Muscle relaxants are very common over-the-counter medications that are popped just like sugar pills all around us. The main job of a muscle relaxant as the name suggests is to reduce the stiffness and tightness in your muscles that might have resulted from a lack of nutrients or other medical conditions.

There are several side effects that come with regularly taking relaxants and most people are unaware of it because a doctor prescribed it. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, muscle relaxants like Flexeril are being abused in our current economy as much as drug and alcohol abuse. The most common among them being skeletal muscle relaxants. If your doctor has prescribed muscle relaxants, here are some of the effects you should be aware of:

Common Side Effects:

Some common side effects of muscle relaxants that are typically covered in a doctors appointment and are also available across the internet include:

  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Sleepiness etc

But the problem starts when you are on the relaxers for the long term, as these side effects are not seen immediately, and neither they are built in a day. They creep up on your dosage after dosage.

1. They Are The Second Line Of Treatment

Research shows that problems such as back pain should be treated with pain killers or NSAID- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs before suggesting muscle relaxants. If different treatments such as pain killers, physical therapy, and other lines of treatment fail only then doctors are suggested to prescribe muscle relaxants. The reason being that not only do these affect your other bodily organs but also make you dependant and immune to your regular dosage. So much so that every time the pain comes back you have to take an even higher dose to keep the pain down. More and more doctors are moving towards not prescribing the relaxants to save their patients from long terms problems of addiction.

2. They Can Cause Addiction If Used Long-Term

Going cold turkey on your muscle relaxant after taking them for an extensive period of time can have withdrawal symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, body aches, and sleep disturbance is a few of them. The reason being that these relaxants can lead to drug abuse as well. Drug abuse is just your body getting used to the regular dosage. We recommend asking your doctor to help you reduce and eventually get the relaxants. It is also important to keep in mind that muscle relaxants are the last resort, there are other treatments such as physical therapy and even herbal teas to help you relax and cope up with your pain.

3. Muscle Relaxants Are Easily Abused

Many sober houses across the country have reported patients of muscle relaxant abuse. These patients are not people who did it by choice, these are the people who got addicted to their medicine over time and continued taking it even after the pain was gone or the doctors discontinued it. The chemicals used in muscle relaxants can not only depress your nervous system but also can be fatal if taken in bigger doses and possible OD chances are there. Moreover, some of these muscle relaxers cause your blood to thin out and can prove to be fatal in case of an accident.

The side effects of these relaxers vary depending upon your dosage and the regularity of taking but be careful to not be on them for the long term. Look out for other solutions and keep them as a last resort. Not only are they dangerous but can often lead to misusing in the long term. Lastly, make sure to speak to your doctor about the possible short-term and long-term effects and adjust accordingly.