Muscle Relaxants: Side Effects Behind Effectiveness

Muscle Relaxants: Side Effects Behind Effectiveness

Muscle relaxants are drugs help alleviate pain that are brought by strains, sprains, muscle spasms, and other muscle injuries. These conditions may result in pain, stiffness, and other muscle discomfort that may hamper one’s performance. Muscle relaxants work by relaxing the muscles that control the skeleton. These drugs however do not heal injuries, they only help ease the pain and discomfort caused by several muscle conditions. In the United States, some muscle relaxants are available only with a doctor’s prescription. Most of these dugs are available in tablet and in injectable forms. Though the use of muscle relaxant drugs are not prohibited and are encouraged by many health professionals, the safeness of these drugs are questioned by other health professionals. Side effects of muscle relaxants cannot be avoided and may vary from one person to another.

Some people may experience side effects of muscle relaxants which include drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, or become less alert when under muscle relaxant drugs. These drugs may also blurred vision, clumsiness, or steadiness. Because of these factors, patients who take this drug should avoid activities like driving, operating machineries, and other activities that may require alertness. In addition to these side effects, muscle relaxants may also add to the ill-effects of alcohol and other drugs that slow down the central nervous system. Individuals who are taking muscle relaxants should check with their physicians before taking them.

Other side effects of muscle relaxant drugs may include the following:

dry mouth
stomach cramps
sleep problems

Methocarbamol and chlozoxazone, common ingredients of many muscle relaxants may cause harmless color changes in one’s urine. The urine will return to normal once intake is stopped. More serious side effects are less common but may occur. If there are symptoms that are developed which are not listed above, check with a physician and other health professionals.

Muscle relaxants are proven to be effective in reliving the pain brought by muscle injuries. However, the side effects of muscle relaxants cannot be prevented, they can only be lessened by using these medications properly. Recommended dosage depends on the patient, type and potency of the drug. The prescribed dosages should be taken exactly as directed by a health professional—never take larger or more frequent doses because of the ill-effects that may be developed. These drugs are usually taken with rest, physical therapy, exercise, and other treatments. Muscle relaxants should not be used as substitutes to these forms and medical treatment but should be used hand in hand for maximum pain relief.

Rather than using over-the-counter medication treat muscle injuries, individuals suffering from muscle pain should engage in pre-work out and post-workout activities like warming-up, stretching, and cooling down. Engaging in these activities may help promote blood flow and enable the muscle to recover faster. If performed properly, these activities may aid the body in its healing process and therefore eliminate or minimize the development of muscle pain. Consult your doctor to know more about warming-up, stretching, and cooling down.