Cyclobenzaprine helps relax certain muscles in the body. It also helps relieve pain, stiffness, and discomfort caused by strains, sprains, or injuries to your muscles. However, this medicine does not take the place of rest, physical therapy, or other treatment that your doctor may recommend for your medical problem. Cyclobenzaprine acts on the central nervous system in order to produce its muscle relaxant effects. Its actions on the CNS may also cause some of this medicine's side effects. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
How should this medicine be used?
Cyclobenzaprine comes as a tablet and an extended-release capsule to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken three times a day. The extended-release capsule is usually taken with or without food once a day. Do not take this drug for more than 3 weeks without talking to your doctor first. Always make sure to follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take cyclobenzaprine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Swallow the extended-release capsules whole. Do not chew or crush them. Also, in case you are not able to swallow the extended-release capsule whole, you can mix the contents of the capsule with applesauce. Eat the mixture right away and swallow without chewing. After you eat the mixture, take a drink, and swallow to make sure that you have received all the medication.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use cyclobenzaprine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days since a dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
You should not use cyclobenzaprine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- a heart rhythm disorder, or you have recently had a heart attack;
- congestive heart failure;
- a thyroid disorder.
To make sure cyclobenzaprine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
Cyclobenzaprine side effects
Cyclobenzaprine oral tablet may cause drowsiness and dizziness. This is more likely to happen in the few hours after you take the medicine. It can also have other side effects.
More common side effects
The more common side effects of cyclobenzaprine can include:
Serious side effects
Call your doctor immediately if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following symptoms:
- heart palpitations (fast heartbeat)
- trouble speaking or understanding
- loss of control or numbness in your face, arms, or legs
- trouble seeing in one or both eyes
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.
There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Make sure to talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you. Before taking cyclobenzaprine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies. In any case, talk to your doctor for more details.