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All about: Flexeril

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Generic Name: Cyclobenzaprine (SYE-kloe-BEN-za-preen)
Brand Name: Flexeril

Flexeril is used for:

Treating muscle spasms caused by painful muscle conditions. It should be used along with rest and physical therapy. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Flexeril is a tricyclic muscle relaxant. It works in parts of the brain and nervous system to help reduce muscle spasms.

Do NOT use Flexeril if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Flexeril
  • you have an overactive thyroid, moderate to severe liver problems, or certain heart problems (eg, irregular heartbeat, congestive heart failure, heart block, conduction problems), or if you have recently had a heart attack
  • you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) in the last 14 days

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Flexeril :

Some medical conditions may interact with Flexeril . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of liver problems, heart problems, cerebral palsy, brain or spinal cord disease, or stroke
  • if you have a history of glaucoma, increased pressure in the eye, or trouble urinating

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Flexeril . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • MAOIs (eg, phenelzine) because serious, sometimes fatal reactions, including high fever and severe seizures, may occur
  • Tramadol because the risk of seizures may be increased
  • Droperidol or fluoxetine because severe heart problems, including irregular heartbeat, may occur
  • Anticholinergics (eg, methscopolamine, benztropine), barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), cimetidine, fluconazole, fluvoxamine, mibefradil, naproxen, or phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine) because they may increase the risk of Flexeril 's side effects
  • Carbamazepine because it may decrease Flexeril 's effectiveness or increase the risk of Flexeril 's side effects
  • Guanethidine or guanfacine because their effectiveness may be decreased by Flexeril
  • Sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, epinephrine, phenylephrine) because their effectiveness may be decreased or the risk of their side effects may be increased by Flexeril

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Flexeril may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Flexeril :

Use Flexeril as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Flexeril by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may increase the risk of Flexeril 's side effects. Talk with your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Flexeril without checking with your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of Flexeril , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Flexeril .

Important safety information:

  • Flexeril may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Flexeril with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Flexeril ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than 2 to 3 weeks without checking with your doctor.
  • If your symptoms (eg, pain, tenderness, decreased range of motion) do not get better within 2 to 3 weeks or if they get worse, contact your doctor.
  • Do not become overheated in hot weather or while you are being active; heatstroke may occur.
  • If you experience dry mouth, use sugarless candy or gum, or melt bits of ice in your mouth. If dry mouth continues for more than 2 weeks, contact your dentist or doctor.
  • Use Flexeril with extreme caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially confusion, hallucinations, and fast or irregular heartbeat.
  • Flexeril should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 15 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Flexeril while you are pregnant. It is not known if Flexeril is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Flexeril , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Flexeril :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; fatigue; nausea; nervousness; stomach pain or upset.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; confusion; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat, mental or mood changes; numbness of an arm or a leg; one-sided weakness; seizures; sudden severe stomach pain; severe dizziness or vomiting; speech or vision problems; trouble urinating; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; chest pain; coma; confusion; fast or irregular heartbeat; loss of coordination; hallucinations; seizures; severe drowsiness, dizziness, or headache; slurred speech; tremor; vomiting.

Proper storage of Flexeril :

Store Flexeril at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Flexeril out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Flexeril , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Flexeril is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Flexeril . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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