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Ow Ow OwOOw Ow Ow Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Pain Medications
I've recently been put on Zanaflex for lower back pain/muscle spasms. So far I've found the medication to be a fairly good one. It does make me tired, but that's a side effect I can deal with to be out of pain.

The question I have is regarding dosage. I know you are all not doctors, but if you can share your experience/advice with me it would be most appreciated.

I have been prescribed 4mg capsules. The directions I've received are to have one two times a day up to two two times a day. I've been doing some searching on this medication and I noticed that dosage should be titrated, and the medication can be taken every 8 hours up to 3 times a day.

I've already taken two pills today, tolerated well it seems. They did make me tired, but that's ok.

Does anyone have experience taking this 3 times a day? I'd like to take 1 every 8 hours and maybe skip the time I'm at work (because of sedation). However, 1 pill twice a day seems to suggest that I should start with one every 12 hours. Yet, 2 pills 2 times a day is a total of 4 pills in a day...

To sum this up: What did you all start with dosage wise, and has anyone started with 3 in a day? Thanks in advance for the help. Any other advice on this med would be most appreciated too!


  • I started with 2 mg up to 3 times/day. That was later increased to 4 mg up to 3 times/day and then the final dosage is 4 mg up to 4 times/day. Thankfully I don't need it that often anymore, but have the option of taking it up to 4 times/day. I rarely experience any drowsiness from it unless I get really quiet. During my normal activities, it doesn't make me sleepy at all.
    That's my experience. My Zanaflex is in tablet form and I don't know how much that differs from the capsules. I found that it was not lasting for 8 hours, which is when he bumped me to 4 times/day.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    first contacting your doctor. Only they will be able to decide what and how you should take the medication.

    Too many people get themselves into trouble by self - adjusting their medications
    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 should have said that all of my increases were done by my doctor. I didn't do any adjustment on my own. With agreement from me, he increased the frequency of the medication rather than the strength because I felt that anymore at one time was going to make me too drowsy.
    Thanks for the reminder, Ron.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    I started with Zanaflex 2mg twice a day. After a while, my doctor increased that to 4mg twice a day.
    At one point, she suggested

    - 4mg morning
    - 2mg afternoon
    - 4mg night

    I found this to be too much for me. Along with all the other medications I was taking, this just put me too much out in left field.

    Plus Zanaflex is a type of medication that can cause havoc with the liver. My doctor had me going for blood tests (specifically for liver functions) every 45 days.

    I finally decided that Zanaflex, while it was the best muscle relaxer I have used, it was just wiping me out too much.

    We switched to Soma, and now I am on Baclofen.

    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
  • for 2 years now. I really like it, but can only use it close to bedtime. Tried taking it at work once and almost fell asleep at my desk...was a heavy coffee day.:-) I only need to take 2mg to get a good nights sleep....if I take more (which I do sometimes) I have horrible nightmares.
  • I have been taking Zanaflex 4 mil tabs for about 2 weeks now, mainly for tightens and pain in the chest
    and the inability to sleep....around 3 tabs a day and I just quit. They feel exactly like opiate withdrawals, and the anxiety and insomnia are worse than ever, not to mention the pain! Bad Drug..hope this advice helps!
  • It's not a 'bad drug'. Not everyone's experience with it is the same, that's all. I've known a lot of people with chronic pain who have had good results with it.
  • You cant just quit many of the medications most of us take for our chronic pain. The statement that its a bad drug due to withdraws is an ignorant view of a medication and would leave us with only NSAID's and supplements as tools to treat our pain.

    I have been taking Zanaflex on and off over the last two years and I have a hard time dealing with the sedating effects of it. It works great as a late evening/night med for me, but I dont take it during the day, unless its one of those really high pain days, when sleeping would be wanted....Mitch
  • I can't take it during the day, either. It's too sedating. It works well for me at night, and I find it helps me sleep just as well as a sleeping pill, as well as helping with the pain. I had a terrible dry mouth when I first started on it, but that went after a while.
  • And frankly this for me has been a terrific anti-spasm medication (and this is someone who after 2 fusions has tried all of them: baclofen-also good, skelaxin-not so good and Flexeril which was a decent medication)

    Anyway zanaflex is a great medication and after a while the tiring side effects wear off. I took 4 per day and it made my spasms tolerable.

    Hope this helps
  • DLMJOSLINDDLMJOSLIN Does it matter?Posts: 1
    I have been on this medication for about a year now. For insomnia. My doc slowly raised my dosage to 6mg 45mins before bed. Q Nightly. And it works like a charm. No drowsiness the following day and as a cherry topper if my back was hurting that day it treats it as well. The only thing that I have noticed that happens that I don't like it I'll occasionally have what I call a mentally slow day. I'll literally have a difficult time thinking and also speaking normally, it's not that I feel like I can't think. It just takes longer for my thoughts to all come together coherently. Now I take my medications exactly the way my doc instructed. But every now and then i guess they just hit me harder. 
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