Muscle relaxers are medications that reduce tension in the muscles. These medications are intended to temporarily treat muscle strain from an injury. They can also be used to treat long-term medical conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, or spinal injury. Muscle relaxers require a prescription for use.

It’s important to remember that giving someone else muscle relaxers can cause the person harm. Each prescription takes into account a person’s medical conditions, medical history, and current medications taken.

Medications classified as muscle relaxants include:

Generic: Brand Name:
Baclofen
Gablofen®
Carisoprodo Soma®
Cyclobenzaprine
Flexeril®
Diazepam
Valium®
Metaxalone
Skelaxin®
Methocarbamol
Robaxin®

 

What can happen when muscle relaxers are taken inappropriately?

Taking more of a muscle relaxer than directed can have several negative consequences, including:

  • dry mouth
  • bizarre dreams
  • forgetfulness
  • lingering grogginess
  • urinary retention
  • addiction
  • death

Muscle relaxers can slow the rate of breathing and the depth a person breathes while sleeping. Taking too many muscle relaxers at one time or taking them with other sedatives like alcohol or sleep aids can cause a person to stop breathing.

How can misuse of muscle relaxers aids be prevented?

If you’re taking a muscle relaxer, these steps can help prevent a medication poisoning:

  • Always follow the dosing directions prescribed by your doctor. 
  • Don’t share your medication with others.  Some drug interactions can be life threatening.
  • Make sure all medications are out of the reach of all of the children living in or visiting your home.
  • Be very cautious to avoid accidently taking extra doses when you have already taken a dose.

Call Carolinas Poison Center, your doctor, or your pharmacy if you have questions about your muscle relaxers or possible drug interactions with other medications.  You don’t have to wait for a problem to arise before calling Carolinas Poison Center.  You can call with questions, too.

What should you do if you or someone you know has taken a muscle relaxer incorrectly?

If the person is not breathing or not responsive, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, you can call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for medication assistance from our specially trained nurses and pharmacists 24 hours a day.

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