How It Works
The muscle-relaxing effects of these
medicines are most likely the result of their ability to depress the
central nervous system.
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
Muscle relaxants may improve acute or chronic low back pain, muscle tension, and mobility. But side effects are common.1, 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 relaxant medicines work best when they are taken before bedtime. They should not be used by a person who needs to drive or operate 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 (2011). Low back pain (acute), search date December 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
Chou R (2010). Low back pain (chronic), search date April 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
Current as ofJune 4, 2014