What Does Robaxin Do? Can It Be Used For Treating Back Pain?

Last Updated: January 29, 2020

Robaxin is primarily a muscle relaxer, which also acts as a central nervous system depressant and has sedative properties. Robaxin ingredients mainly consist of methocarbamol. This is a white powder-like substance that is soluble in water and chloroform and insoluble in benzene. What is methocarbamol 500 mg tablet used for? Can methocarbamol work for back pain, tetanus, or opiate withdrawals?

Methocarbamol Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of Methocarbamol has not been clearly identified. Asking when methocarbamol starts working, the answer is about 30 minutes. The medicine’s full effects can be felt within 2 hours. Since it is a short-acting drug, the patient may need to take it three to four times per day, taking into account Robaxin max dose, mentioned by the doctor.
Robaxin half-life ranges between 1 to 2 hours. Only two percent of absorbed methocarbamol will remain in the bloodstream of the user after 24 hours of the final dose.

Doctor with female patient

Robaxin Ingredients

Robaxin is mainly made of methocarbamol. This is the active ingredient. The inactive Robaxin ingredients may include:

  • Corn starch
  • Hydroxypropyl cellulose
  • Polysorbate 20
  • FD&C Yellow 6
  • Propylene glycol
  • Hypromellose
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Povidone, saccharin sodium
  • Sodium starch glycolate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Stearic acid

What Is Methocarbamol Used For?

Methocarbamol falls under skeletal muscle relaxant drug class and is mainly used as a painkiller and to treat back pain and spasms.

doctor in white uniform consulting patient

Robaxin For Back Pain

A study of methocarbamol, which was performed to evaluate its efficiency, concludes that Robaxin for back pain is an efficient and balanced option for treating acute lower back pain.

Methocarbamol For Tetanus

Robaxin can also be used to treat tetanus. Clinical tests suggest that the neuromuscular manifestations of tetanus can be controlled by methocarbamol. However, it does not replace the regular procedures and medicines used to treat tetanus like debridement, penicillin, and tetanus antitoxin.
Since methocarbamol is soluble, it can be used as intravenous and intramuscular injections as well. For adults, the total dosage should be no more than 30 mL per day for three consecutive days, unless in the treatment of tetanus.

Off-Label Robaxin Uses

Except that Methocarbamol is used as a musculoskeletal relaxant it can be a helpful supplemental medication for some of the following conditions:

Methocarbamol For Opiate Withdrawal

Some people may ask, does Methocarbamol work for opiate withdrawal? Since it is also known to be a central nervous system depressant, as it has sedating properties, it relaxes the mind and the body. Hence people often use the medication to ease their opiate withdrawal symptoms.
The following are some opiate withdrawal symptoms that could be potentially treated by taking Robaxin:

  •  Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
  •  Muscle aches and pains

Methocarbamol For Sleep

Since methocarbamol possesses sedative properties, it eases the mind and relaxes the body and is therefore sometimes used to induce sleep. This helps in alleviating the symptoms of insomnia and restlessness, thus improving one’s sleep.

young woman sleeping in her bed

Methocarbamol For Headache

Robaxin is known as an effective painkiller. It works by stopping pain-related sensory signals from reaching the brain and so it is also used to treat headaches, in addition to just back pain.

Methocarbamol For Anxiety

People often ask, does Robaxin work for anxiety? A central nervous system depressant works by relaxing the nerves in the body. This is why muscle relaxants like methocarbamol and ibuprofen are used for anxiety relief and may be given before surgical procedures that may cause stress and anxiety.

Robaxin For Migraines

Studies have shown that migraines cause muscle contractions, that is why some people rub their temples to feel some relief. CNS depressants do not work directly on the muscles. They work on the nerve endings and, therefore, the brain mechanisms of migraines, which is why a Robaxin pill may be used to treat migraines.

Robaxin for Fibromyalgia

Patients with fibromyalgia suffer from musculoskeletal pain in different parts of their bodies. Fibromyalgia affects the way the brain perceives pain signals by amplifying them. CNS depressants such as Robaxin help calm the nervous system by blocking these signals from reaching the brain and therefore it is proven to be useful for fibromyalgia patients as well.

doctor working with computer

Use Robaxin as Prescribed

Knowing that methocarbamol is a central nervous system depressant, Robaxin should not be administered with another depressant of any kind. Special care should be taken when it comes to pregnant women using the drug, as Robaxin isn’t known to be safe for pregnant women. Although it has not been proved that Robaxin causes fetal or neonatal harm, it should not be given to a pregnant or nursing woman, unless absolutely needed. Prolonged Robaxin use may result in methocarbamol side effects as well.

It is always best to follow a doctor’s prescription when dealing with medicinal drugs that could have the potential for becoming addicted to it. In the case of methocarbamol addiction was noticed in a patient, a doctor should be consulted about treatment options, and a reputable rehab facility to set an appointment to.

Page Sources

  1. Sherief Abd-Elsalam, Methocarbamol in Treatment of Muscle Cramps in Cirrhotic Patients, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02642874
  2. Emrich OM, Milachowski KA, Strohmeier M., Methocarbamol in acute low back pain. A randomized double-blind controlled study, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26168743
  3. Benjamin W. Friedman, Orphenadrine and Methocarbamol for LBP, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02665286

Published on: January 29th, 2020

Updated on: January 29th, 2020


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  • Ruby
    I’m 62 yo and have paraplegia. For 20 years I’m in a wheelchair. For many years I was prescribed Baclofen and Valium but I reached their max dosing and they did not work with me. About three months ago, I started using Robaxin (750mg twice a day). I can say that this medication helps with my central cord pain. For how long? I don’t know. But I already notice that the current dose gradually diminishes its effect. So I will ask my doctor for more.