Examples

Generic NameBrand Name
carisoprodolSoma
cyclobenzaprineFlexeril
diazepamValium
metaxaloneSkelaxin
methocarbamolRobaxin

How It Works

The muscle-relaxing effects of these
medicines are most likely the result of their ability to depress the
central nervous system.

Why It Is Used

Muscle relaxants can be helpful when
severe muscle spasms follow the start of
low back pain.

Muscle relaxants are not recommended for use by pregnant women,
older adults, or people who have
depression or a history of drug or alcohol
addiction.

How Well It Works

Muscle relaxants may improve acute or chronic low back pain, muscle tension, and mobility. But side effects are common.footnote 1

Side Effects

Possible side effects of muscle relaxants
include:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Possible
    addiction or dependence.
  • Dry
    mouth.
  • Urinary retention.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Muscle relaxant medicines work best when they are taken before bedtime. They should not be used by a person who needs to drive or operate machinery.

Use of muscle relaxants is restricted to short-term use to avoid
addiction.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

References

Citations

  1. Chou R (2010). Low back pain (chronic), search date April 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofMarch 21, 2017