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List of Muscle Relaxants for Fibromyalgia

author image Jaime Herndon
Jaime Herndon has been writing for health websites since 2009 and has guest-blogged on SheKnows. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and women's studies, she earned a Master of Science in clinical health psychology and a Master of Public Health in maternal-child health. Her interests include oncology, women's health and exercise science.
List of Muscle Relaxants for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by muscle and skeletal pain, as well as fatigue. Photo Credit human body image by Alhazm Salemi from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The main symptom of the condition called fibromyalgia is widespread musculoskeletal pain, according to fibromyalgia-symptoms.org. The pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons that a fibromyalgia sufferer experiences causes his body to feel stiff and sore, and muscle twitches are also common in this condition. Muscle relaxants are drugs that help mask muscle pain, relax the muscles and reduce muscle twitching, as well as block pain sensations in the brain. These medications help provide some relief to individuals with fibromyalgia.

Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)

Flexeril, the brand name for the drug cyclobenzaprine, is a muscle relaxer that blocks nerve impulses that run from the muscles to the brain, states fibromyalgia-symptoms.org. PDRHealth.com describes the standard dose of cyclobenzaprine as 5 mg taken three times daily; it may also be given in 10 mg doses. The drug should not be used for more than two to three weeks and can be taken with or without food. It can potentially be addicting and cause withdrawal symptoms; a health care provider can provide more information about these effects of the medication. The most common side effects, as listed on rxlist.com, include drowsiness, dizziness and dry mouth. Other listed side effects include nausea, constipation, blurred vision, headache and nervousness.

Carisoprodol (Soma)

Fibromyalgia-symptoms.org describes carisoprodol, the brand name drug Soma, as a muscle relaxer that specifically treats muscle stiffness, pain and injury; it also reduces muscle spasms in fibromyalgia. It does this by interacting with pain receptors in the brain. Carisoprodol has not been shown to be effective for prolonged use, according to rxlist.com, so it is not indicated for long-term, prolonged usage. The drug is typically taken three times a day and at bedtime, in doses of either 250 or 350 mg tablets. Side effects listed on rxlist.com include rapid heartbeat, facial flushing, drowsiness, dizziness, tremor, agitation, headache, nausea and seizures.

Orphenadrine Citrate (Norflex)

Norflex, the generic muscle relaxer orphenadrine citrate, is a treatment for fibromyalgia that is commonly used with rest and physical therapy, according to fibromyalgia-symptoms.org. Unlike some of the other muscle relaxers for fibromyalgia, this drug can be taken for prolonged periods of time. It comes in extended-release tablets and regular tablets, and standard dosing can be either 100 mg twice daily; or 50 mg three times a day. A health care provider will determine the appropriate dosing schedule for individual situations. Common side effects listed by drugs.com include lightheadedness, nervousness, restlessness, headache, muscle weakness and unusually large pupils of the eyes.

Tizanidine (Zanaflex)

Tizinadine, also known as Zanaflex, is commonly used to treat tense and rigid muscles that are the result of spasms, according to Drugs.com. Dosage typically starts at 4 mg to minimize any side effects, and it is effective for many people at the dose of 8 mg. It should not be taken more than three times daily, with a maximum of 36 mg in 24 hours, according to drugs.com. This medication causes drowsiness in approximately 50 percent of people taking the drug, and can lower blood pressure, causing lightheadedness and dizziness. Other side effects can include dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, frequent urination, runny nose, speech disorders and vomiting.

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