A muscle relaxant refers to a group of drugs which alleviate symptoms like muscle spasms, pain, and hyperreflexia. The primary function of the muscle relaxant is to decrease the muscle tone. Mostly, the drugs fall under the two group i) neuromuscular blockers (antispastics) and ii) anti-spasmolytic. Neuromuscular blocking agents are potent muscle relaxants which prevent neuromuscular transmission and cause paralysis of the affected skeletal muscles. An antispasmodic is a therapeutic drug which suppresses muscle spasms. They are dominant group of drugs and have multiple benefits like relieving skeletal muscle spasms, pain, and make the affected muscles more mobile and flexible. However, these groups of drugs have over-all side effects and can worsen gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Which Is The Best Muscle Relaxer For Neck Pain?
Muscle relaxants generally are recommended at early stages of pain or spasm. A person who has continuous and intense muscle pain for more than a week requires neuromuscular blockers and anti-spasmolytic drugs. It is prescribed to patients with fibromyalgia, fatigue, spasm, and chronic pain (back, neck, mid and other body ache).
Acetaminophen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen, Advil, naproxen, and Aleve are first-line drugs effective for neck and back pain. Acetaminophen is a common pain reliever utilized to treat mild pain and fever. It is sometimes used in combination with NSAID.
Some of The Best Muscle Relaxants In The US
Methocarbamol (Robaxin), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), Carisoprodol (Soma), Metaxalone (Skelaxin), Tizanidine (Zanaflex), Baclofen, Oxazepam, Chlorzoxazone (Lorzone), Diazepam (Valium), and Orphenadrine (Norflex) are top muscle relaxant and painkiller medicine sold in the US market.
Some of The Important Concepts of Muscle Relaxant Drugs
Methocarbamol is sold under trade name Robaxin, which is an inexpensive drug and has mild sedating activity. It is mostly used for acute neck and chronic back pain. The drug is classified as a carbamate and can also be used as an adjunct therapy to control the neuromuscular manifestations.
- Baclofen is the top muscle relaxant used for relieving muscle tension and spasms. It also used for treating spinal injuries, multiple sclerosis, and stabbing nerve pain.
- Chlorzoxazone is utilized for relief of discomfort and acute pain due to musculoskeletal disorders. It is associated with the unusual cause of acute liver toxicity and for liver patients, it is not recommended.
- Cyclobenzaprine It can be used on a longer-term basis and has anticholinergic properties. It may cause more sedation and dry mouth, especially in older peoples.
- Carisoprodol is effective for muscle injury, spasm, and chronic pain. This drug if used in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs act as sedatives can be addictive. It is taken orally as a tablet but can also be used with aspirin and codeine or aspirin alone.
- Dantrolene helps in controlling spasticity and is efficacious for treating spinal injuries. This medications can also be used for more serious disorders like stroke, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.
- Diazepam is quite effective for muscle spasms. It is also very helpful in getting rid of anxiety and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. It is also used to treat conditions like epilepsy.
- Metaxalone objectives are to cure pain and muscle spasms. Sprains, strains, and muscle injuries are easily alleviated by metaxalone. One of the main advantages of this drug is that it can induce sleep in patients.
- Oxazepam and Orphenadrine used for neck and back muscle pain and experts do not recommend these drugs because there are much better options exist.
More than 75% of the cases patients’ complaints about the ineffectiveness of the muscle relaxant drugs during initial treatment. Generally, the first-line treatment of drugs doesn’t work and experts recommend an alternative drug. The most common side effects associated with all muscle relaxants are drowsiness and dizziness. It is because of drug interaction with the nervous system. It is important to avoid alcohol during the course of therapy. It is risk and severe threat to life if these drugs are taken with opioids and sleep aid medications.