Muscle relaxers are used to treat muscle spasms, and other problems with muscles. Here we provide you with a list of some commonly prescribed muscle relaxants, and a general info on the working of these drugs.
Muscle fibers are a part of the skeletal system and they are vulnerable to injury. You often experience pain in muscles due to twitching of these fibers. The intensity of pain is more when the fibers undergo wear and tear. In such cases, there’s severe cramping in the affected area. Since the muscles remain in a constricted position due to the injury, they have to be relaxed to get the much-needed relief. It’s for this reason that doctors prescribe muscle relaxers.
Prescription-Strength Muscle Relaxants
Prescription drugs are usually very strong and they are mainly utilized for treating extreme cases of spasms and muscle injuries. The drugs that are listed below should be consumed strictly under a qualified doctor’s guidance.
» Acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine
Possible Side Effects
» Heart problems
» Blurred vision
» Redness in eyes
» Swelling in face
» Kidney disorders
» Liver problems
» Irregular heartbeat
How do Muscle Relaxants Work
✔ Muscle relaxers help in relaxing muscles and consequentially the pain and discomfort is also alleviated. Topical creams, sprays and ointments provide immediate relief and are absolutely safe. If the pain is excruciating, then you can take pills that are available over the counters. Doctors prescribe such medicines for getting rid of severe cramps and spasms resulting from muscle sprain or twitching. Muscle relaxants are also prescribed by doctors for treatment of multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, myofascial pain syndromes, nocturnal leg cramps, fibromyalgia, etc.
✔ There are two major groups of therapeutic muscle relaxants, namely the spasmolytics and the neuromuscular blockers. Spasmolytic blockers are used for treatment of spasticity of different forms of neurological disorders. They are effective in reducing musculoskeletal spasms and muscle cramps. The common name for spasmolytic blockers is centrally-acting muscle relaxants. Neuromuscular blockers are used mainly for immediate induction of paralysis and they are administered to patients undergoing treatment under the intensive care unit. They do not act on the central nervous system, rather they interfere transmission of impulses at the end of the neuromuscular plate. To make it more clear, they block transmission of messages through the neuromuscular junction. Neuromuscular blockers are also used in adjuction with anesthetic drugs.
✔ Spasmolytic drugs are also known as antispasmodics and some of the common forms used in clinical diagnosis are methocarbamol, cyclobenzaprine, carisoprodol and metaxalone. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory (e.g toradol) drugs and paracetamol are also included under the list of spasmolytic drugs.
✔ Neuromuscular blocking drugs are mainly composed of acetylcholine, aminosteroids, tetrahydroisoquinoline derivatives, gallamine and novel NMB agents. They are classified as rapacuronium, atracurium besylate, doxacurium, mivacurium, pancuronium, rocuronium, pipecuronium, cisatracurium and tubocurarine. One of the main component of neuromuscular blocking drugs is quaternary ammonium salt, which is why it is used in anesthesia.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.