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zanaflex for sleep, withdrawal symptoms

JWMJJWM Posts: 291
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Sleep Problems
I started taking zanaflex for sleep about a week ago; ambien wasn't working because of a different med I take. The zanaflex makes me groggy and I fall asleep fine. Based on my body weight/etc my PM put me at 4 to 8mg in one dose just a little bit before bedtime. It's working, however.. When I wake up I am having medium to bad withdrawal symptoms. I cannot distinguish whether they are opiate withdrawals, or from the zanaflex, but they feel just like opiate withdrawals. Cold/hot, sweating, shakes, feeling sick, throwing up, etc. The meds I take right now have a huge half-life, (methadone) so I cant see how it would be opiate withdrawals. Has anyone taken zanaflex on a once a day basis and experienced similar symptoms? I know most people who use it take 1, 2, or 4mg a couple times a day, and most documentation says withdrawals are very likely, I just didn't think I'd be having it 5 days in a row after just starting the med.. Any replies are very appreciated, and if I'm the first one with this problem, maybe it's a good warning sign for others.. Thanks!

JWM
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Comments

  • Check with Moderator Ron, he takes at least 4mg once a day I believe.

    I take it 4 times a day so I can't help you out. I thnk Ron can though.

    "C"


  • I take zanaflex, for muscle spams, but it makes me tired so I just take it at night. I haven't noticed any withdrawal symtoms. It does help me sleep at night,and I wake up fine the next morning. I can't take it during the day, it just makes me so tired/groggy.

    God Bless,

    Cindy4hope ;)
  • Thanks for the replies. So, you both take zanaflex, one 4 times daily and the other just at night with no issues; guess I'm the unlucky one! Time to talk to my pharmacist and doc about possible interactions or something, because it's just too much.. Waking up to bad withdrawal symptoms 5 or 6 days in a row is really, really getting to me. About two hours after my morning meds I'm feeling 100% normal.. Hmm.. Well, i do take something which is on the list of interaction drugs but it's only supposed to be a very minor side effect that's unrelated; I'll update this post if I get a clear answer as to what is causing the problem, and for now, I guess I have to say goodbye to sleep again for a bit. Thanks!

    JWM
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,735
    I've been taking Zanaflex for over a year now. I started with 2mg at bedtime only, then it was 4mg at bedtime. More recently, its now 4mg 2-3 times a day.
    And this is NOT every day, there are days when I need it to help with muscle spasms.
    When I was taking 4mg at night, I never had any negative side effects. Never woke up groggy, never any withdrawals, or anything else. I can take it 4-5 days straight, stop for a week and start it up again.
    I am curious about why your doctor would write a script for Zanaflex to help you sleep? Zanaflex will make you feel groggy, but the intent of this medication is to help with muscle spasms, muscle tightness, etc.
    I have heard a number of people that have had negative side effects with ambien, especially after they have been taking it for a period of time. I was on abmien 5 or 10mg a night for about 6 monhts (every night). The longer I was on ambien, the less effect it had and didn't help me sleep.
    Now, if I take ambien, the following day my stomach is really upset.

    I would talk to 1) Your doctor 2) Pharmacist to check for
    any interactions with other medications you are on.
    And I would also talked to them about other medications to help you sleep.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I'm surprised at the number of people I've talked to or read on these boards that feel sleepy when taking Zanaflex or Flexeril...I never get even the slightest bit groggy and neither of them stop my muscle spasms, just sorta barely take the edge off (Zanaflex I've taken at 8mg doses and Flexeril I just started back on and I take that at 30mg dose). I was just responding to a post about Trazodone for sleep...perhaps you could try that to help you?? Apparently everyone but me gets good sleep on that! /:)

    Best of luck to you, both with the sleep AND especially with the withdrawl feeling! I hope you can figure out what's going on...please let us know, OK?

    Take care of you...
  • Thanks Ron and Tanya for the replies.. So I skipped the zanaflex last night, managed to sleep a few hours, and woke up *without* the withdrawal feelings. I'm checking with my dr and pharmacist for possible interactions. My doctor originally put me on it for sleep because I tried ambien 10mg and 12.5cr for a week each, roughly, with no results. As zanaflex makes people groggy, and usually with a 'clean' or no med hangover, we thought it worth a try to help with my sleep.

    Trazadone I have heard of, and actually wanted but forgot to take my list of ideas/experiences to my Dr last month and as such, got the z.flex.

    And Tanya I used to get FLOORED by one 10mg flexeril, and then one day everything changed, and now my body/brain reacts to it like it is caffeine or speed or something; 20mgs and I'm up for an eternity. Give me 100 mgs and I'll paint your house, bad back and all =P

    Thanks for the replies, and again, when I (hopefully) get a clear answer as to why, I'll post it here. I do take a few meds, but they are all common; if there's an interaction I'll be sure to post it. Have a great day~

    JWM
  • I spoke with my pharmacist, over the phone, who was so nice and spent an entire hour with me(!!) reviewing ALL of my meds, how they each work, and trying to find the cause by a good and careful process of elimination. Unfortunately, we found nothing that seemed to show that this should even happen. Our conclusion was simply that possibly due to an undocumented interaction, it is causing me to excrete my narcotic/pain meds from my bloodstream at a rapid pace, bringing on the morning withdrawals. I'm leaving it on the back burner until after my next PM appointment in 2 weeks. I'll post then. If anyone has a similar reaction and wants to talk specifics, please PM me.
  • The Z puts me out like a light,and other people have the expected reactions to it. IDK, guess its just my body chemistry. the only problem i have with it is i seem to have a great shortness of breath,which is telling me that i am over medicated. so its an emergency"have too sleep coz ive got a final test" and i cant sleep..antidote. some folks chemistry is different than what is expected, so good for you on following up!
  • I have also taken Zanaflex in the past for muscle spasms. I can only take it at night because it makes me groggy. It really doesn't put me to sleep, but helps. When the dr. up the night dose, I felt so hungover every morning. I don't take it now unless the muscle spasms are really severe.
  • I've been on Zanaflex 4mg's 3x"s a day for a year now. I do start taking it in the late evenings because they make me drowsy or just plain knock me out. I fall asleep easily on it, but wake up periodically throughout the night. I go ahead and take one again and fall back asleep. I don't have too many problems waking up at 6:30 am to see my family off to school/work. I never had any withdrawal symptoms while on it, and I find it works well on muscle spasms and insomnia. I want nothing to do with Flexeril-it leaves me hung over the entire next day.
  • First of all, I love my Zanaflex. I only take it at bedtime and I split the 4mg tabs in half so I only take 2mg(cuz it knocks me out with just 2mg and helps with the muscle tightness.)

    But, did you know that Zanaflex can cause major hypotension? It is a listed side effect and if you are taking BP meds, it can magnify the effect. I do not take BP meds and in the hospital, they gave me a whole 4mg tablet and it dropped my BP to 66 systolic. Could your crummy morning feeling be because your BP is so low? Looking at your symptoms, really, it could be because of low blood pressure.
  • Methadone does NOT have a huge half life. It is usually gone in 6-8 hours, so it could be withdrawal.
  • Any medication that directly affects your CNS can cause "withdrawl like" symptoms. Some more severe than others. It also depends how "chemically sensitive" you are as an individual. Everyones reactions are different.

    I don't know if you 've ever taken either cyclobenzaprine (flexeril) or amitriptylline (elavil). The first is a muscle relaxant, the second, an older form anti-depressant, which is now used for pain and sleep disorders BECAUSE of their side effects. Both these medications cause withdrawl symptoms in most people after they have used it even for a few days. Again, it depends what your 'tolerance' level is, and if you have any other underlying medical conditions. Both these medications, even though prescribed for different reasons, are from the same drug class.

    Using myself as an example, when I was diagnosed with fibro before my accident, I was given amitripylline. It helped only for the first 2 months, then when they tried to increase the dose, I could not tolerate the "morning after" side effects. I stopped taking it "cold turkey" because I was on a very low dose, but I still had withdrawl, insomnia being the biggest factor.
    When I was given flexeril for my neck and back, I found I only needed it at bedtime, and allowed fairly decent sleep, but again, if you take regularly for more than 2 weeks, you need to wean yourself off slowly, by 1/2's and 1/4's.

    Both these medications have a half life of approxx 18 hours. So does Zanaflex.
    Now depending on the "dose" you take of Zanaflex or Flexeril, will reflect in the "hangover halflife" I call it, the following day. It also depends on the time you take it before going to bed. The closer to bedtime, it doesnt usually "peak" in your system for sleep purposes until about 3-6 hours afterwards.
    So you may find lying in bed tossing around for a few hours annoying. Taking it (if your schedule allows it) about 3 hours before bedtime, will allow your body to uptake the medication first.
    Because I work shiftwork, I usually have to "Adjust" my timing on this.So if I know I have to work @ 8am the next morning, I try to take the muscle relaxant earlier etc.

    I do find that once that 18 hour period hits, and I'm not due for the next dose for a bit, those can be a few rough hours, pain, irritability etc.

    What ERnurse has said is also true, Zanaflex can cause major HYPOtension, and alot of people correlate the "funny woozy feeling" as the drug, but its actually your body trying to compensate for the blood pressure drops. And will significantly increase if you are on any heart meds. Sounds like you reviewed this option with your pharmacist.

    Hope that helps.
  • Zanaflex is the only muscle relaxer that works for me. I have tried damn near every other and they have done little to nothing. That being said, one 4mg pill makes me tired, 2 of them... knocks me out. As far as next day, I really dont feel any side effects, even from 8mg.
  • Maybe you'd better consult with a doctor about any meds. Cause they can be dangerous.

    By the way you can do it EDITED

    Standards agreement and posting rules
    Please note that Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.

    Edited by moderator paulgla

  • I have been taking zanaflex 4 years for back/leg/foot spasms. Like most it makes me too drowsy to take at work so I start with one 6mg at dinner, one at 7:00 and then two at 9:00pm. Most nights it will calm everything down. Some nights my foot just lays there, twitches and jumps and my PM doc shakes his head and asks if there is anything else to report, go figure. As for sleeping they work much better than sleeping pills and I do not feel hung over in the morning. Most all other muscle relaxers just do not work. Soma was great but most docs I know will not prescribe it. I have not really heard a reason why.
    George
  • ...never again.

    I normally take 5-7mg. Ambien to help me sleep. Works great, no side effects. Well, my PM doc wanted me to try Zanaflex, because he thought it would help with the muscle spasms in my back, and also help me sleep.

    I took one 2 mg. pill the night he prescibed it. It was the worst night in my life. I felt spacey and wired, I was sweating (I could literally feel the sweat popping out on my body), I had weird dreams (when I finally slept), and my head was just buzzing. I actually thought at one point I might need to go to the ER, I felt so strange. I couldn't wait for morning. I didn't go on my usual walk in the morning, because I was actually scared to leaved the house. Not good. Once it wore off, I felt fine, but it really affected me strangely. I can take both Flexeril and Tranxene with none of these side effects, although both make me sleepy, Flexeril in particular. The first time I took that after my surgery, I literally slept the whole next day!

    I'll stick with my Ambien for sleep problems!
  • This medication became my favorite spasm reliever that i can also consider as a URL removed.. However, like anyone else here in the thread i do suffer drowsiness with this drug. So I am extra cautious while taking Zanaflex.


    Standards agreement and posting rules
    Please note that Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.


    Post Edited by Moderator haglandc
  • Spam!!! I hate green eggs and 'spam!'

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Two really good sites. Applause speak to Ron about your idea for a new forum for great sites to visit. Big Grin that might have problems, but he would know.. i like the idea! Big Grin thank you again, Applause


    URL's Removed
    EDITED

    Standards agreement and posting rules
    Please note that Spine-Health reserves the right to edit any messages posted or submitted or e-mailed to the Company and use them for content on the website or in other company materials. No e-mail solicitation or advertising of other companies, products, services, or web sites is permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.


    Post Edited by Moderator Dave
  • You hit the nail on the head. Zanaflex is an alpha2 agonist, the same classification of drugs like clonidine, which is used for hypertension.

    I have used the drug as well, and felt like I had hypotension issues. It works well, but I do think that you need to, at the very least, monitor your blood pressure if you are on the drug, and especially if you have symptoms like JWM. Let your doctor know about your symptoms please.

    Though I'm not on the drug now, I initially took it before my fusion, and didn't take it again till August. Because I had some of the symptoms that you describe, I took half the dose that I was originally on, and did not have those nasty symptoms. Just my personal experience.

    Lisa
  • Hi,i live in ky.where there is a problem with people misusing pain and other drugs. this makes a big problem for the people with legitimate problem. In 2006 i was in an auto accident that totally disabled me. I also suffer from riped and torn disk and 2 fractures of the spine. To make it shorter i will say that from my skull to my hips i only have 3 normal disk and also radiating nerve damage down my right arm and leg. I may be a little off subject,but i am going to have to sell my house and move SOMEWHERE that i can do better than 4 percocets and 3 soma a day, they tell me that is the most allowed by law,I Know better than this but what can i do but move. do you mind telling me what i need to have to go to a pain clinic in Fla. I have MRI's.CT's,ENG's and also have been diagnosed with panic attacks and depression along with gout. If you have any ideas i would REALLY appreciate the advise and recommendation of a clinic. I am 53 with very little quality of life. Thank you and may God bless. :??
  • I do think that everyone is definitely different on different meds. What works for one does not for another. I do know there is such a thing as the tolerance factor. I am a true insomniac and went off trazadone and cymbalta for other reasons and it was replaced with ambien. Now I am taking 12 mg of ambien and am lucky to get 4 hours of sleep a night or some nights none. My only question is where does one go from here? I used to take flexeril for sleep. I have taken valium for a short time frame. I have even gone without anything fairly recently and spent two weeks fretting from NO sleep on the recommendation of a neurologist and then given temazepam for two weeks to correct this problem. Back to square one. I take only aspirin and tylenol during the day and a norco in the morning and night.

    Gracie
  • Zanaflex may have side effects. You should consult a physician about it. It might help.
  • Really need some sleep.
  • I've tried Skelaxin, Flexeril, Zanaflex, Amrix, and Soma.

    I'm MUCH more happy on the Soma than any of the above. Flexeril bugs me out much like Tramadol does. I'm only recently on the Soma so I do not know about long term. It's easy to break a 350 in half so you're not zonked.

    It's important to add that I do NOT wake up with a massive pill hangover on the Soma. This is VERY, very important. I can hardly function after a 10mg Flexeril.

    Everyone is different. I do not do well on medications that adjust serotonin output - Most recently tried Cymbalta - It's in my garbage right now.
  • edited 10/17/2014 - 6:59 AM
    I've been taking Xanaflex for a year now and we call it my OHSHIT pill because when about an hour after taking it I go OH SHIT! when it kicks in. My words slur as it takes effect and I fall asleep so fast I've been known to just fall asleep in the middle of talking or eating. It's like being drunk for a minute then pass out. It's bizarre. Because of constant pharmaceutical pain control I have an insane tolerance built to pain meds but this knocks me flat.
    A few days ago I ran out of them and refills. Not only did my pain return with a vengeance but I went through opiate like withdrawals. Muscle pain, headaches, chills, profuse sweating, mood swings, inability to sleep. Pretty much felt like I was dying. I'm a former opiate addict and am very familiar with withdrawals. I'm still waiting on my refill and resorted to taking a pain pill and xanax to make it through.
    Btw I take xanaflex for chronic abdominal pain. After countless days in bed for pain, then from xanaflex I now take a full one at bedtime and a 1/4 during the day and it works perfectly! I could definitely see how this could be a great Ambien alternative.
    ~Randomly Sunshine ♡
  • I've been taking Xanaflex for a year now and we call it my OHSHIT pill because when about an hour after taking it I go OH SHIT! when it kicks in. My words slur as it takes effect and I fall asleep so fast I've been known to just fall asleep in the middle of talking or eating. It's like being drunk for a minute then pass out. It's bizarre. Because of constant pharmaceutical pain control I have an insane tolerance built to pain meds but this knocks me flat.
    A few days ago I ran out of them and refills. Not only did my pain return with a vengeance but I went through opiate like withdrawals. Muscle pain, headaches, chills, profuse sweating, mood swings, inability to sleep. Pretty much felt like I was dying. I'm a former opiate addict and am very familiar with withdrawals. I'm still waiting on my refill and resorted to taking a pain pill and xanax to make it through.
    Btw I take xanaflex for chronic abdominal pain. After countless days in bed for pain, then from xanaflex I now take a full one at bedtime and a 1/4 during the day and it works perfectly! I could definitely see how this could be a great Ambien alternative.
    ~Randomly Sunshine ♡
  • AlwaysnpainAAlwaysnpain Posts: 1
    edited 11/05/2015 - 5:48 PM
    I was prescribed zanaflex 4 mg about 3 -4 weeks ago
    Well I'm always scared or should I say I panic when starting new medicine so I break it in half to see how that works first and let me just say it knocked me out no problems sleeping however I've been experiencing dry mouth so bad that I the corner of my mouth is cracking and my tongue is very sore so I decided to stop taking it tonight for a few days to see if the zanaflex is causes the dry mouth and tongue issues and every time I close my eyes to go to sleep I start having vivid dreams and I try and wake up and then as soon as I go back to sleep once again weird dreams has anyone had any problems like this the dry mouth and tongue soreness and vivid or weird dreams when stopped taking zanaflex
    Hoping someone will help
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,807
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