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- Facts on benzodiazepines vs. cyclobenzaprine
- What are benzodiazepines? What is cyclobenzaprine?
- What are the side effects of benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine?
- What is the dosage of benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine?
- Can you get addicted to benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine?
- What drugs interact with benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine?
- Are benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding?
Facts on benzodiazepines vs. cyclobenzaprine
- Benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine are used to treat muscle spasms.
- Benzodiazepines are also used to treat insomnia, seizures, anxiety disorders, nervousness, panic disorders, alcohol withdrawal, status epilepticus, premenstrual syndrome, and as sedation during surgery.
- Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that cause drowsiness and cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant.
- Common benzodiazepines include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), temazepam (Restoril), and clonazepam (Klonopin).
- Brand names for cyclobenzaprine include Flexeril and Amrix.
- Side effects of benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine that are similar include drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, constipation, and confusion.
- Side effects of benzodiazepines that are different from cyclobenzaprine include lightheadedness, vomiting, memory problems, balance problems, changes in appetite, weight gain, decreased sex drive, and fatigue.
- Side effects of cyclobenzaprine that are different from benzodiazepines include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, unpleasant taste, nervousness, acid reflux, and abdominal pain or discomfort
- Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking benzodiazepines or cyclobenzaprine. Withdrawal symptoms for benzodiazepines may include difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, hand tremors, vomiting, palpitations, headache, muscle pain and stiffness, and perceptual changes. Withdrawal symptoms for cyclobenzaprine may include headaches, nausea, and weakness.
What are benzodiazepines? What is cyclobenzaprine?
Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants are used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, seizures, nervousness, muscle spasms, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, status epilepticus, premenstrual syndrome, and as sedation during surgery. Benzodiazepines are believed to work by boosting the effects of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Seizures, anxiety, and other illnesses may be caused by increased activity of nerves in the brain. GABA reduces this nerve activity in the brain.
Cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant used to relieve muscle spasm when the spasm is due to problems in the muscle itself and not in the nerves controlling the muscles. Cyclobenzaprine is thought to work through a complex mechanism within the nervous system, probably in the brainstem. Cyclobenzaprine is used along with rest and physical therapy for short-term relief of muscle spasms associated with acute painful muscle and skeletal conditions. It is only for short-term use, up to two or three weeks.
What are the side effects of benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine?
Common side effects include:
- Memory impairment
- Improper body balance
- Increase or decrease in appetite
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Reduced libido
Serious side effects include:
- Respiratory depression
- Dependence and abuse
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Slow heart rate
- Severe low blood pressure
- Akathisia (a movement disorder)
- Increased heart rate
The most common side effects of cyclobenzaprine include:
Other reported side effects include:
- Blurred vision,
- Unpleasant taste
- Acid reflux
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
Possible serious side effects include:
What is the dosage of benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine?
Dosage depends on the type of benzodiazepine prescribed. All oral benzodiazepines are available in tablet forms.
- Alprazolam and clorazepate are available as extended-release tablets.
- Alprazolam, clobazam, diazepam, and lorazepam are available in oral liquid form.
- Alprazolam and clonazepam are available in orally dissolving tablets.
- Chlordiazepoxide, oxazepam, and temazepam are available in capsule form.
- Diazepam also is available as a rectal gel.
Some benzodiazepines are available for injection.
- The recommended dose of cyclobenzaprine dose is 5 or 10 mg three times daily using immediate release tablets or 15 or 30 mg once daily using extended release tablets.
Can you get addicted to benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine?
Benzodiazepines or benzos are habit forming and you can become addicted to them - even if you take them as your doctor or health care professional has prescribed. People who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse are more likely to develop an addiction to these drugs. If you use these drugs over a long period of time you can develop a tolerance for them. This means that you will need higher doses of the drug to treat your health condition or disease because you've become tolerant of the weaker formulations of the drug. These drugs may be very effective for the treatment of several conditions, for example, anxiety and insomnia; but be careful because you can become addicted to them.
The street names for benzodiazepine drugs are "Benzos" and "Downers." Drug addicts abuse these drugs to get "high." They can cause addiction similar to opioids (narcotic drugs like oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, and fentanyl), cannabinoids (marijuana), and the club drug GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate).
They are commonly abused by young adolescents and young adults who crush it up and snort it, or take the tablet to get high. If you abuse this medication you may have adverse effects with symptoms include:
- Disturbing or vivid dreams
Signs and symptoms that you might be addicted include:
It is very difficult to recover from benzodiazepine addiction because these drugs change the chemistry of the brain. Contact a drug addiction treatment center if you or a loved one are suffering from a addiction. Quitting cold turkey is not likely to be successful and can be dangerous because of symptoms of withdrawal. Doctors and other health care professionals that treat addiction will formulate a taper schedule to slowly wean off the medication to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms during treatment.
Signs and symptoms of overdose include:
Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms and signs
If you stop taking these medications abruptly you may experience withdrawal symptoms that include:
- Problems concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Increased anxiety and tension
- Panic attacks
- Hand tremors
- Dry heaving and vomiting
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- A host of perceptual changes
The severity of the withdrawal symptoms depends on amount and duration of benzodiazepine use. Withdrawal symptoms can be deadly.
These medications are classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as Schedule IV drugs. This means that they have a lower potential and risk of dependence than other more powerful drugs like codeine, testosterone, anabolic steroids, Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen), OxyContin (oxycodone), Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine), and Ritalin (methylphenidate).
Abrupt cessation after prolonged therapy may cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and weakness.
What drugs interact with benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine?
Combining alcohol with a benzodiazepine is very dangerous. People who drink alcohol while taking this medicine will feel the effects of alcohol faster. It's not safe to drink alcohol or take other drugs that have similar effects on the central nervous system (CNS) at the same time because these drugs or substances interact with oral benzodiazepines by causing additional depression of the brain and respiratory depression. Respiratory depression can lead to breathing that's inadequate for supplying oxygen to the body. This can cause death. Examples of these drugs and products that increase sedative side effects or the risk of respiratory depression from benzodiazepines include:
Pain medications called opioids that also cause respiratory depression, for example:
- morphine (MScontin)
- fentanyl (Duragesic)
- oxycodone (Oxycontin)
- hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)
- acetaminophen/hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, Lorcet)
Sedatives (for example, insomnia medicine) and other medicine that cause sedation, for example:
- zolpidem (Ambien, ZolpiMist)
- zaleplon (Sonata)
- eszopiclone (Lunesta
- phenobarbital and
- many other drugs
- Cyclobenzaprine is chemically related to the tricyclic class of antidepressants, for example, amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), nortriptyline Pamelor). As such, it should not be taken with or within two weeks of any monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor, for example, isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and procarbazine (Matulane). High fever, convulsions, and even death can occur when these drugs are used together.
- Cyclobenzaprine interacts with other medications and drugs that slow the brain's processes, such as
- benzodiazepines, for example, diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and
Are benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding?
- The FDA classifies benzodiazepines as pregnancy category D, which means that benzodiazepines can potentially cause fetal harm if administered to pregnant women. If benzodiazepines have to be used in pregnant women or if the patient may become pregnant while taking benzodiazepines, the patients must be informed of potential risks to the fetus.
- Benzodiazepines enter breast milk and can cause lethargy and weight loss in the newborn. Therefore, they should not be used in nursing mothers.
- There are no adequate studies of cyclobenzaprine in pregnant women. However, studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus. Cyclobenzaprine therefore can be used in pregnancy if the physician feels that it is necessary.
- It is not known whether cyclobenzaprine is secreted in milk. However, since it is related to the tricyclic antidepressants, some of which are excreted in breast milk, caution is advised in using this medication in women who are breastfeeding.
Benzodiazepines and cyclobenzaprine are used to treat muscle spasms. Benzodiazepines are also used to treat insomnia, seizures, anxiety disorders, nervousness, panic disorders, alcohol withdrawal, status epilepticus, premenstrual syndrome, and as sedation during surgery. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that cause drowsiness and cyclobenzaprine is a muscle relaxant.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- cyclobenzaprine - oral, Flexeril
- Benzodiazepines (Benzodiazepine Drug Class)
- alprazolam (Xanax, Xanax XR, Niravam) Anti-Anxiety Drug
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- diazepam (Valium, Diastat, Acudial, Diastat Pediatric, Diazepam Intensol)
- cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid)
- Ativan (lorazepam) vs. Valium (diazepam)
- Lexapro vs. Xanax
- Beta Blockers vs. Xanax
- Xanax vs. Valium
- Ativan vs. Xanax
Daily Health News
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information
Top Benzodiazepines vs. Cyclobenzaprine Related Articles
alprazolamAlprazolam is a member of the benzodiazepine family, which are sedatives that cause dose-related depression of the central nervous system. Alprazolam is used for the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks, which cause unrealistic worry and apprehension, restlessness, aches, trembling, shortness of breath, smothering sensation, palpitations, sweating, cold clammy hands, lightheadedness, flushing, exaggerated startle responses, problems concentrating, and insomnia.
It is important to be aware of the drug interactions related to alprazolam, effects on pregnancy and nursing mothers, as well as common side effects on the user.
AnxietyAnxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Ativan lorazepam vs Valium diazepam
Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam) are prescription drugs that belong do the drug class of benzodiazepines.
Both Ativan and Valium are used to treat
- anxiety disorders,
- sedation prior to surgery, and
- prevention and treatment of symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Ativan also is used to treat
- insomnia, and
- to prevent nausea and vomiting as a result from chemotherapy.
Valium also is used to treat
- seizures, and
- relief of muscle spasms in some neurological diseases.
Side effects, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety comparison are provided.
Ativan vs. Xanax
Ativan (lorazepam) vs. Xanax (alprazolam) medications that belong to the drug class "benzodiazepines." Ativan is used to treat
- anxiety disorders,
- panic attacks,
- seizures, and
- to prevent nausea and vomiting as a side effect of chemotherapy.
While Xanax is prescribed only for the treatment of
- anxiety disorders and
- panic attacks.
Both drugs may be habit forming, and can lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms it is discontinued abruptly after prolonged use. Both have similar side effects. Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Benzodiazepine is the name of a class of drugs in the US. They belong to a class of man-made drugs prescribed to treat:
- Panic attacks
- Muscle spasms
Here is a list of examples of brand and generic names of benzodiazepines available in the US.
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- clobazam (Onfi)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- clorazepate (Tranxene)
- chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- diazepam (Valium)
- estazolam (Prosom)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- oxazepam (Serax)
- temazepam (Restoril)
- triazolam (Halcion)
These drugs are habit forming and patients may become addicted to them even at prescribed doses. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Beta blockers vs XanaxBeta blockers, usually used to control hypertension, can also treat anxiety. It works differently from Xanax (alprazolam) which is a sedative specifically used to treat anxiety. Learn more about the side effects, uses and dosage of Beta blockers and Xanax.
Cyclobenzaprine (Fexmid, Amrix, Flexeril) is a drug prescribed for the short-term relief of muscle spasms associated with acute painful muscle and skeletal conditions. Common side effects include dry mouth, fatigue, and headaches. Possible serious side effects include stroke, heart attacks, and heat stroke.
Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication. The brand name Flexeril has been discontinued and is no longer available in the US.
Diazepam (Valium, Diastat Acudial, Diastat, Diazepam Intensol) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders; and agitation, tremors, delirium, seizures and hallucinations that result from alcohol withdrawal. Side effects include:
Multiple drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Anxiety SlideshowLearn about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). See if your worries are normal or something more by learning about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments of anxiety disorders.
Lexapro vs. XanaxLexapro (escitalopram) and Xanax (alprazolam) are used to treat anxiety disorders. Lexapro is also used to treat depression. Xanax is also used to treat panic attacks. Lexapro and Xanax belong to different drug classes. Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and Xanax is a benzodiazepine.
Lorazepam (Ativan) is a prescription drug used for the management of anxiety disorders, short-term relief of anxiety, or anxiety associated with depression. Ativan is effective for insomnia, panic attacks, and is used for treatment and prevention of alcohol withdrawal.
Side effects include amnesia, loss of orientation, headache, and sleep disturbances.
It is important to be aware of the drug interactions related to lorazepam (Ativan) and the effects on pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Muscle Cramps and SpasmsWhat causes muscle spasms and cramps (charley horse)? What is the differences between muscle spasms and cramps? Learn about muscle spasms and cramps (charley horse) in the calf, leg, and more.
Muscle SpasmsMuscle spasms are involuntary muscle contractions that come on suddenly and are usually quite painful. Dehydration, doing strenuous exercise in a hot environment, prolonged muscle use, and certain diseases of the nervous system may cause muscle spasms. Symptoms and signs of a muscle spasm include an acute onset of pain and a possible bulge seen or felt beneath the skin where the muscle is located. Gently stretching the muscle usually resolves a muscle spasm.
Xanax alprazolam vs Valium diazepamXanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam) benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety and panic attacks. Valium is also used for the treatment of agitation, tremors, delirium, seizures, and hallucinations resulting from alcohol withdrawal. It is also used for the treatment of seizures, relief of muscle spasms in some neurological diseases, and for sedation during surgery. Side effects of both include drowsiness, fatigue, and speech problems.