Cyclobenzaprine is a prescription drug that is susceptible to abuse. Although cyclobenzaprine addiction is not common, it is possible to become psychologically dependent on this drug if you abuse it. If you have been prescribed cyclobenzaprine, make sure you take it correctly and tell your doctor if you experience side effects or if you feel like you can’t stop taking it.
What is Cyclobenzaprine?
Cyclobenzaprine, also known as Flexeril, is a medication that you may be prescribed for temporary relief of pain or as a muscle relaxant. Uses for cyclobenzaprine include for managing the pain of muscle injuries, such as those you might get from physical exercise. It helps to relax your injured muscle while it heals over the course of a week or two. Cyclobenzaprine is not a medication intended for treatment of long-term or chronic pain.
Is Cyclobenzaprine Addictive?
Experts describe cyclobenzaprine as a drug that is not habit-forming. It receives this designation largely because it does not cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking your recommended doses. Other painkillers, which are habit-forming can cause serious withdrawal and lead to dependence. However, because of the relaxed feeling and the pain relief, you may be tempted to abuse cyclobenzaprine. This means taking more than the dose your doctor recommended or taking it longer than you are supposed to. If you abuse cyclobenzaprine in this way you run the risk of developing a psychological dependence. You may start to feel like you need the drug in order to feel relaxed and free of pain.
Cyclobenzaprine Side Effects in Humans
Another reason not to abuse cyclobenzaprine is because of the potential side effects. Whenever you take a drug in larger doses than is recommended or take it for too long a period of time, you run the risk of experiencing more serious and more intense side effects than normal. Cyclobenzaprine can cause a number of side effects including flu-like symptoms, muscle weakness, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, constipation, dry mouth and blurry vision. These may be worse when you abuse cyclobenzaprine.
Another consideration for taking cyclobenzaprine safely is the possibility of interactions with other drugs or substances. You should never drink alcohol, for instance, when taking cyclobenzaprine. Both will make you drowsy and dizzy. Taking them together intensifies that effect and can lead to accidents or loss of consciousness. You should also avoid drugs that are depressants, including opioids, benzodiazepines and barbiturates, for the same reasons. Antidepressant medications also interact badly with cyclobenzaprine. To be safe, always make sure that your doctor knows all the drugs you are taking.
Cyclobenzaprine can be a useful medication for helping you cope with acute but short-term muscle pain. To take it safely, be sure to follow your doctor’s dosing directions. Stop using it if you experience uncomfortable side effects and report them to your doctor right away. Avoid harmful interactions and be aware of the possibility of becoming dependent on cyclobenzaprine. If you take precautions you can use this drug safely.