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What is Cyclobenzaprine ? - Dosage, Benefits, & Side Effects

Cyclobenzaprine: Uses, Drug Interactions, & Common Side Effects

Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant that works by blocking nerve impulses (or pain sensations) that are sent to your brain. It is used together with rest and physical therapy to treat skeletal muscle conditions such as pain or injury.

Patients are advised to take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by their doctor, usually once daily. You will need to swallow the capsules whole, as crushing or chewing the capsules can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. This medication is not recommended for use in older adults because they may be at a greater risk for side effects while using this drug.

What Is Cyclobenzaprine And Why Is It Prescribed?

Cyclobenzaprine is a prescription drug used to treat muscle spasms for short-term use. It works in conjunction with rest and physical therapy to help relax the muscles. 

Cyclobenzaprine is available under different brand names such as Fexmid, Amrix, and Flexeril. Generic drugs are also available, which usually cost less than the brand-name version. 

Common dosages (tablets) include Cyclobenzaprine 10 mg, Cyclobenzaprine 7.5 mg, and Cyclobenzaprine 5 mg. Cyclobenzaprine also comes as an oral extended-release capsule. 

What is Cyclobenzaprine used for? The oral tablet is used to help relieve pain, stiffness, or discomfort caused by strains or injuries to your muscles. 

However, this medicine should only be used for two to three weeks at a time. Cyclobenzaprine may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

What Precautions Should You Take Before Consuming Cyclobenzaprine?

Before you decide to use this medicine, consider the following precautions:

Allergies & Pre-existing Conditions

Cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride is not suitable for people who are allergic to it, or if they have hyperthyroidism; heart block; heart rhythm disorder; congestive heart failure; or if they have recently had a heart attack. Tell your doctor if you have thyroid disease; liver disease; glaucoma; enlarged prostate; or problems with urination. 

Pediatric And Geriatic

Patients younger than 15 years old are not approved to use this medicine. Moreover, older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine.

Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

It is not known whether Cyclobenzaprine dosage will harm an unborn baby so tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine, as Cyclobenzaprine excretion in breast milk is unknown. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Cyclobenzaprine Drug Interactions

You should not use Cyclobenzaprine if you have taken a Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor two weeks prior, as it can result in a dangerous drug interaction. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

Some medicines can interact with Cyclobenzaprine and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. So make sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.

Severe interactions of Cyclobenzaprine include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine. Minor interactions include desipramine; dimenhydrinate; donepezil; eucalyptus; galantamine; sage; tacrine; and trazodone.

Taking this medicine with other specific medications can increase your risk of side effects. This is because the amount of Cyclobenzaprine in your body is increased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Benzodiazepines, such as triazolam, alprazolam, and midazolam. You may have increased sedation and drowsiness.
  • Barbiturates, such as phenobarbital. You may have increased sedation and drowsiness.
  • Certain drugs used to treat depression, such as fluoxetine, venlafaxine, amitriptyline, or bupropion. You may be at a greater risk for serotonin syndrome.
  • Verapamil. You may be at a greater risk for serotonin syndrome.
  • Anticholinergic drugs, such as tolterodine or oxybutynin. You may be at a greater risk for certain side effects, including dry mouth or not being able to urinate.

Common Cyclobenzaprine Side Effects, Warnings, And Risks 

Cyclobenzaprine 10 mg tablets may cause drowsiness and dizziness. This is more likely to happen in the few hours after you take it. It can also have other side effects.

Mild Effects

The more common side effects of Cyclobenzaprine can include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn

Serious Effects

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Heart problems, symptoms include fainting, heart palpitations (fast or irregular heartbeat), confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, loss of control or numbness in your face, arms, or legs, and vision problems.
  • Serotonin syndrome, symptoms include agitation (a feeling of aggravation or restlessness), hallucinations (hearing or seeing something that isn’t there), seizures, and nausea.

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