Now that we know the basics, you might be asking, "How does a muscle relaxant work?" Muscle relaxants work by acting on the body’s central nervous system. They do not heal a muscle - because muscles are self-healing - but mask the pain to allow the body time to heal ifself. Muscle relaxants are available only by prescription in the United States. Most muscle relaxants come in tablet form.

Some examples of musle relaxers are:

When taking a muscle relaxant, doctors warn patients of several precautions. First, the drugs may make the injury feel so much better that you may be tempted to go back to normal activity. Doing too much too soon can actually make the injury worse. Taking a few days off from your normal activities is probably wise. However, it's always best to check with your doctor if you have any questions.

Muscle relaxants will only help with muscle pain. They should not be taken with any other types of pain.

Patients under the influence of muscle relaxants to avoid driving, operating machinery or anything that could be harmful. This is because some people may feel drowsy, dizzy, confused and light headed while taking these medications. Other side effects of most muscle relaxers include blurred vision, clumsiness and unsteadiness due to the medication's interaction with the central nervous system.

Muscle relaxants may also add the effects of alcohol and other drugs which slow down the central nervous system. These drugs include antihistamines, cold medicines, allergy medicine, sleep aides, tranquilizers, medicines for seizures, and similar drugs. Make sure to check with your physician before taking any of the above.

People with diabetes should be aware that an ingredient in muscle relaxants could cause false test results on one type of test for sugar in the urine.

Patients should always consult with a doctor before taking a muscle relaxant and let them know about preexisting conditions. Previous heart attacks or conditions, kidney disease, hepatitis, history of drug abuse and pregnancy are just a few things you should check with your doctor before taking a muscle relaxant. For example, some muscle relaxers can pass into breast milk and upset or harm a nursing child.

Despite the side effects and cautionary measures, muscle relaxers are usually found to be very helpful in alleviating pain.



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