Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant that is often prescribed to people who suffer muscle injuries. It helps to relieve the pain of muscle sprains and strains and tears, and it also helps to relax the afflicted muscles. More specifically, the medicine works by blocking certain nerve impulses that otherwise would go to the brain and create sensations of pain. When a person is recovering from a muscle injury and is prescribed Cyclobenzaprine, this medication is just one part of the treatment. Physical therapy, extended periods of rest and recuperation, and other tools and techniques are also used to help a person get better. After all, Cyclobenzaprine only works to alleviate pain; it doesn’t help to mend the damaged muscle tissue itself.
Cyclobenzaprine comes in the form of a pill. This pill can either be a tablet or an extended-release capsule. You’ll have to take the tablet about two to four times a day. On the other hand, you would probably only have to take the extended release capsule once or twice a day. This kind of medication is usually given to a patient for up to three weeks, at which time a doctor will assess that patient’s condition as far as the muscle injury and the associated pain go, and then decide whether or not to renew the prescription.
A list of people who should not take this medication would include those who have taken an MAO inhibitor within fourteen days; it takes two weeks for MAO inhibitors to clear out of a person’s system, and remnants of these inhibitors can react negatively when mixed with Cyclobenzaprine. (A person’s life could even be at risk.) A person should also avoid Cyclobenzaprine if they have congestive heart failure, have suffered a recent heart attack, have some kind of cardiac blockage, or if they have an overactive thyroid gland. And if you have glaucoma, urinary tract problems, liver disease or an enlarged prostate gland, your doctor may want to keep you away from this medication or else prescribe you a lower dosage than normal. Also, adults who are 65 years old and older are often given another kind of pain reliever as Cyclobenzaprine-related drowsiness is often too strong in older people.
Cyclobenzaprine is a powerful form of medication and as such you need to be careful about certain behaviors when you are on it. You should avoid alcohol consumption, for one thing, because alcohol can mix with Cyclobenzaprine to slow down your natural reaction times and to cloud your thinking. Because this medication frequently causes drowsiness and makes clear thinking difficult on its own, you should be extra careful if you drive or do anything that requires precision and alertness – working with power tools, for example. You might want to avoid such activities altogether. And if you take cold medicine, seizure medicine, antianxiety medication, antidepressants or allergy medication during the period of time when you’re on Cyclobenzaprine, you should be aware that you may feel especially sleepy for long stretches during the day.
Besides drowsiness, Cyclobenzaprine can cause nausea, dizziness and dry mouth. None of those side effects should be cause for alarm unless you feel they are particularly severe. Much less common side effects of Cyclobenzaprine, side effects that should be cause for alarm and should induce you to get medical care right away, include seizures, chest pain, high fever, facial swelling, a major skin rash, chest pain or an irregular heartbeat, and problems breathing. In case of overdose, call 911 or the poison control center. And make sure everyone in your household knows to call 911 if they see you collapse after you take your Cyclobenzaprine.