Skelaxin vs. Baclofen
- Skelaxin (metaxalone) and baclofen are skeletal muscle relaxants.
- A main difference is that Skelaxin is used mostly for short-term painful muscle and skeletal conditions, while baclofen may be used long-term for spasms of skeletal muscles, muscle rigidity, muscle clonus, and pain caused by disorders like multiple sclerosis.
- Brand names for baclofen include Gablofen and Lioresal.
- Side effects of Skelaxin and baclofen that are similar include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.
- Side effects of Skelaxin that are different from baclofen include nervousness, irritability, upset stomach, rash, anemia, low white blood cell count, yellowing skin and eyes (jaundice), and allergic reactions
- Side effects of baclofen that are different from Skelaxin include weakness, seizures, low blood pressure, constipation, confusion, respiratory depression, inability to sleep (insomnia), and increased urinary frequency or urinary retention.
- Suddenly stopping oral baclofen may cause withdrawal reactions such as seizures and hallucinations. Suddenly stopping intrathecal baclofen may result in high fever, rebound spasticity, muscle rigidity, and rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) that can progress to failure of several organs, including the kidney, and even death.
What are Skelaxin vs. baclofen
Skelaxin (metaxalone) is an oral drug that relaxes skeletal muscle, the muscles that control movement of the body. Skelaxin is prescribed as an adjunct to physical therapy for the treatment of short-term painful muscle and skeletal conditions.
Baclofen is a medication that relaxes skeletal muscles. Baclofen is prescribed for the treatment of spasms of skeletal muscles, muscle rigidity, muscle clonus, and pain caused by disorders like multiple sclerosis. Chemically, baclofen is related to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA released by some nerves causes the activity of other nerves to decrease. It is thought baclofen acts like GABA and blocks the activity of nerves within the part of the brain that controls the contraction and relaxation of skeletal muscle.
What are the side effects of Skelaxin and baclofen?
The most common side effects with metaxalone are:
Other important, but less common, side effects include:
Common side effects of baclofen are:
- low blood pressure,
- respiratory depression,
- inability to sleep, and
- increased urinary frequency or urinary retention.
Abrupt discontinuation of oral baclofen may cause seizures and hallucinations. Abrupt discontinuation of intrathecal baclofen may result in:
- high fever,
- rebound spasticity,
- muscle rigidity, and
- rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) that can progress to failure of several organs, including the kidney, and even death.
What is the dosage for Skelaxin vs. baclofen?
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.
The usual starting dose of oral baclofen for treating spasticity in adults is 5 mg given three times daily. Based on the response, the dose can be increased by 5 mg every three days to a maximum of 80 mg/day in divided doses.
What drugs interact with Skelaxin and baclofen?
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).
Use of baclofen with other drugs that also depress the function of nerves may lead to additional reduction in brain function.
In addition to the risk of depressing brain function, the use of baclofen and tricyclic antidepressants (for example, amitriptyline [Elavil, Endep], doxepin [Sinequan, Adapin]) together may cause muscle weakness.
Because baclofen can increase blood sugar, doses of antidiabetic drugs may need to be adjusted when baclofen is begun.
Are Skelexin and baclofen safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Metaxalone has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
The use of baclofen by pregnant women has not been evaluated.Baclofen can be detected in the breast milk of mothers taking oral baclofen. No information is available on the presence of baclofen in the breast milk of mothers receiving baclofen intrathecally.
Skelaxin (metaxalone) and baclofen are skeletal muscle relaxants. A main difference is that Skelaxin is used mostly for short-term painful muscle and skeletal conditions, while baclofen may be used long-term for spasms of skeletal muscles, muscle rigidity, muscle clonus, and pain caused by disorders like multiple sclerosis.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating neurological condition. Take the MS Quiz to test your knowledge of the causes, symptoms,...
Picture of Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis may be single or multiple and may range from mild to severe in intensity and short to long in...
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment
Learn about multiple sclerosis (MS) causes, symptoms, and treatment for this autoimmune disease that attacks the nerves of the...
Muscle Cramps (Charley Horse) and Muscle Spasm Remedies
What causes muscle spasms and cramps (charley horse)? What is the differences between muscle spasms and cramps? Learn about...
What You Should Know About Multiple Sclerosis
Learn about celebrities, such as Montel Williams and Jack Osbourne, who are living with multiple sclerosis....
Multiple Sclerosis: Making an MS Friendly Home
Adults with multiple sclerosis may be at risk for injuries, hazards, and falling at home. Some simple home modifications can...
Related Disease Conditions
Muscle Pain (Myofascial Pain Syndrome)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life Expectancy
Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage...
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is muscle pain in the body's soft tissues due to injury or strain. Symptoms include muscle pain with...
Alternative Treatment for MS (CAM for MS)
The term alternative therapy, in general, is used to describe any medical treatment or intervention that has not been...
Muscle spasms are involuntary muscle contractions that come on suddenly and are usually quite painful. Dehydration, doing...
Multiple Sclerosis Early Symptoms and Signs (Early, Body Areas Affected)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms vary from person to person, and can last for days to months without periods of remission....
Is MS Contagious? (Multiple Sclerosis)
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a degenerative disease of the covering around the nerves in the central nervous system (CNS)....
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Multiple Sclerosis MS FAQs
- Myositis Muscle (Pain and Inflammation) Serious Drug Interactions
- Multiple Sclerosis: New Treatment Possibility for MS
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
- Muscle Cramp (Charley Horse) Treatment and Symptoms
- How Muscles Work & Respond to Resistance Training
Medications & Supplements
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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