Zanaflex General Information
Zanaflex is used to treat muscle spasms caused by certain conditions (such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury). It works by helping to relax the muscles.
How to Use Zanaflex
Take Zanaflex by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 6 to 8 hours.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, Zanaflex no prescription, and herbal products). To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start Zanaflex at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Do not take more than 36 milligrams a day or more than 3 doses in a 24-hour period.
Your body will absorb Zanaflex differently depending on whether you take it as a tablet or capsule, whether you take it with food or on an empty stomach, or if you sprinkle the contents of the capsule on food. Be sure to discuss with your doctor how to take Zanaflex to determine the best way to take your dose, especially when changes to your dose are being considered or if your doctor prescribes a different form of Zanaflex (such as tablet or capsule).
Zanaflex may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, tremor, increased blood pressure/heart rate/muscle tenseness) may occur if you suddenly stop using Zanaflex. Do not stop taking Zanaflex without consulting your doctor. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Zanaflex Possible Side Effects
Dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, constipation, weakness, and tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To relieve dry mouth, suck (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed Zanaflex because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using Zanaflex do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, mental/mood changes (such as hallucinations), slow/irregular heartbeat, vision changes (such as blurred vision).
Zanaflex has infrequently caused very serious (rarely fatal) liver disease. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of liver disease, including: persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to Zanaflex is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking Zanaflex, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. Zanaflex may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using Zanaflex, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: low blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease.
Zanaflex may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of Zanaflex, especially dizziness and drowsiness. These effects can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, Zanaflex should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if Zanaflex passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Zanaflex Possible Intercations
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.
Some products that may interact with Zanaflex include: certain drugs to treat high blood pressure (alpha agonists such as clonidine, methyldopa).
Other medications can affect the removal of Zanaflex from your body, which may affect how Zanaflex works. Examples include birth control pills, ciprofloxacin, fluvoxamine, among others.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), other muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.