Zanaflex

1 What is Zanaflex?

Brand: Zanaflex

Generic: Tizanidine

Zanaflex is a muscle relaxant drug, used to treat muscle spasm/ tightness or cramps. It relieves muscle pain and movement limitations caused by the tightness of muscles related to spinal injury, multiple sclerosis, and other related diseases.

Read your medication guide and follow your doctor’s prescription at all times.

  • Take tizanidine orally/ by mouth before or after meals with 6- 8 hours interval between each dose per doctor’s prescription.
  • Tablet preparation of tizanidine must be taken with food to increase the therapeutic effect of this medication while the capsule form must be taken on empty stomach because food will make this preparation less effective.
  • Do not take more than 3 doses or 36 milligrams in 24 hours to prevent liver damage.
  • The dosage depends on your medical condition or treatment response. Do not adjust your dose without your doctor’s recommendation.
  • Submit yourself to liver function test and consult your doctor regularly.
  • Continue taking this medication on a regular schedule (same time of the day). Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor.

Inform your doctor immediately if your condition aggravates or does not improve.

Take your missed dose as soon as possible. However, make sure that the time interval between the missed and the next dose is not too close. Otherwise, stick with the regular schedule and leave out the missed dose. Do not double dose to cover up a missed dose. Record your missed doses and inform your doctor immediately if you missed several doses.

Zanaflex may interact with:

  • Medications for colds or allergies (i.e. diphenhydramine)
  • Anti-seizure drugs(i.e. carbamazepine)
  • Anti-anxiety drugs(i.e. diazepam)
  • Antidepressants
  • Narcotic pain killers (i.e. codeine)
  • Sleeping pills (sedatives)
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Acyclovir (Zovirax)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Famotidine (Pepcid)
  • Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
  • Zileuton (Zyflo)
  • Birth control pills
  • Antiarrhythmic or drugs that affect the heartbeat rhythm (i.e. amiodarone, mexiletine, propafenone, verapamil)
  • Blood pressure medicine (i.e. propranolol, clonidine, guanabenz, guanfacine, methyldopa)
  • Diuretic medicines or drugs that eliminates excess body fluids by increasing urinary frequency (i.e. furosemide, thiazides) and
  • Drugs that affect the liver function (i.e. acyclovir, norfloxacin, ticlopidine, zileuton)

Some drugs may either lessen the beneficial effects or worsen the side effects of tizanidine. Likewise, tizanidine may make some drugs less efficient or intensify their side effects.

Make sure to inform your doctor about all other drugs you are currently taking or using (prescribed and non-prescribed medications including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products) to check for possible drug interaction with tizanidine.

Never alter the doses of other medications while on tizanidine neither stop nor start any medicine without the doctor’s recommendation.

Side Effects: There are no side effects known aside from a possible allergic reaction in people who have previous or unknown hypersensitivity to the drug.

Watch out for signs of allergic reactions such as:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling

Before taking Zanaflex, tell your health care provider if you have/are:

  • Any allergies to any substance, food or medication, particularly to tizanidine
  • Medical history or a present condition such as:
    • Currently on fluvoxamine/ Luvox treatment (antidepressant) or with ongoing antibiotic therapy, particularly ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Blood pressure problem (low or high)
  • Heart rhythm disorder (i.e. history of prolonged QT syndrome)
  • Pregnant, planning to get pregnant or currently breastfeeding a baby (It is not known if tizanidine can harm the unborn child or if it can pass through breast milk that may harm the nursing child).

The risks and benefits of using this medication during pregnancy must be discussed well with your doctor.

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