Muscle relaxants are not really a class of drugs,
but rather a group of different drugs that each has an overall sedative
effect on the body. These drugs do not act directly on the muscles, rather
they act centrally (in the brain) and are more of a total body relaxant.
Typically, muscle relaxants are prescribed early in a course of back
pain, on a short-term basis, to relieve low back pain associated with muscle
spasms. There are several types of muscle relaxant medications that are
commonly used to treat low back pain:
- Carisoprodol (Soma). This drug’s dosage is 350mg every eight
hours as needed for muscle spasm. Soma is typically prescribed on a
short-term basis and may be habit-forming, especially if used in
conjunction with alcohol or other drugs that act on the mind.
- Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril). This medication can be used on a
longer-term basis and actually has a chemical structure related to some
antidepressant medications, although it is not an antidepressant. Usually
it is prescribed as 10mg every six hours as needed to relieve low back
pain associated with muscle spasm, or it can also be prescribed as 10mg at
night as needed to help with difficulty sleeping. Flexeril can impair
mental and physical function, and may lead to urinary retention in males
with large prostates.
- Diazepam (Valium). Valium is usually limited to one to two
weeks of use, and the typical dosage is 5-10mg every six hours as needed
to relieve low back pain associated with muscle spasm. Because of its
habit-forming potential, and because it changes sleep cycles and makes it
very difficult to sleep after stopping the drug, Valium should not be used
long term. Patients should also note that Valium is a depressant and can
worsen depression associated with chronic pain.
This website does not sell pharmaceuticals. You should consult a doctor in person for medical evaluations. All trademarks found within this website are owned by their respective owners. Information provided does not contain medical or legal advice and is solely provided for educational and informational purposes. Medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed physician. You must at least be 21 years of age to access, browse and/or subscribe to this website and/or any services offered herein.