There are many types of drugs and prescription medications. While many are helpful, many of them have addictive properties and millions of people become addicted to them. Flexeril is one such medication that can be helpful or addictive.
Many people have attended drug and alcohol addiction treatment center programs to overcome addictions to drugs such as Flexeril. If you are addicted to drugs, the programs may help you find the treatment you need.
Also known by the generic name of cyclobenzaprine, Flexeril is a type of drug that is known as a muscle relaxer. This medication was first approved in its generic form in 1977 under the brand name Flexeril. Cyclobenzaprine is sold under other brand names as well, including FusePaq, Fexmid, Tabradol, and Amrix. This prescription medication comes in immediate release and extended-release forms. It closely resembles another class of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants.
Uses for Flexeril
Doctors typically prescribe Flexeril to treat discomfort and pain from muscle injuries. The injuries are usually sprains or strains. They often prescribe Flexeril as part of a physical therapy treatment regimen. Sometimes, doctors use this medication to treat aches and pains associated with fibromyalgia, but that is an off-label use. The medication affects the central nervous system (CNS). It blocks pain sensations that travel between sore and aching muscles and the brain.
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Flexeril Side Effects
As with other medications, Flexeril may cause various side effects. Some side effects from this medication may include the following:
- Dry mouth
The above symptoms are among the more mild side effects a person may experience while taking Flexeril. People may experience more serious side effects from this medication as well. Such side effects may require immediate medical care. Some of these side effects include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Mood changes
- Urination problems
Using Flexeril may cause these more severe side effects. Unfortunately, using the drug may lead to other dangerous conditions as well.
Taking Flexeril with other drugs may be particularly dangerous. If people are already using a medication that raises the brain’s serotonin levels and then take cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), they could develop a serious or even fatal condition known as serotonin syndrome (SS).
It is important to recognize serotonin syndrome since it may be life-threatening. Some symptoms associated serotonin syndrome may include the following:
- Dilated pupils
- Changes in body temperature
- Blood pressure changes
Professionals advise people not to take Flexeril with other medications that increase serotonin levels. People should not take Flexeril with MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). Such drug combinations may be extremely dangerous, even fatal.
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Other Adverse Reactions with Medications
It should also be noted that people may experience adverse reactions when taking Flexeril with other medications. Taking central nervous system (CNS) depressants and Flexeril may cause adverse reactions. Some of these substances include the following:
Never mix these medications or substances with Flexeril. The combinations can be extremely dangerous. Flexeril should not be used on a long-term basis. In fact, multiple studies claim that the medication only diminishes pain for a few weeks. After that time period, the drug appears to be less effective in relieving pain. Doctors will generally prescribe low doses of Flexeril, especially early in its use.
Just as it is possible to abuse Flexeril, it is also possible to overdose on the drug. Some signs that you or someone you know is overdosing on this medication include the following:
- Chest pains
- Rapid heartbeat
- Slurred speech
- Severe drowsiness
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms of an overdose, seek medical care immediately. In addition, if you have already overdosed on Flexeril, it may be time to seek addiction treatment to stop using this drug.
The Addictive Properties of Flexeril
There are many discussions currently about the addiction epidemic in the United States and around the world. Many different drugs have contributed to this epidemic. For many years, doctors have prescribed opioid prescription painrelievers. Doctors and patients did not fully understand how addictive these drugs could be. Pharmaceutical companies downplayed the addictive properties of the drugs and promoted them heavily.
Many people thus used opioids and other drugs. Many people became addicted. Drug misuse has caused thousands of overdoses every year and many deaths. Not surprisingly, people are looking to other prescription medications and alternative treatment methods. Flexeril is an alternative medication used for relieving pain. But people want to know whether this drug is addictive as well.
Evidence supports the fact that people abuse Flexeril. The drug causes central nervous system depression and some people like the way the drug makes them feel. People may abuse the drug to feel sedated, relaxed, or euphoric.
While Flexeril abuse is less common compared to other drugs, people more commonly abuse it with other central nervous system depressants. Such combinations amplify the side effects of each drug. Some people abuse Flexeril with alcohol, for instance. Others may abuse Flexeril when they are coming down from cocaine (tapering from cocaine). People can become dependent on Flexeril and other drugs.
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Flexeril Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawing from Flexeril generally produces less severe symptoms than withdrawal symptoms from other drugs. The symptoms are still unpleasant, though, and include:
- Minor cravings
To obtain Flexeril, you need a prescription for the drug. This limits its availability, although people obviously obtain, use, and distribute drugs such as Flexeril in illegal ways.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not include Flexeril on its list of controlled substances. This means that the DEA does not have major concerns about Flexeril or think that people will abuse it. Yet people can still become dependent on this medication and abuse it.
If you or a loved one have been abusing this medication or mixing it with other substances, now is the time to find the help you need. There are many addiction treatment centers that can assist you. Make the call today to find a treatment program that is right for you.
Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-371-4198 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.