By targeting the central nervous system, Cyclobenzaprine acts as a muscle relaxant. Typically, Cyclobenzaprine prevents the brain’s nerve signals from reaching the muscles. It is these nerve signals which normally cause the patient to experience pain. When they are blocked, therefore, the pain sensations are also blocked.
If patients have experienced a muscle injury or have been diagnosed with an ongoing condition affecting the muscles, Cyclobenzaprine can be used to relieve their pain and discomfort. Severe muscle spasms can cause significant pain, for example, and the patient may be unable to control the movement of the affected muscle. By blocking the signals from the brain, Cyclobenzaprine prevents the muscle from contracting and, as a result, the patient does not experience the pain associated with the spasm.
Although Cyclobenzaprine can be used to reduce the pain associated with chronic conditions, it is not normally prescribed on a long-term basis. Muscle relaxants can be habit-forming if they are taken for a considerable length of time, so physicians will not normally prescribe this medication on an ongoing basis. If patients with a chronic condition have an acute flare-up, however, Cyclobenzaprine may be prescribed in order to relieve the worst of their symptoms on a short-term basis.
When used appropriately, Cyclobenzaprine can be extremely effective in reducing the pain associated with muscular injuries and musculoskeletal conditions.
Like all medications, Cyclobenzaprine has been associated with some side effects. When taking Cyclobenzaprine, patients should seek medical advice if they experience any of the following symptoms:
• Unsteadiness or clumsiness
• Difficulty urinating
• Buzzing or ringing in the ears
• Rash on the skin
• Itching or hives without the presence of other allergy symptoms
• Yellow skin and/or eyes
• Unusual dreams or thoughts
When taking Cyclobenzaprine, patients may also experience a number of other side effects. Typically, these lessen as the patient becomes used to the medication and they may not require medical intervention. If the patient is concerned about the following side effects, however, they should seek medical help:
• Drowsiness, lightheadedness or dizziness
• Blurry vision
• Dryness of the mouth
• Gas or indigestion
• Bloated feeling
• Vomiting or nausea
• Stomach pain or cramps
• Frequent urination
• Unusual weakness in muscles
• General feeling of illness or discomfort
• Nervousness or excitement
• Tingling, numbness, weakness and/or pain in the hands or feet
• Muscle twitching
• Unusual tiredness
• Pounding heartbeat
• Difficulty sleeping
• Problems speaking
• Taste changes
• Unpleasant taste in mouth
Although these represent the most common side effects of treatment with Cyclobenzaprine, patients may experience other symptoms when taking this medication. If so, they should contact their physician for further advice. In addition to this, patients may wish to report any additional side- effects to the Food and Drug Administration on 1-800-FDA-1088.
If patients inadvertently take too much Cyclobenzaprine, they may experience the effects of an overdose. If so, they should obtain emergency medical assistance. An overdose of medication can be life-threatening, so it’s essential that patients seek immediate medical help if they experience any of the following side effects:
• Seizures or convulsions
• Severe drowsiness
• Flushed, hot or dry skin
• Irregular or fast heartbeat
• Hallucinations (hearing, feeling, or seeing things that are not really there)
• Unusual restlessness or nervousness (may be severe)
• Labored or troubled breathing
• Unexplained stiffness in muscles
• Increase or decrease in body temperature
• Vomiting (occurring with other symptoms of an overdose)
When patients are prescribed Cyclobenzaprine, they will be told how much medication to take and when they should take it. It’s vital that patients follow their physician’s instructions as their treatment regimen will be tailored to their specific needs.
As Cyclobenzaprine is available as a standard oral capsule and as an extended-release capsule, patients will need to identify what type of medication they have been prescribed, so that they know exactly how to take it.
In many cases, adult patients will be prescribed 10mg of standard Cyclobenzaprine capsules, to be taken three times per day. If their condition requires it, their dose may be increased. However, patients are not normally prescribed more than 60mg of Cyclobenzaprine daily.
If patients are prescribed Cyclobenzaprine in extended-release format, the standard dose is normally 15mg per day. In some cases, the patient’s dose of extended-release Cyclobenzaprine may be increased to 30mg per day.
Generally, physicians will prescribe a relatively low dose of Cyclobenzaprine and only increase it if the patient’s condition warrants it.
When taking Cyclobenzaprine, patients should attempt to swallow the capsule whole, with water. If they are unable to do this, patients should contact their physician or pharmacist for advice. In some cases, they may be able to open the capsule and sprinkle the medication over a tablespoon of food, such as applesauce. Patients should then swallow the mixture, without chewing and rinse their mouth to ensure all of the medication has been taken.
If patients accidentally miss a dose of medication when they are taking Cyclobenzaprine, they should take it as soon as they remember to do so. However, it is not appropriate to take a double dose of Cyclobenzaprine. If their next dose is almost due, patients should, therefore, skip the missed the dose completely and continue with their treatment as scheduled.
Before patients are prescribed Cyclobenzaprine, their physician will want to know if they are taking any other medications. In some cases, medicines can interact with one another and cause unwanted side effects. Due to this, Cyclobenzaprine is not normally prescribed with the following medications:
• Methylene Blue
If patients are taking any of the medications listed above, their physician may not prescribe Cyclobenzaprine due to the possible interactions which may occur. They may provide an alternative medicine to treat their muscular pain or advise them to stop taking an existing medication. Patients should not attempt to alter any existing treatment regimes without medical advice and supervision.
Taking Cyclobenzaprine with the following medicines is not usually recommended but may be appropriate in some cases. While interactions may occur, doctors may alter the patient’s dose or advise them to take their Cyclobenzaprine capsule at a specific time to prevent the drugs from interacting. These medications include:
• Arsenic Trioxide
• Morphine Sulfate Liposome
• Sodium Phosphate
• Sodium Oxybate
In addition to interacting with other prescribed medications, Cyclobenzaprine can interact with other substances. Cyclobenzaprine may interact with tobacco, for example, so patients will need to inform their physician if they smoke cigarettes before taking this medication.
Patients should also tell their doctor if they take any over-the-counter medicines, vitamins or supplements before they take any Cyclobenzaprine. In some cases, these could interact with Cyclobenzaprine and cause unwanted effects. Once patients are taking Cyclobenzaprine, they should seek medical advice before taking any other medicines, supplements and/or vitamins.
It should be noted that Cyclobenzaprine may remain in the patient’s system for some time after they have taken a dose of medication. Even when patients have finished their course of treatment with Cyclobenzaprine, they should seek medical advice before taking any other medications or substances which could interact with it.
Although patients may require Cyclobenzaprine due to a muscular injury or musculoskeletal condition, they may also have other health issues. Patients should discuss their current health and medical history with their doctor before embarking on any new treatment regimes. The following conditions are of particular relevance and may mean that Cyclobenzaprine is not a suitable treatment for the patient:
• Liver disease
• Difficulty urinating
• Congestive heart failure
• Heart block
• Heart attack
• Heart rhythm problems
• Angle closure glaucoma
• Hyperthyroidism (Overactive thyroid)
As Cyclobenzaprine could make some of these conditions worse, it may not be prescribed to patients who have already been diagnosed with any of the health issues listed above. If doctors feel that treatment with Cyclobenzaprine is still viable, patients may be subject to additional monitoring while they are receiving treatment.
Cyclobenzaprine can often make patients feel drowsy and/or dizzy. As Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant, it can also affect a patient’s balance and coordination. Due to this, patients should not drive, operate heavy machinery or carry out important tasks if they experience side-effects when taking this medication.
Alcohol can increase the effects of this medication. In most cases, patients are advised not to consume alcohol while taking Cyclobenzaprine.
If patients are due to undergo surgery or any surgical procedures, they must inform the relevant medical practitioners that they are taking. Cyclobenzaprine. This includes any dental work or oral surgery. In some cases, Cyclobenzaprine can interact with sedative medicines and anesthesia so it may not be appropriate for patients to undergo procedures while they are taking this medication.
Taking any other central nervous system depressants at the same time as Cyclobenzaprine will increase the effects of this medication. Central nerve depressants may include allergy medications, hay fever treatments, sleeping tablets, tranquilizers and/or sedatives. Patients are usually advised to avoid these medications while taking Cyclobenzaprine and should always seek medical advice before using them.
In terms of treatment pregnant patients, Cyclobenzaprine has been classified as a category B drug by the Food and Drug Administration. Although there is no evidence to prove that Cyclobenzaprine would cause harm to an unborn fetus, pregnant patients should only be prescribed this medication if there is no suitable alternative and if the benefits of treating the patient with Cyclobenzaprine clearly outweigh any potential risks.
If patients become pregnant while taking Cyclobenzaprine, they should contact their physician for further advice.
It is not yet known if Cyclobenzaprine can be passed from a patient to an infant via breastfeeding. However, it should be noted that similar medications have been shown to transfer to infants via breastfeeding. Due to this, patients are normally advised not to breastfeed while taking Cyclobenzaprine or soon after their last dose of medication. If patients are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed, they should discuss this with their physician before taking Cyclobenzaprine.
Cyclobenzaprine may be prescribed to adults or patients over the age of 15. While physicians may prescribe this medication to younger patients in some circumstances, this is not the usual practice. As the safety of Cyclobenzaprine has not been expressly tested on younger patients, physicians may be unwilling to prescribe this medicine to children. Similarly, Cyclobenzaprine should not be prescribed to infants due to the potential adverse effects it could have on them.
When prescribing Cyclobenzaprine to geriatric patients, only the standard capsules should be given. Extended-release capsules are not suitable for older patients as they tend to have higher blood levels than younger patients and this can affect the way in which the medicine works.
In addition to this, older patients may take longer to process medications, such as Cyclobenzaprine. Due to this, physicians may prescribe a relatively low starting dose to elderly patients and increase their dose gradually, if needed.
Before taking Cyclobenzaprine, patients should disclose any existing allergies they have. As well as discussing existing allergies to medications, patients should inform their physician if they have allergies to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives and/or animals.
If patients exhibit an allergic reaction when taking Cyclobenzaprine, they will need to access medical help immediately. An allergic reaction can be characterized by the following symptoms and always warrants emergency medical help:
• Difficulty breathing
• Welts and/or hives
• Swelling of the lips, throat and/or face
Patients will usually be taking Cyclobenzaprine on an outpatient basis and will need to store their medication at home. When keeping medicines at home, patients should use a locked cabinet or cupboard to ensure that no-one else can access their medication.
It is particularly important that Cyclobenzaprine is kept out of reach of children and/or pets.
When storing Cyclobenzaprine, patients should follow the guidelines which come with their medication. In most cases, Cyclobenzaprine capsules should be kept at room temperature and should not be in a location which is exposed to heat, moisture and/or direct light.
If patients are advised to stop taking Cyclobenzaprine, they should not keep the medication at home for an extended period of time. Instead, they will need to dispose of the excess medication safely. Cyclobenzaprine should not be discarded with normal household waste as it may pose a risk to other people. Instead, patients should contact their physician or pharmacist and access a safe disposal method.
Although muscular injuries can often be treated successfully, they can be extremely painful whilst they are healing. If the injury causes the muscles to contract involuntarily, for example, the patient may experience muscle spasms for days or weeks after the actual injury occurred.
By prescribing Cyclobenzaprine, physicians can relieve the patient’s pain and prevent the muscles from entering a state of contraction. As Cyclobenzaprine blocks the nerve signals sent from the brain, the affected muscles will no longer contract, cramp or spasm and will not cause the patient undue pain or discomfort.
Although Cyclobenzaprine is effective in treating the pain associated with muscular injuries and musculoskeletal conditions, it is normally used in conjunction with other treatments. When patients are prescribed Cyclobenzaprine, for example, they may also be undergoing physical rehabilitation or physiotherapy in order to treat their original injury.