How Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Feel? Side Effects of Muscle Relaxers
Muscle relaxers can produce various effects on the body, depending on the specific medication and individual response. Here are some of the ways muscle relaxers may make you feel:
- Muscle Relaxation: As the name suggests, muscle relaxers primarily work to relax and relieve muscle tension. They target the central nervous system, inhibiting specific signals that cause muscles to contract. This relaxation can decrease muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness, leading to an overall sense of relief.
- Sedation: Many muscle relaxers have sedative properties, which can induce drowsiness or sleepiness. These medications can act as central nervous system depressants, affecting brain activity and promoting relaxation. Sedation can benefit individuals experiencing muscle pain that interferes with sleep or causes significant discomfort during waking hours.
- Decreased Anxiety: Muscle relaxers with sedative properties can also help alleviate anxiety associated with muscle spasms or chronic pain. By promoting relaxation and reducing muscle tension, these medications can contribute to an overall sense of calmness and tranquility.
- Fatigue: Some muscle relaxers can cause fatigue or a feeling of exhaustion. This side effect is more familiar with medications that have sedative solid properties. It is essential to be mindful of this effect, especially when engaging in activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.
- Dizziness or Lightheadedness: Certain muscle relaxers may cause dizziness or lightheadedness, particularly when changing positions (e.g., getting up from a seated or lying position). These sensations can temporarily subside as the body adjusts to the medication.
- Impaired Cognitive Function: Muscle relaxers can sometimes affect cognitive function and concentration. This may result in difficulty focusing, slower reaction times, or confusion. It’s crucial to be aware of these potential effects and avoid activities that require mental acuity until you understand how the medication affects explicitly you.
Everyone’s response to muscle relaxers can vary. While these effects are common, not everyone will experience them to the same degree, and some individuals may experience additional or different side effects. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized information regarding the specific muscle relaxer prescribed to you and any concerns you may have.
What Do Muscle Relaxers Do? Risks of Muscle Relaxers
Muscle relaxers or muscle relaxants are medications used to treat muscle spasms or spasticity. Muscle spasms are sudden, involuntary contractions of a muscle or group of muscles that can cause pain and interfere with normal movement. Muscle spasticity is a condition where specific muscles are continuously contracted, causing stiffness, rigidity, or tightness that can affect speech, walking, or other activities.
There are two main types of muscle relaxers: antispasmodics and antispastics. Antispasmodics are used to treat muscle spasms, and they work by causing a sedative effect or blocking pain signals from the nerves to the brain. Antispastics are used to treat muscle spasticity, and they work by interfering with the chemical signals that cause the muscles to contract.
Some examples of antispasmodics are carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and methocarbamol (Robaxin). Some examples of antispastics are baclofen (Lioresal), dantrolene (Dantrium), and tizanidine (Zanaflex). Some muscle relaxers, such as diazepam (Valium), have antispasmodic and antispastic effects.
Muscle relaxers can help relieve the pain and discomfort from muscle spasms or spasticity, but they also have some risks and side effects. Some common side effects of muscle relaxers are drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nausea, dry mouth, and blurred vision. Muscle relaxers can also cause dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and interactions with other medications or substances. Therefore, they should be used only as prescribed by your healthcare provider and for a short time.
You should talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for any questions or concerns about muscle relaxers. They can help you understand the benefits and risks of these medications and how to use them safely and effectively.
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How Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Feel? Popular FAQs
Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Sleepy?
Yes, muscle relaxers can make you sleepy. This is one of the most common side effects of these medications. Muscle relaxers work by causing a sedative effect or blocking pain signals from the nerves to the brain. This can make you feel tired, drowsy, or sedated. You should not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking muscle relaxers. You should also avoid drinking alcohol, as it can increase the drowsiness effect.
Do Muscle Relaxers Help With Pain?
Muscle relaxers can help with pain caused by muscle spasms or spasticity. Muscle spasms are sudden, involuntary contractions of a muscle or group of muscles that can cause pain and interfere with normal movement. Muscle spasticity is a condition where specific muscles are continuously contracted, causing stiffness, rigidity, or tightness that can affect speech, walking, or other activities. Muscle relaxers can help relieve the pain and discomfort from these conditions by relaxing the muscles and reducing spasms or spasticity. However, muscle relaxers are not effective for other types of pain, such as nerve pain or inflammatory pain. They are also not recommended for long-term use, as they have not been shown to improve the underlying cause of muscle problems.
Do Muscle Relaxers Cause Constipation?
Constipation is not a common side effect of muscle relaxers, but it can sometimes happen. Muscle relaxers can affect the smooth muscles in your digestive system, which are responsible for moving food and waste through your intestines. This can slow down your bowel movements and make them harder to pass. To prevent or treat constipation while taking muscle relaxers, drink plenty of fluids, eat more fiber-rich foods, and exercise regularly. If needed, you can also ask your doctor or pharmacist about using a stool softener or laxative.
Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Feel Loopy?
Loopy is slang for feeling confused, disoriented, or silly. Muscle relaxers can sometimes make you feel loopy, especially if you take a high dose, combine them with other drugs or alcohol, or have a low tolerance for them. Muscle relaxers can affect brain function and alter mood, perception, and cognition. This can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, euphoric, or depressed. You may also have trouble concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions. You should be careful when taking muscle relaxers and follow your doctor’s instructions exactly. You should also avoid doing tasks requiring mental alertness or coordination while taking muscle relaxers.
How Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Feel The Next Day?
The effects of muscle relaxers can last for several hours after you take them, depending on the type and dose of the medication. Some muscle relaxers have a longer half-life than others, so they stay in your system longer and take longer to wear off. This can make you feel groggy, sluggish, or hungover the next day. After the medication wears off, you may experience rebound symptoms, such as increased pain, stiffness, or spasms. To minimize these effects, take muscle relaxers only as your doctor prescribes and avoid taking them too late at night. You should also get enough sleep and rest to allow your body to recover.
Can Muscle Relaxers Make You Feel Drunk?
Drunk is a term that means feeling intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or other substances. Muscle relaxers can sometimes make you feel drunk, especially if you take a high dose, combine them with other drugs or alcohol, or have a low tolerance for them. Muscle relaxers can affect your central nervous system and impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time. This can make you feel dizzy, unsteady, slurred, or slow. You may also have trouble staying awake or alert. You should not drink alcohol while taking muscle relaxers, as it can increase the risk of severe side effects such as breathing problems, coma, or death. You should also avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while taking muscle relaxers.
Muscle Relaxers Factsheet
Muscle Relaxers Overview
Muscle relaxers are prescription medications that can help treat muscle spasms or spasticity. They work by relaxing the muscles and reducing the pain and discomfort. They have side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. They can also be addictive or cause interactions with other substances. They should be used only as prescribed by your doctor and for a short period.
Muscle Relaxers Side Effects
- Tiredness, drowsiness, or sedation effect: Muscle relaxers can make you sleepy, groggy, or sluggish. This can impair your mental alertness, coordination, and reaction time. You should not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking muscle relaxers. You should also avoid drinking alcohol, as it can increase the drowsiness effect.
- Fatigue or weakness: Muscle relaxers can make you feel tired, weak, or exhausted. This can affect your physical performance, stamina, and energy levels. You may have trouble doing your daily activities or exercising while taking muscle relaxers.
- Dizziness: Muscle relaxers can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or unsteady. This can increase your risk of falling or injuring yourself. You should be careful when getting up from a lying or sitting position, as you may experience a sudden drop in blood pressure that can make you faint.
- Nausea: Muscle relaxers can make you feel nauseous, sick, or queasy. This can affect your appetite, digestion, and nutrition. You may also experience vomiting or diarrhea while taking muscle relaxers.
- Headache: Muscle relaxers can cause headaches, migraines, or pressure in your head. This can affect your mood, concentration, and comfort. You may need to take pain relievers or other medications to treat your headaches while taking muscle relaxers.
- Dry mouth: Muscle relaxers can cause dry mouth, a condition where your mouth does not produce enough saliva. This can affect your oral health, hygiene, and comfort. You may experience bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, or mouth sores while taking muscle relaxers. You should drink plenty of fluids, chew sugar-free gum, and brush your teeth regularly to prevent dry mouth.
- Depression: Muscle relaxers can cause depression, a mood disorder that makes you feel sad, hopeless, or worthless. This can affect your mental health, well-being, and quality of life. You may experience low self-esteem, loss of interest, suicidal thoughts, or other emotional problems while taking muscle relaxers. You should talk to your doctor or a mental health professional if you feel depressed while taking muscle relaxers.
Muscle Relaxers Signs Of Abuse
- Taking Higher Doses: Individuals who abuse muscle relaxers may take higher doses than prescribed or recommended. This can be a way to intensify the sedative effects or to achieve a euphoric high.
- Using Without Prescription: Using muscle relaxers without a prescription or obtaining them from illegal sources indicates abuse. This may involve obtaining the medication from others, purchasing it on the black market, or doctor shopping to obtain multiple prescriptions.
- Seeking Multiple Prescriptions: Abusers may visit multiple doctors or clinics to obtain multiple prescriptions for muscle relaxers. This practice, known as “doctor shopping,” is a way to circumvent dosage limits and maintain a constant drug supply.
- Experiencing Intense Sedation: Excessive sedation is a common effect of muscle relaxers, and individuals abusing these drugs may appear excessively drowsy, lethargic, or even unconscious.
- Withdrawal Symptoms: Abruptly stopping or reducing the dose of muscle relaxers can lead to withdrawal symptoms. These may include rebounding muscle spasms, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, tremors, and flu-like symptoms. The presence of withdrawal symptoms may indicate dependence and potential abuse.
- Changes in Behavior and Mood: Muscle relaxer abuse can lead to changes in behavior and mood. Some individuals may become more secretive, isolate themselves from friends and family, or exhibit mood swings, irritability, or aggression.
- Neglecting Responsibilities: Individuals struggling with muscle relaxer abuse may neglect their work, school, or home responsibilities. They may have difficulty maintaining relationships or experience a decline in academic or occupational performance.
- Social and Financial Problems: Abuse of muscle relaxers can lead to social and financial consequences. Individuals may experience strained relationships, financial difficulties due to spending money on the drug, or legal problems in obtaining or possessing the medication unlawfully.
- Psychological Cravings: Cravings for muscle relaxers and an intense desire to use the drug can signify abuse. These cravings can persist even when the individual is aware of the negative consequences associated with their use.
How Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Feel? Muscle Relaxers Statistics
Muscle relaxers are drugs used to treat muscle spasms and pain, often in combination with opioids. However, the evidence for their efficacy and safety is limited, especially for long-term use and older adults. This section will provide statistics on muscle relaxer use based on recent studies and surveys.
2018 Methocarbamol was prescribed approximately 3.9 million times, while Cyclobenzaprine was prescribed around 18.9 million times.
Source: National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
Between 2015 and 2020, there were reports of approximately 3,500 adverse events associated with Methocarbamol use and about 12,000 adverse events associated with Cyclobenzaprine use in the United States.
Cyclobenzaprine was involved in an estimated 20,000 emergency department visits annually. These visits were primarily related to misuse, abuse, and adverse reactions to the medication.
Source: The Drug Abuse Warning Network
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How Do Muscle Relaxers Work?
Muscle relaxers affect muscle function and can help treat muscle-related symptoms, such as muscle spasms, spasticity, and musculoskeletal pain. Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of one or more muscles that can cause pain and interfere with movement. Spasticity is a condition where specific muscles are continuously contracted, resulting in stiffness, tightness, and reduced range of motion. Musculoskeletal pain affects the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.
There are two main types of muscle relaxers: antispasmodics and antispastics. Antispasmodics block the transmission of pain signals from the muscles to the brain, preventing the muscles from contracting and causing spasms. Antispasmodics are mainly used for acute pain caused by muscle injuries, strains, or sprains. Some examples of antispasmodics are carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone, and methocarbamol.
Antispastics act directly on the spinal cord or the skeletal muscle, reducing the activity of nerve impulses that cause muscle tightness and spasms. Antispastics are mainly used for chronic spasticity caused by neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, or spinal cord injury. Some examples of antispastics are baclofen, dantrolene, tizanidine, and diazepam.
Muscle relaxers are only available by prescription from a healthcare provider. They typically come in tablet, capsule, or liquid form and are taken orally. The dosage and duration of treatment depend on the type of muscle relaxer, the condition being treated, and the patient’s response. Muscle relaxers can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, depression, and decreased blood pressure. They can also interact with other medications, such as opioids, alcohol, and antidepressants. Therefore, following the provider’s instructions and using muscle relaxers with caution is crucial.
How Long Do Muscle Relaxers Last?
The duration of muscle relaxers depends on several factors, such as the type of drug, the dose, the metabolism, and the elimination of the drug from the body. Different muscle relaxers have different half-lives, which is the time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body. The longer the half-life, the longer the drug stays in the system.
Some muscle relaxers start working within 30 minutes of taking them, and the effects can last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. However, this may vary depending on the individual and the specific drug. For example, according to Addiction Resource, carisoprodol (Soma) has a half-life of about 2 hours, but it breaks down into meprobamate, which has a half-life of about 10 hours. This means that carisoprodol and its metabolite can stay in the system for up to 24 hours. On the other hand, cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) has a half-life of about 18 hours, which means it can stay in the system for up to 10 days.
Another factor affecting how long muscle relaxers last is their elimination from the body. Most muscle relaxers are excreted through urine, but the liver metabolizes some. Therefore, kidney and liver function can influence how quickly muscle relaxers are cleared from the system. People with impaired kidney or liver function may have higher levels of muscle relaxers in their blood for extended periods.
The duration of muscle relaxers can also depend on how they are taken. Some muscle relaxers are available in extended-release or controlled-release formulations, which slowly release the drug. This can prolong the effects of muscle relaxers and reduce the need for frequent dosing. However, extended-release or controlled-release formulations should not be crushed, chewed, or broken, as this can alter their absorption and increase the risk of side effects.
The duration of muscle relaxers can have implications for drug testing and drug interactions. Muscle relaxers can be detected in blood, urine, and saliva tests for varying periods after ingestion. For example, according to ePainAssist, baclofen can be detected in blood for up to 72 hours, in urine for up to 48 hours, and in saliva for up to 48 to 72 hours. Muscle relaxers can also interact with other medications, such as opioids, alcohol, and antidepressants, and enhance their effects or cause adverse reactions. Therefore, it is vital to inform your healthcare provider about all your medications and follow their instructions carefully when using muscle relaxers.
|Drug name||Type||Half-life||Duration of effect|
|Carisoprodol (Soma)||Antispasmodic||2 hours (10 hours for meprobamate)||Up to 24 hours|
|Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)||Antispasmodic||18 hours||Up to 10 days|
|Baclofen (Lioresal)||Antispastic||3 to 4 hours||4 to 6 hours|
|Tizanidine (Zanaflex)||Antispastic and antispasmodic||2 to 4 hours||3 to 6 hours|
|Diazepam (Valium)||Antispastic and antispasmodic||20 to 100 hours||Up to several days|
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Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Feel High?
Muscle relaxers are not intended to produce a “high” sensation when prescribed. However, certain muscle relaxers, particularly those that belong to the class of benzodiazepines, can have sedative effects that induce a sense of relaxation or drowsiness. This relaxation is a therapeutic effect to relieve muscle spasms and associated pain.
While muscle relaxers are not typically sought after for recreational purposes, their sedative properties can lead to a risk of addiction and misuse. Here are some essential points regarding the risk of addiction associated with muscle relaxers:
- Potential for Dependence: Muscle relaxers, especially benzodiazepines, have the potential to cause physical and psychological dependence when used for an extended period. Prolonged use or misuse can lead to tolerance, where higher doses are needed to achieve the desired effects, and dependence, where the body relies on the drug to function normally.
- Misuse and Recreational Use: Some individuals may misuse muscle relaxers by taking them in higher doses or combining them with other substances to enhance their sedative effects. This misuse can increase the risk of developing an addiction and also heighten the potential for dangerous side effects or drug interactions.
- Withdrawal Symptoms: Abruptly stopping or reducing the dose of muscle relaxers after prolonged use can lead to withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include rebound muscle spasms, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, tremors, and, in severe cases, seizures. The presence of withdrawal symptoms is a clear sign of physical dependence and underscores the addictive potential of these medications.
- Co-occurring Substance Use Disorders: Individuals who struggle with addiction to other substances, such as opioids or alcohol, may be at a higher risk of developing an addiction to muscle relaxers. Co-occurring substance use disorders can complicate treatment and increase the likelihood of adverse health outcomes.
- Risk Factors: Certain factors can increase the risk of developing an addiction to muscle relaxers, including a personal or family history of substance use disorders, a history of mental health disorders, and a tendency towards impulsive behavior or seeking pleasurable sensations.
Use muscle relaxers only as a healthcare professional prescribes and follow the recommended dosage and duration. If you suspect you or someone you know may be developing an addiction to muscle relaxers, seeking help from a healthcare provider or addiction specialist is crucial. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can significantly increase the chances of recovery and minimize the potential harm associated with addiction.
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Search We Level Up How Do Muscle Relaxers Make You Feel Resources
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Muscle Relaxants DrugFacts: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/muscle-relaxants
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Muscle Relaxant Medications: https://www.fda.gov/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Opioid Guidelines for Muscle Relaxants: https://www.cdc.gov/
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) – Muscle Relaxants: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470327/
- National Library of Medicine (NLM) – MedlinePlus: Muscle Relaxants: https://medlineplus.gov/
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Prescription Drug Misuse: https://www.samhsa.gov/
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) – Muscle Spasms Information Page: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) – Massage Therapy for Health Purposes: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/
- Healthfinder.gov – Muscle Relaxants: Overview: https://healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?topic=537
- U.S. National Library of Medicine – DailyMed: Medication Label Information: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/index.cfm