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All about: Zanaflex

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Generic Name: Tizanidine (tie-ZAN-ih-deen)
Brand Name: Zanaflex

Zanaflex is used for:

Treating muscle spasms. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Zanaflex is a skeletal muscle relaxant. It works by blocking nerves that stimulate muscles to contract.

Do NOT use Zanaflex if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zanaflex
  • you are taking fluvoxamine

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

Before using Zanaflex :

Some medical conditions may interact with Zanaflex . 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 liver or kidney problems or prostate problems

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

  • Alpha2-agonists (eg, clonidine), fluvoxamine, or medicines that act on the liver (eg, amiodarone, cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, ticlopidine) because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
  • Birth control pills because the effectiveness of Zanaflex may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zanaflex 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 Zanaflex :

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

  • Food can change the way your body absorbs and uses Zanaflex . Be sure to discuss this with your doctor to determine the best way to take your dose, especially when changes to your dose are being considered, or if you are being prescribed a different dose form of Zanaflex (eg, tablets or capsules).
  • Do not stop taking Zanaflex suddenly. If Zanaflex is stopped, the dose should be reduced slowly to prevent symptoms of withdrawal, including high blood pressure, fast heartbeat, tremor, anxiety, and muscle tension.
  • If you miss a dose of Zanaflex , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and 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 Zanaflex .

Important safety information:

  • Zanaflex may cause drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Zanaflex .
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking Zanaflex . Zanaflex will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • Zanaflex may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Zanaflex .
  • Little or no information is available on the possible side effects from long-term use (more than 1 year) of high single doses above 8 mg or multiple doses above 24 mg a day.
  • LAB TESTS, such as liver tests, may be performed to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Zanaflex with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use Zanaflex with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is unknown if Zanaflex causes harm to the developing fetus. If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Zanaflex during pregnancy. It is unknown if Zanaflex is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Zanaflex , check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Zanaflex :

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; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; flushing; tiredness; weakness.

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); change in emotions, mood, or behavior; hallucinations; increased muscle spasms; muscle weakness; slow heartbeat; trouble urinating or lack of bladder control; urinary tract infection; 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 fainting; loss of consciousness; severe drowsiness; trouble breathing.

Proper storage of Zanaflex :

Store Zanaflex at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Zanaflex out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Zanaflex , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zanaflex 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 Zanaflex . 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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