Muscle relaxers: Types, side effects, safety, and more

Some of these may be mild, like sweating and achiness, and others more intense, such as vomiting and tremors. Some may self-medicate to alleviate pain or anxiety, thinking it enhances the effects of the medication. Others might accidentally mix them, not fully understanding the risks. When used properly, under caution, and as prescribed by a doctor, muscle relaxants are typically safe. However, when taken with or in close proximity to alcohol or other drugs, muscle relaxants can have dangerous, and sometimes deadly, effects.

  1. While any combination of these drugs can be dangerous, many people face more extreme risks when they intentionally use both drugs together to create a desired, pleasurable effect.
  2. If you have been prescribed muscle relaxers by your doctor, it’s important to ask them before consuming alcohol.
  3. Because of this, you should be cautious about operating heavy machinery, such as driving a car, or making important decisions while taking these medications.
  4. It works by relaxing your muscles, which reduces muscle stiffness.

Additionally, alcohol can interact with certain medications commonly prescribed to older adults, intensifying their sedative effects and contributing to central nervous system depression. It’s crucial for older adults to consult with their healthcare provider before consuming alcohol or taking muscle relaxers to ensure their safety and well-being. Prescription muscle relaxers can be effective in treating spasticity, muscle spasms and muscle-related pain. But it’s important to weigh the possible risks of these medications, including their side effects and addiction potential.

And muscle spasms can not only be uncomfortable, they can also be a sign of an underlying medical problem. OTC treatment options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, or a combination of both. Muscle spasticity is caused by injury to parts of the brain or spinal cord involved with movement. Conditions that can cause muscle spasticity include multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Some facilities also include step-down levels of care to include a partial hospitalization program or an intensive outpatient program.

There are many prescription and over-the-counter medications available that can provide relief for muscle spasms and muscle spasticity. The team assessed that the drug had no impact on how much alcohol the participants drank. Yet those in the treatment group did experience increased feelings of intoxication and “high,” and had lower heart rates than those in the placebo group. You also shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery while taking muscle relaxants.

Dependence does not necessarily mean you are addicted to cyclobenzaprine and/or alcohol. However, the more these two substances are abused, the more likely you will become addicted to them. Furthermore, those who are addicted to muscle relaxers can consider drug addiction treatment at in-patient rehab centers or outpatient rehab centers.

How Do You Take Baclofen for Alcohol Use Disorder?

Each type of prescription muscle relaxer has different possible side effects. It’s important to talk to your provider or a pharmacist about possible side effects of the specific medication you’re taking or thinking of taking. Healthcare providers mainly prescribe antispastic muscle relaxers to treat why do alcoholics lie spasticity. There are risks involved in taking prescription or OTC muscle relaxers. Consult a doctor or pharmacist first and follow the instructions closely. Doctors prescribe metaxalone in combination with rest, physical therapy, and other nondrug treatment strategies for painful muscle conditions.

Muscle relaxers work by inhibiting the activity of the central nervous system, while alcohol acts as a depressant. When combined, these substances can further depress the central nervous system, leading to significant impairment in motor function. This can result in unsteady movements, difficulty with balance, and an increased likelihood of falls or accidents. 11 ways to curb your drinking Alcohol affects different areas of the brain, including those responsible for coordination, judgment, and decision-making. It can slow down reaction times and impair motor skills, leading to decreased coordination and increased risk of accidents. Alcohol can also interfere with cognitive function, making it difficult to think clearly and make sound judgments.

Medical Professionals

If that feels intimidating, start smaller and see if you can add on as you move ahead. Bringing attention to our habits is always the first step in changing them. Next time you’re drinking, use a measuring cup to pour out 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of spirits. Do this with every drink you have in order to keep yourself honest. In a notebook, keep track of how many drinks you have each day, and rate your overall anxiety, depression, and sleep quality. If you are taking another medication that also causes drowsiness, you may have more side effects.

Dependence and other risks

Contact a doctor or speak with a pharmacist before taking any muscle relaxer. If the doctor prescribes 500 mg tablets, they may recommend three tablets initially and two to maintain the effect. If they prescribe 750-mg tablets, they may recommend two initially and one or two to maintain the effect. Overall, the guidelines advise taking 6 grams a day for the first 48–72 hours of treatment, though a doctor may recommend taking 8 grams in this period if the issue is severe.

Which muscle relaxers are available?

When cyclobenzaprine and alcohol are abused together, it is called polydrug use. If you must have an alcoholic beverage, it is best to wait 24 hours or longer after taking your last dose of the muscle relaxer to avoid any potentially harmful effects. Your healthcare provider and/or pharmacist will give you specific instructions on how to take the medication. In general, antispastic medications act on your spinal cord or skeletal muscle directly to improve muscle tightness (hypertonicity) and involuntary spasms.

It can treat muscle spasms that occur with acute muscle conditions when a person combines it with rest and physical therapy. Flexeril, Amrix, and Fexmid are brand names of this drug in the U.S. Carisoprodol and cyclobenzaprine are frequently misused for non-medical reasons. But there is one muscle relaxer called baclofen that some experts believe might help with alcohol withdrawal. Muscle relaxers are medications that reduce muscle spasms and muscle pain.

While research is ongoing, there is strong evidence that baclofen can reduce alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms for some people. Ameisen’s book “Le Dernier Verre,”1 translated as “the last glass” or “the end of my addiction,” brought public attention to this use of baclofen, and helped motivate further clinical research. It also inspired a number alcohol cravings of people to try baclofen for themselves, leading to a community of people in recovery who advocate for this type of alcohol treatment. Engaging in the abuse of these substance sat the same time produces many concerning long-term effects. These can include damage to the liver and kidneys, as well as problems with cognitive function and memory.

The Dangers of Mixing Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol

Alcohol consumption can already cause liver damage, and when combined with muscle relaxers, the risk is further increased. In conclusion, the dangers of mixing muscle relaxers and alcohol cannot be overstated. The combination of these substances can have serious consequences for your health and well-being. Another concern when mixing muscle relaxers and alcohol is the potential for liver damage and toxicity. When taken together, the liver becomes overwhelmed as it tries to process and eliminate these substances from the body. The simultaneous use of muscle relaxers and alcohol can intensify these effects, potentially causing extreme drowsiness, confusion, and even loss of consciousness.

Here at North Jersey Recovery Center, we offer prescription drug and alcohol addiction treatment to free our patients from the grips of addiction. After being prescribed muscle relaxers, the side effects can be difficult to deal with. They may drink alcohol believing that it will provide relief from nausea or headaches.

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