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Need muscle relaxer recommendation

I have severe DDD with 87% deterioration in C-1, 75% in C-2, and progressing down through C-7. I also have problems in my middle back, as well as in my arms and legs. And with this, of course, I have varying levels of constant pain.

I have recently had to change insurance companies. Previously, aside from other medications, I was taking Metaxalone 800mg, 2-3 times a day, as needed. My new insurance company does not cover Metaxalone; it only covers cyclobenzaprine, carisoprodol, and methocarbamol.

I also had to change doctors and the one I have now (at least until I can find another one) says that I need to tell him which muscle relaxer I want to take and he will provide a prescription for it. (My pain meds and others are covered by the new insurance.) This doctor says he's involved with 20+ insurance plans and can't keep track of what each of them covers. My previous doctor, who, unfortunately, doesn't handle my new insurance, would just check with the insurance co. or through the computer system. This new doctor does neither, claiming it's the patients responsibility to figure out which one is covered and the one they want.

Does anyone have any experience with cyclobenzaprine, carisoprodol, or methocarbamol? If so, what was it like? Do you prefer one? Etc.?



  • sandisandi Posts: 6,302
    edited 01/28/2014 - 6:38 AM
    is being phased out of the PM doctors offices due to the addictive problems with it's use. So, I would check your formulary booklet, or on the website, and then read about each of the other two options and decide which one you want to try.
    Talk to your pharmacist and ask which one he recommends, but again, I would stay away from the Soma ( carisprodol) since it is one of those on the watched list due to high percentages of abuse/misuse.
    I would run from any doctor who wanted me , as a new patient to his practice telling him what medication to prescribe......that to me is a huge, scary red flag.
    You can and should know what medications are options in your formulary, however he , as the doctor is responsible for what he prescribes based on his examination and testing of you..
  • Thanks, sandi. Yes, I have the formulary booklet, and even asked if he wanted to see it but he didn't want to do it. I have "researched" the three online but just the "medical" aspect. I wasn't aware of the abuse part. I did intend on also talking to the pharmacist (the one I have is very good) but just wanted to get some feedback from some people who actually use them. I know it's different for different people but if 20 people say "X" doesn't work good, it's worth considering.

    And, as I mentioned, i am running from this dr. but I need to get another one first. Hope it won't take too long. I also intend on making the local AMA aware of it, as well as a some of the dr. recommendation sites here locally.

    Thanks again for the tip on carisprodol. (It's unfortunate that the majority must pay for the minority when it comes to pain meds. Instead of just taking care of those who abuse/misuse it, we all have to pay -- nice way to run a country. I was using Oxy up until 7 months ago when my previous dr. got frightened by the stricter laws here and cut everybody across the board by 1/3, costing him many patients in the process. I switched to hydrophone/acet. but it doesn't work that good. Another issue I will bring up with the new dr.)
  • The one thing I liked about Metaxalone is that it didn't make me sleepy and lethargic. Does anyone find that with cyclobenzaprine or methocarbamol (since we have now eliminated carisoprodol)?
  • Cyclobenzaprine made me sleepy, and it lasted into the next day. I felt hung over. I didn't like that, so I stopped taking it. I was taking it at night since I couldn't stay awake during the day, but I hated that hangover.
    (see profile for medical details)

    I *heart* my TENS unit.
  • I use clonezapam (Rivitrol) in Australia. I have bad muscle spasms and I have not upped my dose for a couple of years when they finally put me on muscle relaxants as well as pain medication. It works really well for me. My GP says it's non addictive but you might have to look it up.

    I can function normally with it and it made a really noticeable difference to my pain levels. I just looked it up on the web and there seems to be some side effects but I've never had any.

    My GP asks me now as well as I have had spine pain for so long - I have a couple of degrees so have researched spine now I'm not working so give him my information, he has so many patients and I'm just one but he's been my GP for 15 years before and after my accident and knows I'm not stupid or faking the pain.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I was switched to xanax because nothing was working, although it worked it had too many side effects for me so my Dr put me on Valium. It works wonders
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 01/28/2014 - 11:21 PM
    Susan, it's really strange how one med works for one person and not another. I was prescribed valium and it made me feel really sick - even though it helped my spasms. Maybe it was the interaction with the other meds.

    I didn't want to take it as years ago I used to be a psych nurse and watched people withdraw from Valium. It wasn't a great withdrawal, in fact I remember one big, tough guy giving up - he was a mess must have been taking a lot but they ended up putting him back on it. Watching that guy trying to withdraw really scared me off valium but guess it depends on the amount. Funny things that stick in your mind for years.

    Has anyone else read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and sees the irony of naming a drug Soma??
  • rainwebrainweb Posts: 1
    edited 01/29/2014 - 4:12 PM
    Post edited by the Spine Health Moderation Team
    Please review the forum rules prior to posting at these links for more information.


    Edited by Sandi to remove link
  • I guess I'll go with cyclobenzaprine since I really have no other choice. Thanks to all for the help.
  • This is the name of the Cyclobenzaprine I believe . I take mine 3 x daily. It gives me no side effects. Now when my son takes for his back knocks him out until morning. I just must be tolerant to certain meds. I also take 2800 gabapentin and norco since surgery in June. I still have other issues with back since my neck surgery is coming along pretty so far.
  • I never had luck with flexeril, and my PM doctor said its not a true muscle relaxer and prescribed tizanadine which works really good for me. Its the only muscle relaxer Ive ever had much luck with truthfully. Dont know much about it though.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • i am on 10mg of valium, its the only thing that takes the edge off my muscle spasms in my back. doc says that the horrible spasms are due to the nerve damage that we are working on now. S1 is completely shot, and the other ones are still having a party from my MicroD in May last year :(
  • My ortho would not rx valium
    My insurance would not cover celebrex
    Valium does nothing
    Cyclobenezeprine SP?, which is generic flexeril works ok
    MOBIC caused upper GI problems
    Dont believe the BS about the long term use of percocet. ASLONG as u dont take em like M. & M s.
    LOW T, is a natural form of aging, there Re reports that testosterone gels raise your risk of prostate cancer.
    Damned if u do damned if u dont,

    Im getting a second opinion in a few weeks about an L45 fusion, cage, rods and screws.
    Nothing is guaranteed except taxes and death.

    Do not demand accomplishment from those with no talent.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Is the only thing that works for me. Ive tried everything. Somas worked very well but Drs quit prescribing due to the high rate of addiction. Which by the way makes no sense to me since almost all the meds chronic pain patients are on have a high risk of addiction
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
    has been my best medication when it comes to muscle relaxers.

    • - Flexril = Turned me into a zombie the next day
      - Methocarmbonal = Didnt get much results
      - Soma = Very good, but does not lend itself to dosage adjustments and can be very addictive
      - Zanaflex = Excellent ad muscle pain, however, at times I was totally in a different ozone level while take it
      - Baclofen = Good on muscles, doesn't put me out, a lot of room for dosage adjustments
    Everyone has different reactions to medications. Fortunately, my doctor went through all of these with me to find the best
    fit. So that may be the key, try them all to see the effects of each one. But your doctor has to agree to that type o plan
    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
  • susabellssusabell Illinois Posts: 241
    I had a posterior neck surgery in August my PM weaned me off of 10mg Oxycodone 3x a day and has me on Tylenol #4 with codeine, 3x a day and Zanaflex 4mg 3-4 times a day. I am experiencing some MAJOR muscle spasms, I've been on the Tylenol for just over a month and have been Miserable, barely able to function at all, the Zanaflex I've been on since August when I had the surgery. I can only stand or sit for 15-20 minutes then in Horrible pain I go lay down with a heating pad. Surgeon also took a bone graft from my left hip from the back of my iliac crest that also is causing me to walk with a limp.

    I really need help here!!! I'm seeing my PM on Tuesday and we need to re-evaluate my meds. I have really NEVER been in so much Pain in my whole life, the only thing I learned is how horrible muscle spasms can be when they are not being controlled.
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
  • Susabell please take someone with you to verify your pain if you can. It was so different for me when I was in so much pain to explain myself - so much easier to have someone there - in pain I used to just cry with the pain - and not explain myself properly.

    Why have they taken you off painkillers? Painkillers and a muscle relaxant were the only things that made my life bearable.

    I also took along the stuff I had written here. It really helped - they seemed suitably impressed by how much money I had spent to try and find a cure for my pain. It also saved me explaining my pain over and over again. No-one joins a spine site for fun and I think they changed their attitude - I used to feel like a little kid in trouble with a teacher. I would end up crying so much with the pain trying to explain it. Maybe I expressed myself better here and they did read it.
  • anisa69aanisa69 Posts: 55
    edited 02/24/2014 - 1:53 PM
    You should find out if your insurance company will pay for felxaral. It works great for me.
    Female 44 survivor of thyroid cancer...just had two surgeries for breast cancer and chronic back pain. Live in upstate ny. On 8mg dilaudid 6 a day and 60mg morphine sulf er 2x day
  • I had cyclobenzaprine and I am VERY sensitive to medicines. They placed me on the lowest dose to start out with and if that helped with the spasms then I wouldn't go up if not they would go up slowly. It may take a little while to get used to but after a couple days you will get used to it. It worked for me! Good luck! Insurance companies can be a pain can't they!?
  • I use zanaflex. It is very effective for me. I take 1/2 of a pill sometimes. I just don't know how i will feel after taking it. I do have use a full pill sometimes, but only if I can laydown afterwards.
    40 year old mom
    Tlif July 18
  • KDENNIS14KKDENNIS14 Posts: 19
    edited 03/04/2014 - 6:21 AM
    Tizanidine is the generic for Zanaflex. My insurance would not cover the Zanaflex. My Tizanidine works well. I take 2mg every 5 hours in the day. I take 4mg x 2 at night. Works wonders. I sleep very well with this and Trazedone.
    With Gentle Hugs,
  • I have benefitted from carisoprodol(soma). I have terrible arthritis and due to the way I sleep or move at times, my muscles cramp and tighten as a result of the way I avoid using certain motions in joints.Anyway, as far as prescribing rules, Soma became a schedule 4 substance back in 2012 . Classed the same as zanax and alprazolam. As a result, some insurance companies list this as requiring a PRIOR AUTHORIZATION from the doctor before prescribing. Just be aware that it may be on the formulary, but say PA next to it. I had tried all the medications you listed and for me 800 motrin and carisoprodol when I needed them worked really well together.

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