Flexeril, a generic brand of Cyclobenzaprine, is prescribed as a muscle relaxant. The medication alleviates muscle spasms that are caused by the muscles themselves and not the nerves surrounding them. In combination with rest and – as needed – physical therapy, Cyclobenzaprine is very effective.
Generally used in the short-term (about 2-3 weeks), Flexeril has had some success long-term in the treatment of generalized pain disorders such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Flexeri is best taken at night, unless otherwise prescribed, as it does make one drowsy. Usually, the product is given in 5 -10 mg increments. Chemically related to tricyclic antidepressants (Elavil, Endep, Tofranil), Flexeril does not alleviate the symptoms of depression. If you are currently taking antidepressants or have done so within the last two weeks before being prescribed this medication, it’s wise to alert your doctor. Cyclobezaprine can negatively interact with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (Marplan, Nardil, Parnate), anti-seizure medications, sedatives, sleeping pills, tranqulizers, certain vitamins and some remedies, both over the counter and prescription, for coughs, colds and allergies.
People who have hyperactive thyroids, heart disease, especially those who recently suffered a heart attack, glaucoma and difficulty urinating are not encouraged to take this medication. Flexerol is not expected to harm a fetus, but if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during the course of taking this medication, alert your doctor. Do not use cyclobenzaprin if you are breast-feeding without checking with your doctor first.
This medication is not recommended for individuals over 65 either.
Common side effects of Flexeril include:
- dry mouth or throat
- blurry vision
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain
- and muscle weakness.
Some side effects are not normal and indicate a serious problem such as an allergy to Cyclobenzaprine. If you experience any of these symptoms after taking the medication, call your doctor immediately. Note: Those with asterisks (*) after them warrant a trip to the emergency room as they could become life-threatening.
- rapid or pounding heartbeat
- chest pain or tightness
- pain spreading to upper arm or shoulder
- sudden and unusual numbness and/or weakness, especially if only on one side of the body
- sudden headache
- sudden confusion, vision problems, speech and/or balance
- low-grade fever
- dark urine
- clay-colored stools
- seizure and/or convulsions
- unusual thoughts or behavior
- bruising easily
- inexplicable bleeding
- difficulty breathing
- facial swelling
- and swollen lips, tongue or throat.