Galantamine
  • Trazodone

Common drugs that interact with Benzodiazepine are:

  • Opioids
  • Anti-depressant
  • MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase)

Are Cyclobenzaprine And Benzodiazepine Safe To Use In Pregnancy And Breastfeeding?

Cyclobenzaprine should be used only if it is required. There is no clinical study that confirms the bad side effects of Cyclobenzaprine in pregnancy.

In case of Benzodiazepine, studies have shown that there can be harmful side effects in case of pregnancy.

However, Cyclobenzaprine in breast feeding and Benzodiazepine requires caution as a small amount of the drug is passed on to the child during lactation. This does not lead to any side serious effects. (Burra, B., Datta, P., Rewers-Felkins, K., Baker, T. and Hale, T.W., 2019 )

Does Cyclobenzaprine And Benzodiazepine Cause Addiction?

Yes both Cyclobenzaprine and Benzodiazepine are addictive. Cyclobenzaprine relaxes muscles and treats acute pain.

As the patient consuming Cyclobenzaprine, there will be an urge to consume it frequently. Similarly, consuming Benzos regularly too can make you dependent on the medicine.

It will increase your drowsiness and interact with other sedatives. Benzodiazepine is considered to be more addictive and it is abused more frequently than Cyclobenzaprine.

FDA Boxed Warnings For Benzos

Benzo is a necessary treatment and is used for mental conditions. However, many street benzos are mixed with opioids and used as abusive substances in crimes.

The FDA has mandated a statutory warning for Cyclobenzaprine, however for Benzos they have mandated boxed warnings.

FDA Boxed Warnings are the highest forms of warnings that are issued for a drug. This regulation on 23rd September 2020 due to the abuse and addiction of Benzodiazepine. (Agarwal, S.D. and Landon, B.E., 2019.)

How To Handle Withdrawal From Cyclobenzaprine and Benzodiazepine?

As abrupt changes in the patterns of drugs can lead to withdrawal effects. Here are some tips on how you can effectively

  • You should reduce the dosage of the drugs in a phased manner.
  • You should consider moving to another replacement drug. (Bennett, R.M., Gatter, R.A)

Synopsis

Cyclobenzaprine and Benzo are different medicines from different drug classes and have different mechanisms. Their traits make them different from each other.

Between Cyclobenzaprine and Benzodiazepine, Benzodiazepine is much more addictive. It can cause high dependency. In a nutshell, Cyclobenzaprine is not a Benzo.

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