What is Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)?
Cyclobenzaprine, or name brand Flexeril, belongs to a class of medications called skeletal muscles relaxants. Muscle relaxants, like Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), are prescribed to treat various muscle injuries and relieve pain from sprains or stiffness. Cyclobenzaprine is most always prescribed along with physical therapy, rest, and exercise.
Cyclobenzaprine comes in tablet or capsule form. The tablet should be taken three times a day, with or without food. The capsule is usually directed to be taken once a day. Doctors generally prescribe Cyclobenzaprine for no more than a three week period.
Besides Flexeril, other name brands containing Cyclobenzaprine include:
- FusePaq Tabradol.
Although developing a Cyclobenzaprine (Flexiril) addiction is uncommon, Cyclobenzaprine is capable of producing dangerous interactions with central nervous system (CNS) depressants, like alcohol, Xanax, and other anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs.
Cyclobenzaprine has shown similar effects to tricyclic antidepressants, which were the earliest produced antidepressants. They are used less often nowadays because of harmful side effects. Due to the pharmacological similarities of Cyclobenzaprine and tricyclic antidepressants, Cyclobenzaprine addiction is possible because of the way it affects and changes brain chemistry.
Misusing Cyclobenzaprine, or taking more than directed for long-periods of time, will likely increase the risk of side effects. While unusual, there are certain signs and symptoms of Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) addiction.
Signs And Symptoms Of Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) Addiction
Although Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) addiction is not considered likely, abuse is possible because of the relative ease of obtaining a prescription. Cyclobenzaprine is not considered a controlled substance, and therefore may be prescribed more often with less precaution. Once abused, however, the person is likely to experience an increase in side effects, which indicates misuse.
Some symptoms of cyclobenzaprine misuse include:
- dry mouth
- severe drowsiness
- extreme tiredness
- unusual thoughts or dreams
Addiction is a brain disease that changes the way a person thinks. If they are struggling with addiction, they’ll likely exhibit signs of drug-seeking behavior. Commons signs include craving the drug, continual use of the drug despite harm, compulsively using the drug, and showing impaired judgment relating to the drug.
Using Cyclobenzaprine to enhance the effects of other drugs is another sign of addiction. People will often combine drugs in order to conserve drug supply or increase the feelings of sedation and euphoria. Once an individual gets to this level of abuse, they increase the risk of serious health issues.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports a study from 2011 that showed 1.2 million emergency room visits were directly related to prescription drug misuse. Whether Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) addiction is likely or not, misusing prescription drugs can be dangerous and potentially lethal.
Dangers Of Cyclobenzaprine Addiction
Cyclobenzaprine has been reported to cause death when combined with MAO inhibitors, which are generally used to treat depression. If a person is using an MAO inhibitor like Nardil, Parnate, or Emsam, they should not take Cyclobenzaprine.
Like all prescription drugs, the dangers of abusing Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) are inherent. As soon as a person takes more Flexeril than directed, they increase the chance of experiencing dangerous side effects.
Some of these dangerous side effects include twitching, fever, accelerated heartbeat, anxiety, restlessness, sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, and hallucinations. If a person shows any of these symptoms they should seek medical attention immediately.
Overdose is also possible for a person suffering from Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) addiction or abuse.
Overdose caused by Cyclobenzaprine may exhibit the following symptoms:
- unexplained muscle stiffness
- severe drowsiness
- flushed skin
- dramatic change in body temperature
- trouble breathing
- vomiting along with the above symptoms
It is rare, but possible, for people to die when overdosing from Cyclobenzaprine. If a person shows any symptoms of overdose, call 9-1-1 and seek treatment immediately.
Ingesting multiple drugs along with Cyclobenzaprine can result in heavy sedation and euphoria. Mixing Cyclobenzaprine with CNS depressants like alcohol and other sedatives can cause severe impairment and make daily tasks like driving extremely dangerous. CNS depression, or slowed heart-rate and breathing, is also likely, and can lead to coma or even death.
It is important to consider the risk of withdrawal if using Cyclobenzaprine for an extended period of time. Withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant and painful.
Cyclobenzaprine Addiction, Withdrawal, And Detox
Withdrawal occurs when a person stops taking a drug they are physically or psychologically dependent on. Although Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) addiction is considered unlikely, and therefore the chances of physical or psychological dependence are slim, withdrawal symptoms may still occur if used long-term.
Common symptoms of withdrawal from prescription drugs like Cyclobenzaprine include anxiety, abdominal pain, nausea, headache, muscle twitching, and insomnia. While these symptoms do not pose serious health risks, withdrawal can cause extreme discomfort and may push a person to take more drugs.
Detox is the process by which the body rids itself of harmful substances. Medically supervised detox is a common way for doctors and other professionals to aide in the discomfort of painful withdrawals. Medical professionals will administer other drugs to combat the sickness of withdrawal, allowing the individual to ease off the physical and psychological dependence the drug caused.
Medically supervised detox may not be necessary for Cyclobenzaprine, but if abuse has occurred, then seeking treatment may be necessary to combat further risk of addiction.
Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) Addiction Treatment Options
Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) addiction is uncommon, but should nonetheless be considered for treatment the same as any prescription drug abuse. Successful treatment must take into account the differences between individuals and which drug was abused.
The focus of behavioral treatments are to inspire changes in thinking and attitudes, promote ways to combat cravings, and build skills and tools to deal with stressful situations and prevent future relapse. Two of the most common behavioral treatments include outpatient and inpatient treatments.
Outpatient treatment allows the individual to live at home while they regularly visit therapists and other professionals. This treatment generally begins with intensive therapy, and then gradually switches to less intensive therapy that meets less often.
Outpatient treatment can be risky for recovery, because the person’s home environment may have contributed to the drug-seeking behavior in the first place, thus making it difficult to refrain from using drugs or alcohol.
Inpatient treatment is considered more effective because the individual will live in a residential facility. At the facility, they will have access to a variety of behavioral treatments, including group therapy, cognitive-behavior therapy, and therapy aimed at preparing them for a successful return to the community. Stays at a residential facility can be long-term (up to six months), or short-term (thirty days), and provide a peaceful and stable environment to recover from addiction.
Get Help For A Flexeril Addiction Today
Addiction fundamentally changes a person to behave in ways that can be hurtful and damaging. It is important to recognize addiction is a disease, and requires intensive treatment to overcome.
Call the number on your screen and begin the journey of healing and recovery. Professionals are standing by to help find the right treatment for you or your loved one. Calling the number is easy, but recovery is hard. Call now and receive the crucial information you need to beat drug addiction.Article resources
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- National Institute on Drug Abuse - Health Consequences
- U of M Medicine - Cyclobenzaprine
- SAMSHA - Treatments for Substance Use Disorders
- DailyMed - Cyclobenzaprine
- Mayo Clinic - Cyclobenzaprine