Robaxin vs Flexeril And Other Drugs In The Same Class: Which One To Choose?

Last Updated: May 27, 2024

Ahmed Zayed, MD Authored by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
0 sources cited

Methocarbamol, also known by the brand Robaxin, belongs to the drug class of muscle relaxants. The primary use of this medication is short-term pain-reliever for musculoskeletal pains and muscle spasms. In 2018, around 5.8 million prescriptions of this drug have been issued in the United States.

Moreover, some muscle relaxants are more effective than others, and the option of choosing a particular muscle relaxant such as Robaxin or other drugs in the same class is based on the qualities of the medication and the patient’s other health conditions. There are numerous alternatives to Methocarbamol and the main and common one is the drug Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine). However, like Robaxin, Flexeril is a prescription medication and it can only be prescribed by a medical doctor. In this article, information about Robaxin alternatives and comparison such as Methocarbamol vs Flexeril will be provided.

Common Methocarbamol Alternatives

There are times when patients and doctors tend to look for an alternative to the currently prescribed medication. Some of the reasons why alternatives are considered are because of the following reasons:

  • Patient’s allergic reactions or sensitivity to the medication, causing discomforting adverse reactions
  • The drug is not working effectively for the patient
  • The medication is contraindicated to the patient
  • Possible Robaxin interactions may occur if the patient is taking other medications

Usually, when patients cannot use Robaxin, other muscle relaxants are being used as an alternative. Aside from muscle relaxants, opioid analgesics like Vicodin are also considered. Moreover, take note that when switching medications, it is very important to consult a medical doctor.

As for the muscle relaxant drug class, there are two main classes, first, the antispasmodics which reduce pain by altering CNS activities, and second, the anti-spasticity agents that take over the impulses in the spine and muscular tissues. Knowing the activity of the medication helps in understanding the efficacy of drugs.

Methocarbamol vs Flexeril

In Robaxin vs Flexeril, both of the drugs’ primary use is for the treatment of muscle spasms and pain. However, the former can also be used as a relief from tetanus spasms. Additionally, in Methocarbamol vs Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine), both prescription medications come in generic forms. Robaxin vs Flexeril comparison is one of the most popular considering their similarities. To understand more, take a look at the table below:

GENERIC NAME Methocarbamol Cyclobenzaprine
DRUG CLASS Skeletal Muscle Relaxants Skeletal Muscle Relaxants
APPROVED AGE OF USE Patients 16 years old and above Patients 15 years old and above
TREATMENT LENGTH Less than 3 days Up to three weeks only
  • 500 mg tablet
  • 750 mg tablet
  • 100mg/mL injection
  • 5 mg tablet
  • 7.5 mg tablet
  • 10 mg tablet
  • 15 mg extended-release capsule
  • 30 mg extended release capsule

Even though both of the drugs are under the same drug class, Robaxin vs Flexeril differ in dosages and length of use. Robaxin is usually dosed multiple times a day while Flexeril can be taken once a day. Because of this, switching from Robaxin to Flexeril, or vice versa, without a doctor’s supervision is not advised.

For patients who are wondering, which is better between Methocarbamol vs Cyclobenzaprine, there is no proof yet that any particular muscle relaxant is much more effective than the other. Rather, there are few preferences due to a patient’s other health conditions. For example, Pharmacists from St. John’s University College of Pharmacy reported that patients with insomnia who are experiencing severe muscle spasms are given Flexeril as this medication comes with a more sedating effect. Eventually, this medication will benefit them more since it causes somnolence compared to Robaxin. Additionally, Cyclobenzaprine may cause more severe adverse reactions such as dehydration, serotonin syndrome, overactive thyroid gland, and possible stroke. Both Methocarbamol vs Flexeril medications can harm the fetus during pregnancy.

Methocarbamol vs Soma

While comparing Methocarbamol vs Soma, it is important to note their collective similarity, which is the ability to relieve spasms and pain, as they both come from the same drug class. Additionally, both of these medications are available in different strengths and generic types.

In terms of abuse, Robaxin may cause dependency as it is possible to be abused by patients with a previous history of sedative/hypnotic misuse. Moreover, this medication is unsafe for adults over the age of 65 or under 16. For the medication Soma, medical professionals from North Carolina reported that even Carisoprodol, the generic of Soma, can cause drug dependence and withdrawal.

In terms of side effects, both Methocarbamol vs Soma may cause dizziness, headaches, and somnolence. However, for the drug Soma, there is a possibility for patients using this medication to experience seizures. So, for patients who are wondering about which is more effective between Methocarbamol vs Soma, doctors from Tulane University claimed that both of these drugs may give the same benefits. The only difference is that there are more adverse effects associated with Soma.

A man holds different pills in his hand.

Robaxin vs Baclofen

Although in Methocarbamol vs Baclofen comparison,  both of these medications are under the same drug class called muscle relaxants, these two offer different indications. For those considering the better option between Robaxin vs Baclofen, the former is used mainly for spasticity, as a regimen for individuals suffering from a spinal injury. However, it may not be considered the first choice for muscle pain. Also, while Robaxin side effects are mainly sedation and fetal risk, that of Baclofen is quite extensive.

Some of the Side Effects Related to Baclofen Use Include:

  • Swelling of limbs
  • Convulsion
  • Bladder control issues
  • Diarrhea
  • Itchiness of the body
  • Possible pneumonia
  • Slowed breathing

One advantage of Baclofen in Methocarbamol vs Baclofen comparison is that it can be used as a treatment for the medical condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia, a type of chronic pain in the face. So, for those wondering which is better in Robaxin vs Baclofen, consider first the other medical conditions of the patient. Then, analyze if the patient can tolerate the side effects of the drug to be used. For a safer and more effective treatment, always consult a medical professional.

Robaxin vs Skelaxin

In this  comparison, both drugs are under the same drug class and both have the same indications – treatment for muscle pain and spasms. Additionally, these two drugs are less sedating compared to other skeletal muscle relaxants. However, in Skelaxin use, there is a risk of liver damage or kidney problems.

So, which one is better? If the patient is seeking long-term treatment, together with physical therapy and rest, Robaxin is preferred. On the other hand, if the patient is seeking short-term treatment for painful muscle spasms only, Skelaxin may be considered.

Methocarbamol vs Tizanidine

Muscle relaxants Methocarbamol vs Tizanidine are the go-tos when it comes to muscle spasm and spasticity medications. This does not dispute the efficacy of Robaxin generic versions. Zanaflex is a brand name for Tizanidine and is also a prescription medication; hence care should be taken when using this medication as the side effects are numerous. When comparing Methocarbamol vs Tizanidine, the most important aspect to consider is the possibility of physical dependency. The former has very little risk of addiction, while tapering is advised for the latter in order to prevent withdrawal symptoms, especially for patients who have been on high doses for an extended period. Robaxin is best for spasms while Tizanidine relieves muscle spasticity and is quite effective for long-term headaches.

Moreover, in Methocarbamol vs Tizanidine, risks of using Tizanidine include low blood pressure, withdrawal symptoms, hepatotoxicity, and cognitive impairment, while Methocarbamol risks are limited to drowsiness and harm to unborn babies.

Methocarbamol vs Vicodin

In Methocarbamol vs Vicodin comparison, the former is under the drug class muscle relaxant while the latter is an opioid analgesic. In terms of Methocarbamol vs Vicodin abuse potential, Vicodin, as a narcotic analgesic combination is used for severe muscle and joint pain; however, the potential for abuse is extremely high.

For patients wondering which is better between Methocarbamol vs Vicodin, the comparison favors the former as the option with a far lower risk of addiction and dependency. Robaxin’s half-life is lower than half-life of Vicodin, with a lesser number of known interactions with other medications as well.

Ask The Doctor Before Switching

Dabbling in between different medications like Methocarbamol vs Flexeril and making switches for more efficient options without consulting a doctor can be very dangerous. Concomitant mixtures, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can be fatal. It is imperative to discuss with a physician the health conditions faced, and the current medication in order to get safe recommendations.

These medications are specifically dangerous for people of age 65 years and above or 16 and below. It is also a health risk for pregnant women and the fetus. There is also a risk of Robaxin abuse. It is highly recommended to seek professional help if any signs of addictive behavior have been noticed in patients. Rehab facilities along the country can help to get rid of addiction and stay clean after the treatment.

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Published on: January 29th, 2020

Updated on: May 27th, 2024

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