Robaxin vs Tizanidine – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Robaxin

It is the brand name of a drug called methocarbamol, which is part of a group of drugs called muscle relaxants.

This medication was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1957.

Mechanism of Action

It acts on the central nervous system.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to relax muscles and relieve discomfort and pain caused by strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries.

Dosage

Note – the effect of this muscle relaxant can be felt within half an hour of administration of the dose.

The usual recommended dosage is 6g per day for the first 4 days in divided doses. Then, the treatment can be continued with 4g per day.

Alcohol

Consumption of alcoholic beverages is not recommended during treatment with this muscle relaxant due to the increased risk of side effects.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • opioids (narcotic pain medicines), like – morphine (Avinza) or oxycodone (Oxycontin);
  • sleep medicines, like – ramelteon (Rozerem) or zolpidem (Ambien);
  • tricyclic antidepressants, like – amoxapine, doxepin, or nortriptyline (Pamelor);
  • drugs used to treat panic attacks and anxiety, like – chlordiazepoxide (Librium) or lorazepam (Ativan);
  • other medicines which cause sedation.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea;
  • loss of balance or coordination;
  • headaches;
  • drowsiness;
  • mild itching or rash;
  • upset stomach;
  • eye redness;
  • vomiting;
  • stuffy nose;
  • dizziness;
  • confusion;
  • memory problems.

Less common side effects may include:

  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • slow heart rate;
  • chills;
  • blurred vision;
  • flushing (redness or tingly feeling);
  • double vision;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • fever (high temperature);
  • spinning sensation.

Overdose

Overdosing happens more frequently when this drug is used with another sedative drug or alcohol. Signs and symptoms of an overdose may include:

  • severe drowsiness;
  • loss of consciousness;
  • blurred vision;
  • nausea;
  • low blood pressure;
  • seizure.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

This muscle relaxant passes into breast milk and may affect the infant in a negative way. There are no studies to determine the safety of this muscle relaxant during pregnancy.

Tizanidine

It is the generic name of a drug which belongs to a group of drugs called skeletal muscle relaxants. It can be found under the brand name of Zanaflex.

Mechanism of Action

This drug works by blocking nerve impulses that are sent to the brain.

It is related chemically to clonidine, but, it has substantially lower antihypertensive effects

Uses

This medication is used to treat muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, or spinal cord injury.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding a baby, avoid this skeletal muscle relaxant since it passes into breast milk and may harm the breastfed infant.

There are no studies to determine whether this skeletal muscle relaxant is safe to use during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider that you are pregnant before using this skeletal muscle relaxant.

Contraindications

To make sure that this skeletal muscle relaxant is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • high LDL cholesterol levels;
  • kidney disease;
  • low blood pressure.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • birth control pills;
  • stomach acid drugs, such as – famotidine or cimetidine;
  • antibiotics, including – ciprofloxacin or ofloxacin;
  • nyquil;
  • heart rhythm drugs, including – mexiletine or verapamil;
  • zileuton;
  • blood pressure drugs, such as –  clonidine or methyldopa.

Dosage

The usual recommended dosage is 12 mg to 24 mg, given up to 3 times per day.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dizziness;
  • abnormal liver function tests;
  • a runny nose;
  • feeling nervous;
  • a sore throat;
  • uncontrolled muscle movements;
  • constipation;
  • weakness;
  • trouble speaking;
  • dry mouth;
  • blurred vision;
  • flu-like symptoms;
  • drowsiness;
  • vomiting.

Less common side effects may include:

  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • pain when you urinate;
  • confusion;
  • hallucinations.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this skeletal muscle relaxant since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of side effects.

Bottom Line – Robaxin vs Tizanidine

Robaxin (active ingredient – methocarbamol) is a muscle relaxant works by blocking nerve impulses which are sent to the brain. It is used to treat skeletal muscle conditions, like – pain or injury. This medication

Tizanidine (brand name – Zanaflex) is a short-acting muscle relaxer that temporarily relaxes muscle tone. It is a short-acting inhibitor of excitatory motor neurons at the supraspinal and spinal levels.

Regarding their price, the average retail price for 100 tablets of Robaxin 750mg is $260, while the average retail price for 100 tablets of tizanidine 4mg is $18.

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/methocarbamol
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/tizanidine

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