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Can I Take Flexeril If I'm Pregnant and In Pain?

author image Melissa Lind
Melissa Lind holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas College of Pharmacy. She has over 20 years experience as a health-care professional, including pharmacy practice as a registered pharmacist, and experience in clinical research management and community college instruction in pharmacology and health topics. Lind has been a freelance writer and independent content provider since 2006.
Can I Take Flexeril If I'm Pregnant and In Pain?
Many women experience pain during pregnancy Photo Credit: Vasily Pindyurin/Hemera/Getty Images

Muscle strain and backache may be common during pregnancy, but many drugs that are safe for most adults can be harmful to a pregnant woman or her fetus. Flexeril, known generically as cyclobenzaprine, is a muscle relaxant most often given for treatment of injury or muscle strain. If you are pregnant, tell your doctor about your condition and about all medications you are taking before taking any additional medication to make sure it is safe for you and your baby. Your doctor will decide whether Flexeril or any other medication is safe enough for you to take during pregnancy.

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About Flexeril

Flexeril is a prescription muscle relaxant known generically as cyclobenzaprine and generally given for short periods of time to non-pregnant adults for conditions such as injury or muscle strain Flexeril is not given for pain unless the pain is related to a muscle strain or injury. Flexeril is usually given in 10 mg tablets up to three times daily. It is generally not considered addictive, but it may have side effects such as sleepiness and dizziness.

Flexeril during pregnancy

Flexeril has been classified as Pregnancy Category B by the Food and Drug Administration. Category B drugs have not been shown to cause teratogenicity or fetal abnormalities in animal studies but often have not been fully evaluated in humans. Category B drugs such as cyclobenzaprine should be given during a pregnancy only when the physician determines that the risks are less than the benefits of the drug's actions.

Flexeril during breastfeeeding

Flexeril has not been shown to be excreted into human milk while breastfeeding but it has not been well studied and, according to, animal studies done on rats and mice have demonstrated that up to 50 percent of the drug may appear in breast milk. Flexeril should most likely be avoided by nursing women; however, your doctor will decide whether you can take Flexeril if you are nursing.

Other remedies for pain

Many women who are pregnant experience back strain and other pain such as sciatica during pregnancy, particularly in the late stages as the baby has gotten larger. Many practitioners recommend natural solutions such as a warm bath, low heeled shoes or simply staying off the feet. Some women may also find relief from different sleeping positions such as placing pillows beneath the knees or the purchase of a body pillow, which may help to support the growing belly. In any case, a physician or health practitioner will help you decide what type of pain treatment may provide some relief.

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