Baclofen vs Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) – Which Is The Better Muscle Relaxer?

Baclofen

It is a drug with the brand name of Lioresal that belongs to two groups of drugs known as antispastics and muscle relaxants. It is thought to work by relaxing the muscles.

Uses

This medication is typically used to treat muscle spasms and other symptoms in sufferers with disease or injury of the spinal cord. Also, it is used to treat muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis (an autoimmune disease which attacks the brain and central nervous system), including pain, spasm, and stiffness.

Moreover, when used at high doses, it has recently emerged as a treatment for alcohol dependence.

Note – it does not cure these medical problems, however, this medication may allow other treatment, like – physical therapy, to be more helpful in improving the condition.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 5 mg orally taken 3 or 4 times per day. The peak plasma concentration can be achieved in 2 to 3 hours after intake. Also, it takes about 3 to 4 days for the drug to show its effect. Do not stop abruptly due to the risk of seizures.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Lioresal 

Common side effects may include:

  • headaches;
  • tired feeling;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • weakness;
  • urinating more often than usual;
  • constipation;
  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • drowsiness.

Rare side effects may include:

  • hallucinations;
  • a seizure (convulsions);
  • shallow breathing;
  • confusion.

Drug Interactions

It can negatively interact with many other drugs, including:

  • antidepressant medications;
  • alcoholic beverages – drinking alcoholic beverages while taking drugs increases the effects of each substance as well as it can trigger dangerous interactions. In addition, long-term alcohol misuse is linked to cancer, cardiovascular and liver disease, anxiety, depression, and antisocial personality disorder.
  • antihistamines (including many nonprescription cough, cold, motion sickness, allergy, and sleep drugs);
  • antipsychotics, like – Asenapine, Aripiprazole, Fluphenazine, Chlorpromazine, Loxapine, Clozapine, Molindone, Ziprasidone, Haloperidol, Iloperidone, Paliperidone, Olanzapine, Lurasidone, Pimozide, Perphenazine, Prochlorperazine, Risperidone, Quetiapine, Thioridazine, Thiothixene, or Trifluoperazine.
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Overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Flexeril

It is a brand name for cyclobenzaprine. This medication is also sold under the brand names Fexmid, Amrix, and FusePaq Tabradol. It belongs to the family of drugs known as muscle relaxants.

It is not clear as to how it works to relieve muscle spasms, but it is known that it mostly works in the brain stem and not directly on the muscles.

Uses

This medication is used to treat pain caused by noninflammatory or inflammatory chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

Dosage

This drug is available in the following dosage forms – tablet, suspension, and extended release. The usual recommended adult dose is 1 tablet three times per day. The maximum recommended dose is 60 mg within a 24 hour period.

Note – this medication is not intended to be used for longer than 14-21 days at a time. If the condition has not improved in this time, talk with your healthcare professional about the most appropriate way to proceed.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness;
  • headaches;
  • dry mouth;
  • fatigue;
  • drowsiness.

Rare side effects may include:

  • pain in the abdomen;
  • nausea;
  • acid reflux or heartburn;
  • constipation;
  • confusion;
  • fainting;
  • blurry vision;
  • rash or hives;
  • unusual dreams or nightmares;
  • nervousness;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • a bad taste in the mouth;
  • mood swings or depression;
  • sudden lack of coordination;
  • swelling, particularly in the tongue, mouth, or eyes;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • changes in skin color, especially yellowing of the eyes or face.

Alcohol

You should not drink alcohol while taking this medication since this combination slows your reaction time and thinking. In addition, alcohol increases the likelihood of side effects to occur.

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Baclofen vs Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) – Which Is The Better Muscle Relaxer?      

Baclofen is a medication that is used for the alleviation of signs and symptoms of spasticity resulting from partial spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis. Flexeril (active ingredient – cyclobenzaprine) is used for the relief of muscle spasm associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions.

According to studies, there isn’t really any muscle relaxant which is better than another, it only depends on which one works best for you. Talk with your doctor before using any drug.

Notes – it is not recommended to take these medications at the same time since they increase drowsiness and sedation when taken together.

None of these medications treats the medical condition for which it is used. Also, both have plenty of side effects.

Home Remedies For Muscle Spasms

#1 Use Epsom SaltEpsom Salt

Epsom salt contains high concentrations of magnesium, an essential electrolyte which helps the muscles function correctly. Therefore, it can be used to ease the stress on the muscles, allowing you to recover faster and relax.

#2 Drink Plenty Of Fluids

Dehydration is a common cause of muscle cramps. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, particularly if you are an active person.

Note – you can also drink organic coconut water instead of spring water. Avoid sports drinks (like – Gatorade, Pedialyte, or Powerade) as they are full of artificial ingredients and food additives.

#3 Apple Cider Vinegar

Being high in potassium, raw and unfiltered ACV helps relieve muscle cramps because low potassium levels are one of the common causes of muscle cramps. Additionally, there are a few essential nutrients in ACV which help control the fluid balance in the human body, hence, it prevents dehydration.

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#4 Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is an ancient medicinal herb which is used to treat numerous ailments, including muscle spasms. Its potent effects are most likely due to its content of 36 flavonoids, compounds which have strong anti-inflammatory attributes.

#5 Hypokalemia (Low Potassium)

This condition develops when potassium (an essential mineral) in your blood drops below normal. The best source of potassium is nutrition especially pistachios, plums, and bananas.

#6 Stretch

Stretching exercises are one of the most efficient remedies for muscle cramps in back, legs, thighs, calf, or palm. You can do some stretching for about 15 minutes to fight discomfort and pain.

#6 Nutrition

Atherosclerosis may lead to muscle cramps and spasm since an inadequate quantity of nutrients in the blood supply is delivered to the muscle.

Foods to prevent atherosclerosis (also known as hardening of the arteries) include – red kidney beans, blueberries, blackberries, lentils, chickpeas, navy beans, broccoli, red cabbage, carrots, turnips, radishes, apples, pears, cranberries, strawberries, pineapples, mangoes, papayas, garlic, red onions, red grapes, or tomatoes.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28525555
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/872807
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161130082818.htm

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