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Inappropriate Use of Skeletal Muscle Relaxants in Geriatric Patients

Inappropriate Use of Skeletal Muscle Relaxants in Geriatric Patients

You may also report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA by visiting the FDA MedWatch website or calling FDA-1088. Drug information found in the drug comparisons published on RxList.com is primarily sourced from the FDA drug information. The drug comparison information found in this article does not contain any data from clinical trials with human participants or animals performed by any of the drug manufacturers comparing the drugs.

If there are tender spots over the muscle or trigger points on physical examination, a skeletal muscle relaxant is a reasonable adjunct to analgesic treatment of low back pain. Skeletal muscle relaxants may also be used as an alternative to NSAIDs in patients who are at risk of gastrointestinal or renal complications. Generally, cyclobenzaprine is more effective in treating acute musculoskeletal pain due to an injury in the back or neck. Chronic pain from muscle spasticity related to neurological disease or injury responds best to baclofen.

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Muscle relaxants are known to cause central nervous system side effects in the outpatient setting and are relatively contraindicated in individuals at high-risk for delirium. However, there are no known studies investigating their side effects in the postoperative setting. Selection of a skeletal muscle relaxant should be individualized to the patient.

Shoulder and Neck Pain

This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated 3 Sep 2023), Cerner Multum™ (updated 28 Aug 2023), ASHP (updated 10 Aug 2023) and others. Any missing drug warnings or information does not in any way guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or the lack of adverse effects of any drug.

Baclofen withdrawal can be life-threatening with possible multi-organ failure and psychological symptoms (2, 12). Baclofen and Flexeril have similar side effects, for example, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, and nausea. Side effects of baclofen that are different from Flexeril include weakness, vomiting, low blood pressure, insomnia, and seizures. Side effects of Flexeril that are different from baclofen include dry mouth, fatigue, blurred vision, acid reflux, nervousness, and stomach or belly pain. Your healthcare provider and/or pharmacist will give you specific instructions on how to take the medication. Treatment of muscle relaxant overdose consists of symptomatic and supportive care.

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Cyclobenzaprine was originally intended for use as an antidepressant (8). As such, if you’re on other antidepressants while taking cyclobenzaprine, your doctor should closely monitor your treatment course (8). You shouldn’t use cyclobenzaprine if you have hyperthyroidism, arrhythmias, heart failure, heart conduction issues, or are recovering from a heart attack (8).

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  • Lioresal is used for managing muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis.
  • Both Flexeril vs. Baclofen can have minor, moderate, or major interactions, leading to extreme side effects or even death.

Unlike Flexeril which works for specific injuries, Baclofen works better for chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis, a spinal cord injury, or a spinal cord disease. It is always important to tell flexeril.live your doctor what other medications you are taking so they can be aware of side effects and drug interactions. It may also be used off label to treat conditions like Tourette’s Syndrome and hiccups.

Baclofen is used for treating spasm of skeletal muscles, muscle clonus, rigidity, and pain caused by disorders such as multiple sclerosis. It is also injected into the spinal cord (intrathecal) for management of severe spasticity. Muscle relaxants are a somewhat common prescription due to the frequency of acute and chronic back pain.

What are the uses for baclofen vs. Flexeril?

But in most cases where it is prescribed, like when you use it for back pain, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, and others, it has to be taken for a long term. Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) is indicated for treating pain and muscle spasms related to short-term skeletal problems and muscle pain. It acts on the brain stem region, relieving short-term musculoskeletal pain and improves mobility. Cyclobenzaprine (sometimes branded as Flexeril) is an antispasmodic, FDA-approved medication for the treatment of acute musculoskeletal pain (8). It belongs to a group of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. Cyclobenzaprine should be combined with rest and other conservative interventions in the treatment of acute muscle spasm.

Both Flexeril vs. Baclofen can have minor, moderate, or major interactions, leading to extreme side effects or even death. Since both of these drugs affect the skeletal muscles, they are not available over the counter; they shouldn’t be taken lightly. These drugs can help relieve muscular pain symptoms, but they come with their range of side effects. Therefore, there needs to be a closer look at Flexeril vs. Baclofen to weigh out the side effects of each. If you feel that you’re dependent on carisoprodol or diazepam or your prescribed dosage isn’t helping to manage your symptoms, don’t take more than your recommended dosage. Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of baclofen tablet in the elderly.

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