Tizanidine vs Flexeril Comparison and Other Zanaflex Alternatives

Dizziness is one of the common side effects caused by muscle relaxants. Some people find that taking an OTC pain reliever and muscle relaxant together provides maximum benefit, especially at night, to help with sleep problems and reduce daytime drowsiness. There is insufficient evidence to suggest that one skeletal muscle relaxant is better than the others.

If you observe an increase in dizziness, confusion or abnormal behavior after taking these medications, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. While both medications can cause side effects such as drowsiness or dry mouth, patients taking cyclobenzaprine may experience more serious ones including fast heart rate or hallucinations. Always consult with a healthcare provider when choosing between different types of medication. Just like Tizanidine, Cyclobenzaprine helps with spasms, sprains and strains but works differently in that it targets pain sensations sent to your brain directly rather than targeting nerve signal transmissions like Zanaflex. Tizanidine inhibits central and spinal release of norepinephrine and substance P.

What are the most common side effects for Flexeril?

If you experience any other symptoms that concern you while taking either medication, seek medical advice promptly. Both Zanaflex and Flexeril are efficient muscular spasm and pain relievers. On a case-by-case basis, they are used depending on which one is most appropriate. There is currently no clinical evidence that shows a direct comparison between these two medicines (Chou R, Peterson K, Helfand M). The FDA also states that overdose is a concern with the use of this drug.

Higher doses of cyclobenzaprine or tizanidine would be appropriate to promote sedation in cases of more severe discomfort or perceived muscular spasm. Although there appears to be insufficient data on metaxalone and methocarbamol, these may be useful in patients who cannot tolerate the sedative properties of cyclobenzaprine or tizanidine. Zanaflex is a newer drug FDA-approved for muscle spasticity due to multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. Flexeril is an older drug that has been more heavily studied for musculoskeletal pain and spasms. The better drug is the one that works best for your specific condition.

Many have a sedative effect and cause drowsiness and dizziness, so you should not drive or operate machinery until you know how the medicine affects you. Skeletal muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), methocarbamol (Robaxin), and carisoprodol (Soma) work well to relieve back and neck pain. Muscle relaxants are often prescribed to treat pain caused by muscle spasms, and each medication works by a different mechanism of action. Methocarbamol vs. Tizanidine are potent centrally acting muscle relaxants that share many similarities.

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People with stiff or tight muscles may be prescribed tizanidine or Flexeril to help ease these mild-to-painful conditions. Spinal injuries and neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis can bring on muscle spasticity, limiting normal muscle movement. It relieves spasms, cramping, and tightness of the muscles caused by medical problems, such as multiple sclerosis or certain injuries to the spine. Tizanidine does not cure these problems, but it may allow other treatment, such as physical therapy, to be more helpful in improving your condition. Both Zanaflex and Flexeril, like other muscle relaxants, can potentially worsen symptoms in some people.

Is Cyclobenzaprine or Tizanidine more effective?

Cyclobenzaprine is available in immediate-release and extended-release forms. Zanaflex can be considered as a first-line treatment option due to its quick onset of action and short duration, which makes it suitable for patients who need fast relief from acute muscle spasms. On the other hand, Flexeril has a longer half-life and is usually prescribed for those requiring continuous control over their symptoms. Diazepam, a benzodiazepine, also affects GABA receptors and increases activity of inhibitory neurons.

More studies with larger sample sizes and similar treatment protocols need to be conducted to make a definitive recommendation on oral baclofen use in patients with cerebral palsy. It is worth noting that muscle relaxant medications are intended for short-term relief and not chronic pain. Muscle relaxants should be used with non-pharmacological approaches such as physical therapy. You should work with your healthcare providers to develop a comprehensive recovery plan that includes rest, stretching, physical therapy, and exercise to treat muscle spasms. Muscle relaxants are also used to treat skeletal muscle spasms (tension, cramping, or involuntary contractions).

  • Tizanidine (the generic name for Zanaflex) is a short-acting muscle relaxer, first approved by the FDA in 1996.
  • Flexeril is often prescribed to relieve muscle pain and spasms caused by back and neck strains.
  • These drugs aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating fibromyalgia, but both are commonly prescribed as an off-label medication.
  • Deciding between the two depends on factors such as the type of muscle spasm or pain you are experiencing and their possible side effects and dosing.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses support using skeletal muscle relaxants for short-term relief of acute low back pain when nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen are not effective or tolerated. Comparison studies have not shown one skeletal muscle relaxant to be superior to another. Cyclobenzaprine is the most heavily studied and has been shown to be effective for various musculoskeletal conditions. The sedative properties of tizanidine and cyclobenzaprine may benefit patients with insomnia caused by severe muscle spasms. Methocarbamol and metaxalone are less sedating, although effectiveness evidence is limited. Adverse effects, particularly dizziness and drowsiness, are consistently reported with all skeletal muscle relaxants.

Other Trials to Consider

Two muscle relaxants called Zanaflex and Flexeril are among the drugs used to treat fibromyalgia. These drugs aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating fibromyalgia, but both are commonly prescribed as an off-label medication. Muscle tightness, tension, and is flexeril good for arthritis pain usually arise due to muscle spasms and spasticity. Although various factors can cause it, muscle spasm is a common symptom of most musculoskeletal conditions. Tizanidine vs. Flexeril are both FDA-approved skeletal muscle relaxants and both belong to prescription-only drugs.

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