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Cyclobenzaprine, Oral Tablet

Highlights for Cyclobenzaprine

  1. Cyclobenzaprine oral tablet is available as both a generic and brand-name drug. Brand name: Fexmid.
  2. It also comes as an extended-release capsule that you take by mouth.
  3. Cyclobenzaprine is used to relieve muscle spasms. It’s used along with rest and physical therapy. It should only be used for 2–3 weeks at a time.
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Important warnings

Important warnings

  • Serotonin syndrome warning: This drug can cause a life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. This happens when medications cause too much serotonin to build up in your body. Call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of this condition. These include agitation (a feeling of aggravation or restlessness), hallucinations (seeing or hearing something that isn’t there), seizures, or nausea. Your risk may be higher if you take cyclobenzaprine with other drugs that increase the risk of serotonin syndrome, such as antidepressants.
  • Effects on the heart warning: This drug may cause heart arrhythmias (heart rate or rhythm problems). Your risk may be higher if you take a drug to treat depression or if you already have heart problems. If these issues aren’t treated, they can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
  • Central nervous system warning: This drug can cause drowsiness, dizziness, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there), and delusions (believing things that aren’t true). You shouldn’t drive or use machinery while you’re on this medication until you know how it affects you. Your risk may be higher if you’re 65 years or older.

About

What is cyclobenzaprine?

Cyclobenzaprine oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s available as the brand-name drug Fexmid. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

Cyclobenzaprine is also available as an oral extended-release capsule. The brand-name version of the capsule is Amrix.

Why it's used

Cyclobenzaprine is used to help relax muscles. It helps relieve pain, stiffness, or discomfort caused by strains or injuries to your muscles. It’s used along with rest and physical therapy. It should only be used for 2–3 weeks at a time.

Cyclobenzaprine may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

How it works

Cyclobenzaprine belongs to a class of drugs called muscle relaxants. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It isn’t known exactly how this drug works to relax your muscles. It may decrease the signals from your brain that tell your muscles to spasm.

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Side effects

Cyclobenzaprine side effects

Cyclobenzaprine oral tablet may cause drowsiness and dizziness. This is more likely to happen in the few hours after you take it. It can also have other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of cyclobenzaprine can include:

  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • heartburn

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Heart problems. Symptoms can include:
    • fainting
    • heart palpitations (fast or irregular heartbeat)
    • confusion
    • trouble speaking or understanding
    • loss of control or numbness in your face, arms, or legs
    • trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Serotonin syndrome. Symptoms can include:
    • agitation (a feeling of aggravation or restlessness)
    • hallucinations (hearing or seeing something that isn’t there)
    • seizures
    • nausea

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Interactions

Cyclobenzaprine may interact with other medications

Cyclobenzaprine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with cyclobenzaprine are listed below.

Drugs you should not take with cyclobenzaprine

Do not take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) with cyclobenzaprine. Doing so can cause dangerous effects in the body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • selegiline
  • rasagiline
  • tranylcypromine

Taking this drug with an MAOI or within 14 days of stopping an MAOI could increase your risk of serious side effects. These include seizures.

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects

Taking cyclobenzaprine with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from cyclobenzaprine. This is because the amount of cyclobenzaprine in your body is increased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Benzodiazepines, such as triazolam, alprazolam, and midazolam. You may have more sedation and drowsiness.
  • Barbiturates, such as phenobarbital. You may have more sedation and drowsiness.
  • Certain drugs used to treat depression, such as fluoxetine, venlafaxine, amitriptyline, or bupropion. You may be at a greater risk for serotonin syndrome.
  • Verapamil. You may be at a greater risk for serotonin syndrome.
  • Anticholinergic drugs, such as tolterodine or oxybutynin. You may be at a greater risk for certain side effects. These include dry mouth or not being able to urinate.

Interactions that can make your drugs less effective

When certain drugs are used with cyclobenzaprine, they may not work as well. An example of these drugs includes guanethidine. Cyclobenzaprine can block the blood pressure-lowering effect of guanethidine. This means your blood pressure may increase.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

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Other warnings

Cyclobenzaprine warnings

Cyclobenzaprine oral tablet comes with several warnings

Allergy warning

Cyclobenzaprine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

Alcohol interaction

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of dizziness, drowsiness, and decreased alertness from cyclobenzaprine. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with trouble urinating: This drug can make your symptoms worse.

For people with glaucoma: This drug can make your symptoms worse.

For people with liver problems: If you have liver problems or a history of liver disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may cause it to build up in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. You shouldn’t use the extended-release form of this drug if you have liver problems.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Cyclobenzaprine is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals hasn’t shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies don’t always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

Women who are breastfeeding: Cyclobenzaprine may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: The kidneys and liver of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. If you’re older than 65, you shouldn’t use the extended-release form of this drug.

For children: The oral tablet shouldn’t be used in people younger than 15 years. The extended-release form of this drug shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

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Dosage

How to take cyclobenzaprine

This dosage information is for cyclobenzaprine oral tablet and extended-release capsule. All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Forms and strengths

Generic: Cyclobenzaprine

  • Form: Oral tablet
  • Strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg

Brand: Fexmid

  • Form: Oral tablet
  • Strengths: 7.5 mg

Brand: Amrix

  • Form: Oral extended-release capsule
  • Strengths: 15 mg, 30 mg

Dosage for relief of muscle spasms

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Oral tablet: 5–10 mg taken 3 times per day
  • Oral extended-release capsule: 15 mg taken once per day. If your muscle spasms don’t get better, your doctor may increase your dose to 30 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 15–17 years)

  • Oral tablet: 5–10 mg taken 3 times per day
  • Oral extended-release capsule: This form shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Child dosage (ages 0–14 years)

Cyclobenzaprine shouldn’t be used in people younger than 15 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

  • Oral tablet: Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
  • Oral extended-release capsule: People aged 64 years and older shouldn’t use this form.

Special considerations:

People with liver problems:

  • Oral tablet: If your liver problems are mild, your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body. If your liver problems are moderate or severe, you shouldn’t use this drug.
  • Oral extended-release capsule: If you have liver problems, you shouldn’t use this form of the drug.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

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Take it as directed

Take it as directed

Cyclobenzaprine oral tablet is used for short-term treatment. You shouldn’t use this drug for more than 3 weeks. Cyclobenzaprine comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all: Your symptoms may get worse. You may have more muscle spasms or pain.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • fainting
  • heart palpitations (fast or irregular heartbeat)
  • confusion
  • trouble speaking or understanding
  • loss of control or numbness in your face, arms, or legs
  • trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • agitation (a feeling of aggravation or restlessness)
  • hallucinations (hearing or seeing something that isn’t there)
  • seizures
  • nausea

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working: You should have less muscle pain and stiffness.

Important considerations

Important considerations for taking cyclobenzaprine

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes cyclobenzaprine oral tablet for you.

General

  • You can take cyclobenzaprine with or without food.
  • Take this drug at about the same time each day.
  • You can cut or crush the tablet. Don’t cut, crush, chew, or open up the capsules.
  • Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.

Storage

  • Store cyclobenzaprine at 77°F (25°C).
  • Keep it away from light.
  • Don’t store it in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

If you have liver problems, you doctor may do a blood test to monitor how well your liver is working while you take this drug.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

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Alternatives

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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