Is Flexeril a Controlled Substance?

Is Flexeril a Controlled Substance?

Flexeril, recognized by its generic name cyclobenzaprine, is a muscle relaxant. Flexeril is used along with physical therapy to treat skeletal muscle conditions such as pain injury or spasms. It works by blocking the nerve impulses or pain sensations that are being sent to the brain.

Flexeril side effects are minimal, but there are few long terms risks. Flexeril is currently not categorized as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The drug has a slight potential for abuse due to its sedating effects.

People sometimes abuse Flexeril for its subjective high, categorized by feelings of sedations, relaxations, and mild euphoria. Flexeril is abused along with CNS depressants such as Alcohol, Benzodiazepines (Kaye, A.M. and Kaye, A.D., 2015).

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Study on the Effects of Flexeril

A study on the effects of cyclobenzaprine in animals showed that cyclobenzaprine reduced or eliminated skeletal muscle hyperactivity. Cyclobenzaprine does not act at the neuromuscular junction or directly on skeletal muscle.

According to this research, cyclobenzaprine works mainly in the central nervous system at the brain stem level rather than the spinal cord. Still, its action on the latter may add to its total skeletal muscle relaxant activity. Evidence suggests that cyclobenzaprine has a net effect of reducing tonic somatic motor activity, affecting both the gamma and alpha motor systems (Linden, C.H., Mitchiner, J.C., Lindzon, R.D. and Rumack, B.H., 1983)

Flexeril Abused

Although Flexeril isn’t a controlled substance, it does possess slight abuse potential. The side effects of Flexeril abuse include:

  • Elevated heart rate.
  • Nausea.
  • Excessive drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Headache.
  • Confusion.
  • Impaired cognitive function.
  • Physiological dependence.

Data of Muscle Relaxers Being Abused

A search of skeletal muscle relaxant exposures reported to the Florida Poison Information Center Network from 2009 to 2012 was done to explore the potential shift in abuse or misuse of drugs after carisoprodol was categorized as a controlled substance. Intentional abuse of carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine, and a combination of additional muscle relaxants were among the data gathered.

After carisoprodol was categorized as a controlled substance in 2012, there were 75 occurrences of carisoprodol exposure, compared to an average of 132 cases per year between 2009 and 2011. Surprisingly, the instances of cyclobenzaprine poisoning fell to 27 in 2012, down from an average of 36 per year between 2009 and 2011 (Witenko C, Moorman-Li R, Motycka C, et al).

How long does Flexeril Stay in your System?

How long does Flexeril Stay in your System?

Flexeril is a prescription-based muscle relaxant usually taken along with other medical treatments like rest and physical therapy. The way Flexeril works is by targeting the central nervous system. The drug causes the brain to change the way pain signals are sent across the body. The half-life of Flexeril is usually around 18 hours. It should generally leave your body after about four days since the last dose is taken. However, these are average numbers, and there can be differences. On average, Flexeril has a half-life range of 8037 hours. The amount of days Flexeril stays in your system depends on the half-life of Flexeril. If the half-life of Flexeril is around 8 hours, then it will usually take at least two days for the body to eliminate the drug completely; if the half-life is approximately 37 hours, then it will take 8 1/2 days for the body to eliminate the drug entirely. In most cases, it takes around four to five days for Flexeril to leave your system. (Darwish, M. and Xie, F., 2009)

Factors Influencing the Stay of Flexeril

The stay of Flexeril can be influenced by various other factors, just like other drugs. The three main factors affecting how long Flexeril stays in your body are age, body weight, and hepatic functions. For example, it will take longer for an elderly patient and also patients with impaired hepatic function to eliminate Flexeril from the system. Metabolism rates of the body also affect the stay of Flexeril in your system. Usually, patients having a high metabolism rate eliminate the drug more quickly and people with higher body weights. Another factor that influences the stay is the amount of drug intake. If a patient is taking high dosages of Flexeril or is taking the drug more frequently, it will eliminate the drug more slowly than the usual rate because it accumulates in the body. (Winchell, G.A., King, J.D., Chavez‐Eng, C.M., Constanzer, M.L. and Korn, S.H., 2002)
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How does Flexeril Work?

Flexeril belongs to a class of medicines called muscle relaxants. Flexeril contains the active ingredient cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer that works in the central nervous system (CNS), indirectly influencing the motor neurons. It relaxes the muscles by reducing the muscle hyperactivity on the motor system, the nerve cells that directly connect to the skeletal muscle and are responsible for muscle contraction. It effectively treats muscle strains and sprains by relaxing the ultra-tight muscles. (Cyclobenzaprine: a possible mechanism of action)

Side effects of Flexeril

The common Flexeril side effects include:

  • Headache.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Drowsiness/ dizziness/ tiredness.
  • Upset stomach,
  • Constipation,
  • Nausea.

Severe symptoms you should look out for:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain/ pressure spreading to your jaw or shoulder.
  • Sudden numbness.
  • Balance problems.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Fast or irregular heartbeats.

Seek immediate medical help you see any of these symptoms to avoid any fatality. Apart from these, you should also seek help from a medical professional if you start getting an allergy or see symptoms of serotonin syndrome like agitation, hallucination, fever, sweating, shivering, twitching, loss of coordination, fast heartbeat, etc.

Conclusion

Flexeril is an effective medicine used in the short term to treat a musculoskeletal medical condition. The time taken for Flexeril to be eliminated from the body differs from person to person. There are various other elements too that influence the stay of Flexeril in the system. Although on average, it takes around 4-5 days for Flexeril to leave your system entirely. Although Flexeril is an excellent drug, it can get addictive after a point and hence should be used only if your doctor prescribes it.

The Risks of Mixing Flexeril and Alcohol

The Risks of Mixing Flexeril and Alcohol

Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) is a sedative.It belongs to a class of drugs called Skeletal muscle relaxants. It works by stopping pain feelings (nervous impulses) from reaching your brain. Flexeril is used in conjunction with rest and physical therapy to treat skeletal muscle disorders such as pain, damage, or spasms.

Effects Of Mixing Alcohol And Flexeril

Flexeril is an efficient pharmacological treatment for muscle spasms and discomfort, but it can raise the risk of side effects and dependency when used with alcohol. Both depress the central nervous system and produce sleepiness, dizziness, slower mental processing, and impaired motor coordination. However, mixing the two narcotics can dramatically intensify these and other symptoms and increase the risk of accidents. Both substances have a significant tendency to promote physiological dependence, and mixing the two substances enhances the risk of abuse and addiction. (Messiha, F.S. and Barnes, C.D., 1979)

Side effects of Mixing Flexeril and Alcohol

If you have hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat as a result of an allergic reaction to Flexeril, seek medical attention right away.

The common side effects of Flexeril include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dryness of the mouth

Flexeril can also have significant adverse effects, such as:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeats 
  • chest pain or pressure
  • pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder
  • abrupt numbness or weakness 
  • slurred speech
  • balance issues 

How to Consume Flexeril?

Read all drug guides or instruction sheets and follow all guidelines on your prescription label. As advised by your healthcare professional, take this medication by mouth with or without food. Do not raise your dosage or take this medication more frequently or for longer than recommended. Your condition won’t improve any faster, and you’ll be more vulnerable to side effects. Do not crush, chew, break, or open the capsule; instead, swallow it whole. Each day, take the drug at the same time. If your symptoms do not improve or worsen after three weeks, see your doctor. (Cimolai, N., 2009)

Safety Measures

  • Tell your healthcare professional if you are allergic to it or any of the substances in the tablet or capsule.
  • Tell your doctor if you have increased intraocular pressure or glaucoma, difficulty urinating, or liver disease.
  • If you’re 65 or older, consult your doctor about the dangers and advantages of taking this supplement. It is not advised for usage by older adults since it is not as safe or effective as other drugs for the same disease.
  • If you’ve recently had a heart attack or have an overactive thyroid gland, tell your doctor: heart failure, irregular heartbeat, heart block, or other electrical impulse abnormalities in your heart. Most likely, your healthcare professional will advise you not to take this medication.
  • If you are using or have just discontinued taking any of the medications, please tell your doctor.
  • Interactions between drugs can alter how they work or put you at risk for significant side effects. One substance that may interact with this drug is tricyclic antidepressants.
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Conclusion

Like Soma with alcohol and Robaxin with alcohol, While taking Flexeril, you should avoid or limit your alcohol consumption. Use Flexeril only as directed, and avoid tasks that need mental alertness, such as driving until you know how the medicine affects you. Talk to your healthcare professional, if you have any more queries.

Is it Safe to Consume Flexeril and Ibuprofen together?

Is it Safe to Consume Flexeril and Ibuprofen together?

Flexeril is a drug used as a medication for muscle spasms which is generically known as Cyclobenzaprine. It is an oral medication available in the form of tablets, capsules, and liquid. It was approved by the FDA in 1977 and has been used since then. It works against the pain and discomfort caused by muscle injuries and muscle strains. Flexeril fights against the pain by decreasing the incoming signals coming to the muscles from the brain about the pain. The main motive of Flexeril is to help the muscles to relax along with physical therapy and rest. (RELAXANT, S.M., 1981. FLEXERIL) On the other hand, Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat fever and pain caused due to headaches, dental pain, arthritis, or menstrual cramps. It is an oral medication that was approved in the year 1998. It is sold under the brand name Advil. It is available as tablets as well as gel. Ibuprofen can be used in combination with other medications as well.  Ibuprofen works by decreasing the Cyclooxygenase, the natural substance produced by the body that causes inflammation in the body. It also reduces minor aches and pains. (KANTOR, T.G., 1979. Ibuprofen)

What if we Consume Flexeril and Ibuprofen together?

Flexeril is a muscle relaxer drug, while Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug. Using them together can cause no harm to the person. These two medications- Flexeril and Ibuprofen, don’t show any interactions. This does not imply that no interactions exist. Always seek the advice of your healthcare practitioner. When there is a large level of muscular discomfort, it is typical to combine a muscle relaxer with ibuprofen. Flexeril can make individuals sleepy throughout the day, so they only take it at night. The combination may cause some common side effects like drowsiness and lack of alertness. Thus, Flexeril and Ibuprofen can be used together as muscle relaxers and NSAIDs without harm. (Low-dose cyclobenzaprine versus combination therapy with ibuprofen)

What are the Uses of Flexeril and Ibuprofen?

Flexeril belongs to the drug class called Muscle relaxants. It works against the pain and discomfort caused by muscle injuries and muscle strains. Flexeril, also known as Cyclobenzaprine, can also be used with other medications as a combination.

Ibuprofen belongs to the drug class Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which helps treat fever and pain caused due to various disorders. It is available as tablets as well as gel. Ibuprofen can be used in combination with other medications as well. 

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What are the Warnings of Flexeril and Ibuprofen Together?

Warnings of flexeril and ibuprofen
  • Have heart block, congestive heart failure, heart disease, or had a recent heart attack.
  • Having a thyroid disorder.
  • Having difficulties while urinating.
  • Taken MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days.
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having stomach problems and stomach ulcers
  • Having liver and kidney problems.
  • Over the age of 60.

What are the Side Effects?

Side Effects of flexeril and ibuprofen

Common side effects:

  • Drowsiness, tiredness
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Upset stomach, nausea, constipation.

Serious side effects leading to termination of medication:

  • Chest pain, pain going in the shoulder and jaw.
  • Balance problems, numbness on one side of the body.
  • Irregular and fast heartbeats.

Conclusion

Consuming any medication together could be harmful for individual. Although this can lead to serious side effects like drowsiness and nausea. There is no interaction found between Flexeril and Ibuprofen together still you should always consult a doctor before consuming any medication. 

Does Flexeril Cause Weight Gain?

Does Flexeril Cause Weight Gain?

Flexeril is a medication used to treat muscle spasms from musculoskeletal conditions. The generic name of the drug is Cyclobenzaprine. It comes under the drug class called Skeletal muscle relaxants. FDA approved it in the year 1977 for medical purposes in the United States.

Flexeril is a muscle relaxant drug used to treat conditions related to skeletal muscle, such as pain, injury, or spasms. Flexeril works by blocking the pain sensations that are sent to your brain. Once the pain sensations are blocked on the way, the body starts feeling a sense of relief from the pain.

Flexeril is only available in the form of tablets of 5mg and 10 mg each. Most patients are recommended with a 5 mg of dose thrice a day. Based on patients’ condition and response, the dosage can be increased to 10 mg three times a day.

The dosage completely depends upon an individual’s health condition, age, gender, and medical history. Follow your doctor’s instructions while dosing.

Flexeril and Weight Gain

Muscle relaxers like Carisoprodol and Flexeril depress your central nervous system and slow down many of the processes that make your body function. The medicine is generally prescribed for the short term of around 5-7 days.

Short-term use of these medications can begin a slight weight gain of 2 to 3 lbs. as you lessen your activities to recover from your injury. Prolong use or abuse of these medicines can provoke more significant weight gain as you remain to undergo a decrease in your overall physical activities.

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Can Muscle Relaxers Cause Weight Gain?

Can Muscle Relaxers cause Weight Gain

Weight gain can be one of the side effects of muscle relaxer. It does not directly affect the weight; the decreased mobility of the injury and the effects of the medicines can result in weight gain as a result of decreased activity to relax the body.

The medication slowdowns the process of the body that results in weight gain in the person.

Side Effects of Flexeril

Side Effects of Flexeril

Flexeril carries some side effects too. The side effects can be sometimes general and can be dangerous too. It is good to know all the side effects to take proper care of. Common side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • tiredness
  • Headache
  • dizziness.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Upset stomach
  • nausea
  • constipation

Get medical assistance if you have allergic reactions like- hives, difficult breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using the drug if you undergo side effects like:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeats
  • Chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder
  • Sudden numbness or weakness, slurred speech, balance problems.

The above-mentioned is not the complete list of the side effects. If you are experiencing anything apart from the side effects mentioned, do not hesitate to visit your health care service provider.

Warnings

Warnings
  • Flexeril should not be used if your thyroid disorder, heart block, congestive heart failure, a heart rhythm disorder, or you have recently had a heart attack.
  • Do not consume if you have taken MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days.
  • Brief your physician about your health condition, especially if you have a thyroid disorder, heart block, heart rhythm disorder, congestive heart failure, or recently had a heart attack.
  • The safety of the medicine has not been established for people under 15 years old.
  • Avoid taking alcohol while on these medications.

Conclusion

Flexeril is the muscle relaxant. The drug helps people who are undergoing any muscle problems. Studies show that the drug can be the reason for the weight gain in your body, and it causes weight gain in the person taking the drug.

Always consult your doctor regarding any of the information, our physician is the best person to solve all your queries and support you in any health situation.

RELAXANT, S.M., 1979. FLEXERIL. CMA JOURNAL120. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1818972/ Accessed on 21/09/2021
Robaxin vs Flexeril

Robaxin vs Flexeril

The generic name for Robaxin is Methocarbamol, Cyclobenzaprine, being the generic name of Flexeril. Methocarbamol and Cyclobenzaprine are examples of skeletal muscle relaxants (SMRs) that your doctor might prescribe if you have muscle pain. Robaxin and Flexeril are both effective treatments for musculoskeletal pain and muscle spasms.

Robaxin vs. Flexeril are classified as antispasmodic agents and effective in treating acute painful musculoskeletal disorders that cause discomfort and muscle spasms.

What are the Differences between Flexeril and Robaxin?

main difference between flexeril and robaxin

• Flexeril was approved for medical use in the United States in 1977, Robaxin was approved by FDA on 16 July 1957.
• The precise mechanism of Flexeril is still not entirely determined. Still, the drug seems to initially act at the brain stem to lessen tonic somatic motor activity, affecting both gamma and alpha motor neurons, leading to decreased muscle spasms. The mechanism of Robaxin is still not been confirmed.
• The dosage form of Flexeril is tablet and capsule. Robaxin comes in the dosage form of a tablet and injectable solution.

Difference between their Side Effects

General side effects of Robaxin are-

  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Flushing
  • Constipation

General side effects of Flexeril-

  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

Differences between their Warnings

Flexeril-
• People experiencing thyroid disorder, heart block, congestive heart failure, a heart rhythm disorder, or have recently had a heart attack should not consume the medicine.
• Do not use the drug if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days.
• The drug is not approved for people younger than 15-year-old.
• Brief your doctor about your past and current medical conditions and medicines if you are consuming any.
• Older people may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug.

Robaxin-
• Do not take the drug if you have an allergy to methocarbamol.
• The drug may impair your thinking. Be alert or avoid driving or activities that require mental alertness.
• Avoid taking alcohol when on this medication.
• The drug is not approved for people younger than 16-year-old unless to treat tetanus.

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Robaxin and Flexeril during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

Robaxin and flexeril during pregnancy and breastfeeding

• For Robaxin, there are no adequate studies that can determine the safety and effectiveness in pregnancy. Pregnant ladies should avoid muscle relaxers as it may cause harm to the unborn.
• Likewise, in breastfeeding, it is still not known whether the drug enters breast milk. The medicine should also be avoided in nursing mothers.
• No adequate studies of Flexeril in the pregnant woman. However, animals suggest no important effect on the fetus. Therefore, Flexeril can be used only when your health provider feels it is necessary.
• It is not known that Flexeril is secreted in milk. Caution is recommended in using this drug while breastfeeding.

Robaxin vs. Flexeril: who is more Effective?

Flexeril is the most studied drug and hence has more supporting proof of its effectiveness. According to the experiment done on patients, they felt slightly sounder improvements in local pain with Cyclobenzaprine (48% vs. 40%).

Methocarbamol is the best-known brand, while Roboxin is an effective muscle relaxant recommended as a pain reliever for short-term muscle pain and muscle spasms. Methocarbamol is helpful in the treatment of seizures and muscle spasms as a result of the ingestion of toxic substances in cats and dogs.

Conclusion

Robaxin is for short-term treatment as prescribed by your physician. Similarly, Flexeril is not used for more than 2-3 weeks. Both Flexeril and Robaxin are used as muscle relaxants. It depends on your condition and medical history, which will be more effective for you. Take guidance from your health provider; they will direct the best suitable drug for you after examining your condition.

Another option is to select a specific muscle relaxant (such as methocarbamol or other drugs of the same class) based on the quality of the drug and the condition of the patient. When considering skeletal muscle relaxants for use in the elderly, as an aid to treat chronic pain, or in patients with multiple comorbidities who receive polypharmaceutical therapy that includes opioids and skeletal muscle medications, the medication selection for each patient needs careful consideration of these factors.

FAQ's

Robaxin is a CNS depressant with sedative and musculoskeletal relaxant properties.

Methocarbamol is mistaken as a narcotic due to its side effects of drowsiness, but it isn’t a narcotic. It is a CNS depressant and muscle relaxant to treat pain.

Both Robaxin and Flexeril drugs are muscle relaxants utilized to manage skeletal muscle conditions such as injury or pain. They are used mutually with rest and physical therapy.

According to the list released, Robaxin is the best muscle relaxant.

References

  1. TOURAY, T. and SOLWAY, S., 2003. Muscle relaxants for nonspecific low back pain: a systematic review within the framework of the cochrane collaboration. Spine28(17), pp.1978-1992. Available at: https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/10017370724/ Accessed on 14/09/2021
  2. Post, R.E. and Dickerson, L.M., 2010. Dizziness: a diagnostic approach. American family physician82(4), pp.361-368. Available at: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0815/p361.html? Accessed on 14/09/2021
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