How It Works
The muscle-relaxing effects of these
medicines are most likely the result of their ability to depress the
central nervous system. They are also called
Why It Is Used
Muscle relaxants can be helpful when
severe muscle spasms follow the start of
low back pain.
Muscle relaxants are not recommended for use by pregnant women,
older adults, or people who have
depression or a history of drug or alcohol
How Well It Works
For acute low back pain, muscle
relaxants improve pain, muscle tension, and mobility. But side effects are
For chronic low back pain,
muscle relaxants may relieve pain and lead to overall improvement, but side
effects are common.2
Possible side effects of muscle relaxants
- Drowsiness or dizziness.
addiction or dependence.
- Urinary retention.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Muscle relaxants should only be
taken at bedtime and never before driving or operating machinery.
Use of muscle relaxants is restricted to short-term use to avoid
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
McIntosh G, Hall H (2008). Low back pain (acute), search date May 2007. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
McIntosh G, Hall H (2008). Low back pain (chronic), search date May 2007. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.