Muscle Relaxers: Can One Get Addicted To Muscle Relaxers Medication?

Last Updated: July 5, 2021

Authored by Dr. Ahmed Zayed

The use of muscle relaxant medication is relatively widespread in the general population. The muscle relaxers on the market do vary in the working mechanism, appearance, and potency. It was found that at least two million adults in the United States use muscle relaxants during the year. Many individuals who responded to the study also used an additional analgesic to enhance the efficacy of the drugs used to relieve spasms and pain. Even though effective results can be experienced with these medicines, there is a possibility of developing a dependency on certain types. This post looks at the addictive potential of muscle relaxants and examines the different kinds of muscle relaxers available to patients at the moment.

Muscle Relaxers Medication

Muscle cramps and spasms are relatively common in the general population and can be quite disabling. The development of these symptoms can have a significant interference with a person’s ability to perform day-to-day operations, as well as function at an optimal level in the workplace. According to the study about cramps, the prevalence of cramps was as high as 67%. In the general population, the study estimated that the prevalence of cramps within the calf could be as high as 75%.

These drugs can be used to assist in the treatment of numerous conditions that tend to affect the body’s nervous system. Some potential conditions that may lead to similar symptoms include cerebral palsy, motor neuron disease, and multiple sclerosis. There are many other issues that may contribute to these symptoms, including injury in certain parts of the body. Whiplash is an excellent example of an injury that often yields long-term muscle relaxers side-effects.

Doctor holds a muscle relaxer pill

Muscle Relaxant Drug Names

A relatively large variety of muscle relaxant drugs are on the market today. Each drug is using a specific ingredient profile to help the patient experience relief of spasms, cramps, and related symptoms. When it comes to looking at a list of muscle relaxers, it is vital to note that some of these products are more potent than others. Some of the common muscle relaxers out there can be obtained only through a prescription, but there are weaker forms of these medications that can be provided to a patient without necessarily requesting a prescription from a licensed physician.
Below is a list of common muscle relaxers names that a person may be presented with when they complain about spasms and cramps:

  • Carisoprodol, also known as the Soma muscle relaxant when looking for the brand name version of the medicine.
  • Cyclobenzaprine muscle relaxant is another popular option, often sold under the brand names Amrix and Fexmid. Flexeril muscle relaxant is another brand name for this medication.
  • The muscle relaxant Baclofen is yet another option often prescribed. The brand names of this medicine are Lioresal, as well as Gablofen.
  • Another option that patients may utilize is Skelaxin muscle relaxers. This is the brand name medication for Metaxalone muscle relaxers.
  • A physician may also provide the patient with a prescription for Tizanidine muscle relaxant capsules.
  • Robaxin muscle relaxant is yet another option.

What Are Muscle Relaxer Types?

Apart from the fact that a number of different names for muscle relaxant drugs exists, it is important to note that there is a variety of types and classes available as well. Individuals who are in pain and need access to this type of drug should understand the different options that they can gain access to. Some types of muscle relaxers that are available on the market tend to be more effective than others, but the side-effect profile and, of course, the possibility of causing a dependency, should always be factors take into account.
When it comes to looking at the types of muscle relaxant medicines on the market, it is important to note that some of the muscle relaxants work specifically to reduce spasms, as well as cramps, while other medicines are used for this purpose off-label. This means some drugs are not meant to treat these conditions specifically but may yield effective results.

Muscle relaxant pills in hand


Antispasmodics are drugs that act centrally to assist in alleviating the spasms and pain that a patient is experiencing. In the majority of cases, these drugs are provided to a patient alongside rest. The person may also be advised that they should undergo physical therapy while they are taking medicine. This, in turn, will help to provide long term relief, even though the drugs will only be used for a relatively short period of time.

There are concerns regarding the potential side-effects that antispasmodic muscle relaxants cause. When using a centrally acting muscle relaxant, the following side-effects may occur in the person who is using the medication:

  • Orange urine
  • Reddish urine
  • Blood pressure may drop when standing up
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

Examples of these skeletal muscle relaxers that may be prescribed to a person who is struggling to cope with the presence of spasms and pain include:

  • Carisoprodol
  • Chlorzoxazone
  • Metaxalone
  • Orphenadrine
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Methocarbamol


When it comes to looking at what kind of muscle relaxers are there, antispastic is a category that may often arise.

Each of antispastics drugs come with a number of specific side-effects that a person does need to take into consideration if they are looking for a way to manage their spasticity.

  • Baclofen, one of the most common options when it comes to looking at antispastics, is known to be effective in many cases, including when a person is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The problem is, side-effects may include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and drowsiness. These can all be very unpleasant for the person taking the medication.
  • Dantrolene is another option that is often used in cases of multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and even a spinal cord injury. This drug acts directly on skeletal muscle, which makes it quite powerful. This skeletal muscle relaxant is known to cause lightheadedness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dizziness.

Off-Label Options

In some cases, a physician may provide a person with a prescription for a drug that is not specifically intended to assist in treating spasms. These drugs may provide a reduction in stiffness and help a person feel more relaxed. In turn, this could yield improvements in the symptoms experienced. Some examples of drugs used for treating spasms off-label include:

  • Benzodiazepines, such as Clonazepam and Lorazepam
  • Clonidine
  • Gabapentin

Taking two muscle relaxers at a time, as well as combining them with off-label options rather will raise the chance of side effects to appear rather than double their healing properties.

Other Options Available

Apart from prescription options, there are certain over the counter muscle relaxers that patients can also use when they are not able to obtain a prescription from a physician. These are not as strong as options that a person gets with a prescription but may still provide adequate relief to some people.
In some cases, natural muscle relaxers may be used as well. These are often provided in the form of a topical treatment that is applied to the affected area, although some tablets are also available that aims to help reduce spasms without the need for chemicals.

Ways Of Taking Muscle Relaxers

There are different ways this drugs can be used to provide a person with a relief of the symptoms that they are suffering from. Whether a person is taking prescription muscle relaxers or an over-the-counter option, both administration method and dosage need to be taken into close consideration. Without carefully considering these factors, it is possible to take a dose that is too high, which could lead to potential overdose on muscle relaxers.

doctor makes a muscle relaxers injection therapy
The method of administration will have an impact on how effective the product will be. A more potent dose does, however, lead to a higher risk of muscle relaxers side effects. Administration of prescription options can be done:

  • topically,
  • orally,
  • and intravenously.

An IV muscle relaxant is usually more effective at producing fast results. For targeted relieve, a topical muscle relaxant is often a preferred option. In some cases, IM muscle relaxant injection may also be given into the tissue in the area affected by the symptoms.

Muscle Relaxers Addiction

Muscle relaxants are widely used by the general population, often to assist in providing treatment for injuries and conditions that cause spasms, cramps, and other issues. The problem is, many do not realize that some of the agents used in the manufacturing of these drugs do have addictive potential.

Whether a person is looking to obtain a script to get muscle relaxers for neck pain or any other type of related symptoms, those who are at risk of addiction, especially when such issues have been present in the person’s past, need to be wary. The majority of legal muscle relaxers can be safely used, but when a person abuses them, then dependency can develop.
The muscle relaxant tablets that are classified as sedatives are the ones that people should be especially concerned about. Soma is one particular option that has shown to have the potential to cause addictive behavior in people who use the drug over a long period of time.
Some people may also experiment with doses to experience muscle relaxers high. This, in turn, can not only cause addiction but also lead to more serious side-effects.
Individuals who become addicted have further risks to be considered when mixing these medicines with other substances. For example, combining muscle relaxers and alcohol can lead to serious adverse events.

Meeting of support group of addicted to muscle relaxers

Treating Muscle Relaxers Addiction

When addiction has developed, it would be a good idea for a person to undergo a detox period. This can help with the management of withdrawal symptoms and remove muscle relaxers from the system.
A rehabilitation program can be utilized. In this case, the person will be closely monitored. Professional medical treatment would be made available to the individual to assist not only with the withdrawal stage but also the remainder of the period during which the person needs to recover from their addiction successfully.

Page Sources

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine, DRUG RECORD: MUSCLE RELAXANTS,
  2. Hirai M., Prevalence and characteristics of muscle cramps in patients with varicose veins,
  3. Dillon C, Paulose-Ram R, Hirsch R, Gu Q, Skeletal muscle relaxant use in the United States: data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III),

Published on: August 14th, 2019

Updated on: July 5th, 2021

About Author

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed is a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. He is graduated from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed Zayed has a passion for writing medical and health care articles and focuses on providing engaging and trustworthy information to readers.