For people who struggle with muscle spasm pain, medications that contain cyclobenzaprine as an ingredient can really help with the discomfort. Cyclobenzaprine is the technical name for a prescribed muscle relaxant.
It is typically called Flexeril, though several generics and various brands are available that your doctor can prescribe. The medication is somewhat related structurally to the tricyclic antidepressant family.
How cyclobenzaprine manages to do its job is generally not well understood. However, it is known to help take care of stiffness, discomfort, and pain, especially when these things are related to injuries to the muscles, such as sprains and strains.
It typically begins to work in about an hour once digested. It relaxes the muscles and will help relieve any muscle spasms that may occur. Experts say the drug should be taken only three or fewer times daily. The most common dose to begin with for an adult is about 5 mg (milligrams) taken three times each day. You should never exceed 60 mg per day.
It will actively work on your muscles for between four and six hours. Typically, you should use this drug only as a short-term medication, as its pain-relieving effects will begin to diminish over time.
First, let’s talk about half-life. The half-life of a drug is the pharmacokinetic parameter that will be defined as the amount of time it will take for the concentration of the drug in your system to be reduced by 50 percent. In layman’s terms, this means that the concentration of the drug that remains in your body will be about half of your starting dose after it’s taken.
Now that you understand half-life better, the half-life of cyclobenzaprine (immediate release) is just about 18 hours. However, it can vary between eight and 37 hours. The extended-release version will typically be around 33 hours.
There is also the potential for more intense side effects when you are taking this drug. These typically occur when someone has an abundance of cyclobenzaprine in the body. This might happen if you are misusing the drug or if your prescription is too high. Other potential serious side effects include:
It can also increase the variety of effects that come from CNS depressants. These include everything from alcohol to opioids to allergy medications to sleeping pills. You should always let your doctor know what you are taking. This includes non-prescription medication. You should let them know if you use alcohol or are taking any other drugs, including marijuana. This will make it easier for your doctor to know if prescribing this medication is a good idea or whether you run the risk of developing side effects from mixing the medications.
Because of the short half-life (eight to 37 hours as mentioned above), detoxing from cyclobenzaprine is relatively short. It should be completely out of your system in four to five days. However, if you are taking it with alcohol, this time will be extended somewhat. This is because alcohol is going to be metabolized by your liver before any other drugs in your system are.
You may experience symptoms similar to the flu when you begin to detox. These can range from headaches and body aches to irritability and nausea. You might also have anxiety, insomnia, or just a general feeling of malaise.
You might be wondering how long cyclobenzaprine will show up on drug tests.
· Urine: It may show up in urine anywhere from five to 13 hours after discontinued use.
· Blood: It can be detected in blood two to four hours after use and remain there for up to 10 days after the last dose.
· Hair: A hair-based drug test may detect it for up to 3 days once use has stopped.
Cyclobenzaprine can be a great prescription drug for relieving aches and pains from various muscle injuries. You should always tell your doctor what medications you are taking to make sure there are no risky interactions. You should also follow your prescription guide to avoid the more serious side effects. It can show up on drug tests for up to 13 days (if your urine is tested). Detoxing is a lot like having the flu, and you may become nauseated, irritable, and experience light aches and pains.
Finally, make sure if you are prescribed this drug that you take it responsibly. This means avoiding alcohol and other harmful substances so that you don’t exacerbate the side effects or have to deal with the nasty interactions.
DEA. Cyclobenzaprine. Retrieved from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/cyclobenzaprine.pdf
FDA. Flexeril. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2003/017821s045lbl.pdf
Medline Plus. Cyclobenzaprine. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682514.html