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Long-term on muscle relaxants. Are they really dangerous?

sjoboyssjoboy Posts: 25
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm considering a muscle relaxant prescribed by my doctor as part of my cocktail for leg radiculopathy. However I'm quite concerned about long term use of muscle relaxants as literature says you should only use them for a couple of days.

In the long run, how dangerous are they?


  • All of the meds involve a trade off. Discuss your conerns with your doctor. If serious chronic pain and dealing with it is going to be part of the rest of your life, I think the bigger question is what your life would be like without them. Our best bet is a good pain doc who has a big bag of tricks and good communication skills. Best wishes.
  • Many people take muscle relaxants for muscle strain for about 10 days to 2 weeks for a muscle strain. However many of us with chronic pain take them longer. I'm not sure where it says that taking them for more than a couple of days would do any incident except if you've had a GI bleed or heart issues but ask your Dr. or Pharmacist about this rather than reading online.

    I started Naproxen then switched to Voltaren then something else and now sometimes just take one once in awhile after 4 years of chronic pain or a flare up I will take again for awhile with my Dr. knowledge.

    Usually the Pharmacy gives an insert that describes any side effects that you would inform your Dr. about if you have them. I took them for a couple of years though with no issues.

    Your Dr. should be checking your blood work every 6 months or so with taking some medications to keep track of any elevation in liver enzymes.

    Good advice from Pain1010 also. Take care and let us know how you're doing. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • I have been taking a skeletal muscle relaxant, Chlorzoxazone, for 13+ years, 800 mg 4x a day for chronic pain due to a host of issues. I took them as part of a "cocktail" along with Ibuprofen and Famotidine (to protect against ulcers). 

    It worked for me. Marvelous. No need to upgrade despite standard medical wisdom to the contrary. But now medical wisdom (the FDA) has declared that because they "might" be habit forming or addictive (NO studies have been done to date), Medicare will no longer approve them. And they have not only removed Chlorzoxazone but the entire category of centrally acting skeletal relaxant drugs!

    So while I would highly recommend them, their availability is problematic. My doctor has just switched me to Tizanidine/Zanaflex, an anti-epileptic often prescribed to relax muscles. I started today. We'll see.

    I would be interested to know if there is anyone else out there suffering from these new rules.
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