Alternatives to Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride) a Muscle Relaxer.
Problems With Flexeril:
In his book Worst Pills, Best Pills, written in collaboration with the AARP, Dr. Sidney Wolfe advises against the use of cyclobenzaprine. He states, " Cyclobenzaprine has not been shown to be any more effective than painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin for relieving the pain of local muscle spasm." He further advises that Flexeril is structurally similar to tricyclic antidepressants and may cause some of the same dangerous side effects, particularly in older patients. It is also addictive.
The PDR lists more than 65 adverse side effects for Flexeril, including dizziness, abnormal heartbeat, aggressive behavior, agitation, confusion, convulsions, hallucinations, headache, hepatitis, muscle twitching and severe allergic reactions.
Localized muscle spasm is predominantly caused by spinal cord reflexes resulting from pain according to Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology. Pain stimuli arising from muscles can be caused by muscle damage (strain), severe cold, metabolic abnormalities, inflammation and dysfunction of the joint moved by those muscles. Hilton's Law states that a joint is innervated by the same nerve trunk that innervates the muscles which move the joint.
to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) caused fatal ulcers and killed about 16,500
people in 1997. If the toxic effects of NSAIDs were given its own
category, it would be classified as the 15th most common cause of death
in the U.S. NSAIDs cause more deaths than bone marrow cancers, asthma,
cervical cancer or Hodgkin's disease and about as many as HIV/AIDS. To
make matters worse, these ulcers and other gastrointestinal
complications are often not preceded by warning signs. Do I have your
also looked at patients who had undergone spinal fusion treatment,
where two or more vertebrae are fused together, and discovered that
patients who had taken a conventional NSAID (Toradol) were five times
less likely to achieve successful union of the vertebrae than those who
had taken no NSAID.