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zanaflex for sleep, withdrawal symptoms

JWMJJWM Posts: 291
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 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!



  • 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.


  • 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 ;)
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  • 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!

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    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 Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    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...
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  • 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~

  • 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!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • 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.
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