metaxalone, Skelaxin

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: metaxalone

BRAND NAME: Skelaxin

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Metaxalone is an oral drug that relaxes skeletal muscle the muscles that control movement of the body. It does not act directly on skeletal muscle, and the exact mechanism of action of metaxalone is unknown. Metaxalone relaxes muscles possibly by affecting the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and by causing sedation. Metaxalone was approved by the FDA in 1962.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 800 mg. STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Metaxalone is used as an adjunct to physical therapy for treatment of short-term, painful muscle and skeletal conditions.

DOSING: Metaxalone usually is taken at a dose of 800 mg, three or four times daily. Benefits are seen within one hour of ingestion. Food high in fat content increases the absorption of metaxalone.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: No important drug interactions have been described with metaxalone. Metaxalone may increase the sedative effects of alcohol and drugs that cause sedation, for example, benzodiazepines (Valium), antidepressants, opioids (morphine).

PREGNANCY: Metaxalone has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether metaxalone is excreted in breast milk. Safety for use in the nursing mother has not been established.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects with metaxalone are drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nervousness, irritability, nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach. Less commonly, rash, anemia, low white blood cell count, jaundice, and allergic reactions occur.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 2/24/2012




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