Cyclobenzaprine : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Cyclobenzaprine is used with rest, physical therapy, and other measures to relax muscles and relieve pain and discomfort caused by strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries. Cyclobenzaprine is in a class of medications called skeletal muscle relaxants. It works by acting in the brain and nervous system to allow the muscles to relax.
How should this medicine be used?
Cyclobenzaprine comes as a tablet and an extended-release capsule to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken with or without food three times a day. The extended-release capsule is usually taken with or without food once a day. Do not take this drug for more than 3 weeks without talking to your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take cyclobenzaprine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release capsules whole; do not chew or crush them.
If you are not able to swallow the extended-release capsule whole, mix the contents of the capsule with applesauce. Eat the mixture right away and swallow without chewing. After you eat the mixture, take a drink, and swish and swallow to make sure that you have received all the medication.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cyclobenzaprine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cyclobenzaprine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in cyclobenzaprine tablets or capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking the following medications or have stopped taking them within the past two weeks: monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take cyclobenzaprine if you are taking one of these medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: medications for allergies, coughs, or colds; barbiturates such as butabarbital (Butisol), phenobarbital, and secobarbital (Seconal); bupropion (Aplenzin, Forfivo XL, Wellbutrin, Zyban); meperidine (Demerol); sedatives; sleeping pills; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra, in Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft); selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as desvenlafaxine (Khedezla, Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), levomilnacipran (Fetzima), milnacipran (Savella) and venlafaxine (Effexor); tranquilizers; tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Silenor), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil); tramadol (Conzip, Ultram, in Ultracet); verapamil (Calan, Covera HS, Verelan, in Tarka); or any other medication for depression, mood, anxiety, or thought disorder. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with cyclobenzaprine, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. ;
- tell your doctor if you are recovering from a recent heart attack, or if you have an overactive thyroid gland. heart failure (condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to the other parts of the body), or an irregular heartbeat, heart block, or other problems with the electrical impulses of your heart. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take cyclobenzaprine.
- tell your doctor if you have increased pressure in the eye or glaucoma, difficulty urinating, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking cyclobenzaprine, call your doctor immediately.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking cyclobenzaprine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take cyclobenzaprine because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how cyclobenzaprine affects you.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking cyclobenzaprine. Cyclobenzaprine can make the effects of alcohol worse.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Cyclobenzaprine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- extreme tiredness
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- skin rash
- swelling of the face or tongue
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- irregular or fast heart rate
- chest pain
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Store the extended-release capsule away from light.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- feeling agitated
- trouble speaking or moving
- hallucination (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- loss of consciousness
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.