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Old 05-27-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
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Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

I'm very familiar with benzos. I currently take Klonopin daily (because of mental health/illness stuff) and have taken Ativan and Valium. I notice that when I take extra along with Percoset it helps more than Percoset alone. I know they work mainly on GABA receptors.
I've read about muscle relaxers like Robaxin. However I can't seem to find exactly how these work or how they're different than benzos. I've never taken one and want to ask my PM doc about it. I'm always tense because of anxiety disorders and know that the more tense I am, the worse the back pain is.

Has anyone taken both?

Some doctors will prescribe Ativan as a "muscle relaxer" to confuse things even more.

Thanks for any comments.

 
Old 05-27-2009, 07:15 PM   #2
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Re: Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

This is a very good question. I will try to explain as best I can....

Muscle relaxants help relax muscles, ease pain, and reduce stiffness. They are often used to treat injury or other conditions affecting muscles. Muscles tend to tense up after an injury (called a muscle spasm). Spasms can get very painful.....The tight contraction of the muscles are the body's natural defense mechanism to "protect" the injured area....Sort of encapsulates the injured area. Sometimes muscle relaxants are prescribed in conjunction with physical therapy and rest to ease the tension in the injured area.

Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed class of sedative hypnotic psychoactive drugs with varying sedative, hypnotic, an anti-anxiety properties. They can also have muscle relaxing action. Benzos work on the GABAA receptors, which results in a depressant or slowing-down effect of the central nervous system.

All of these properties make benzodiazepines useful in treating anxiety, insomnia, agitation, seizures, muscle spasms, withdrawal and tension associated with medical / dental procedures. For example, a benzo is often given before surgery or dental work in order to calm patients down and make them more relaxed. When I had my root canal last month, they offered me one but I declined. The dentist said it would give me a "loopy" or drunk feeling and that I would be much more relaxed during the procedure. I was worried about the interaction with my regular meds, so I passed. People are also often prescribed Benzos when very stressful things happen in one's life, such as job loss, death, divorce, and etc.

When benzodiazepines are combined with other CNS depressants such as alcohol, opiates, or muscle relaxers, the potential for overdose greatly increases, so one must be very careful.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Ex

 
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:35 AM   #3
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Re: Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

when you said has anyone taken 'both' did you mean the valium AND robaxin together? if this is the case, that is a combo i am on. they do appear to work in two totally different ways with the robaxin not giving you the same hypnotic or overly relaxed type of feeling? the robaxin appears to work more on "the" muscle and the valium just in a totally different way. cannot really explain it,but between the both of them,they do their "own" type of work,ya know what i mean?

i started robaxin many years ago for this nasty overly tightened feeling(and trigger points) i was actually getting from my c spine and unbeknownst to me at that time, what was alot a rotator cuff problem as well. the valium was added about three years ago to try and help with severe spasticity in my legs from spinal cord injury. i am on the 750 robaxin two tabs four times a day. the valium i take 2 five mg and cut them in half with using two whole ones(what it comes out to be) thru out my day for spasticity. it can,in some pharms,pop up as being on two muscle relaxants that they may see as a problem. mine got straightened out by my hospitals rehab dos post sci. but between the both of them, i really do feel things are much better covered for me anyways. i do hope this was what you were asking? if not, please clarify? or was it the valium and atavan? either way, this is what i personally know of how well robaxin works with valium,lol. marcia
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:29 AM   #4
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Re: Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by feelbad View Post
when you said has anyone taken 'both' did you mean the valium AND robaxin together?
I didnt necessarily mean at the same time, although that's what I'd be doing if I added Robaxin because it would take forever to go off Klonopin. I was wondering if anyone could feel how they work differently. But you were able to give me some good first hand experience and good info.

Does a tolerance build up with Robaxin similar to benzos?

Thanks for the comments from both of you.

Last edited by lemonflavor; 05-28-2009 at 09:31 AM.

 
Old 05-28-2009, 10:13 AM   #5
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Re: Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

I noticed at my PM doc yesterday that they have a new sign saying the WILL NOT prescribe benzo's with narcotics and if anyone is found to have Benzo's in their urine or through the pharmacy search they would be tapered off narcotics immediataly. I know a lot of PM patients take Benzo's for the muscle relaxing propertites and or anxiety that goes along with CP. my PM doesn't believe in it obviously. My PCP was going to prescribe me a weeks worth of Zanax to help me through the first week of my Chantrix but I declined stating I had to check with PM. Glad I did. I don't want to be kicked out of PM

 
Old 05-28-2009, 01:03 PM   #6
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Re: Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by katlovesdogs View Post
I noticed at my PM doc yesterday that they have a new sign saying the WILL NOT prescribe benzo's with narcotics and if anyone is found to have Benzo's in their urine or through the pharmacy search they would be tapered off narcotics immediataly.
Anytime one combines sedative type meds, there is the risk of a cumulative effect. Independently, they can be fine, both together, they can be lethal. When one ODs on a combination of sedatives, they can often drift off to sleep and then never wake up.


Quote:
I know a lot of PM patients take Benzo's for the muscle relaxing propertites and or anxiety that goes along with CP. my PM doesn't believe in it obviously.
This is the kind of thing that makes PM so complex. Every situation is different and every person is different. Some Docs believe certain combinations are ok, while others do not. There are many "theories" in PM, which make it very interesting IMO.

I'm wiling to bet your Doc recently had something happen with a patient....Close call or whatever. That's how these "polices" usually happen and notices are put up overnight.

Thanks for sharing.

Regards,

Ex

 
Old 05-28-2009, 04:14 PM   #7
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Re: Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

Hi, I'ld like to share my experience. I am prescribed Valium 10 mg 4 times a day from my primary doctor (I take anywhere from 10 to 25 mg a day, sometimes 30, never 40). I went through a spell of deaths and he increased the valium to 4 a day.

My primary is aware that I am in PM and my PM doctor is aware that I take valium. I am prescribed Flexeril (60 monthly) as well as OXY IR 45 mg daily. My insurance company did send a letter to my two doctors. All are fine with the OXY IR, Flexeril and Valium - I take on an as needed basis. If I take a valium for anxiety, I won't take a Flexeril that day or perhaps 8 or so hours after I took the Valium. I have taken a valium and OXY IR within 1/2 hour of each other. I don't get an additional boost of painkiller but my anxiety decreases (taking painkillers also provokes anxiety in me but I was prescribed them for a traumatic experience when I was in my 20's and they've worked over the years - I did take a 3 year break from them (weaned off).

I hope this helps. I know the tension/muscle pain you describe.
Tara

 
Old 05-29-2009, 12:18 AM   #8
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Re: Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

How about muscle relaxants (Robaxin etc.) and developing a tolerance?

 
Old 05-29-2009, 05:59 AM   #9
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Re: Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemonflavor View Post
How about muscle relaxants (Robaxin etc.) and developing a tolerance?
According to my PM doc, the majority of MR's do not carry the risk of dependency. The exception is Soma, (carisopradol) because it is a different class of MR that attaches to some of the same receptors as opiates/opioids.

One would have to be tapered off Soma, just like benzos and opiates. The rest of the MR's out there do not require a taper when discontinuing them. So, unless your doc's choice of MR is Soma, it shouldn't be an issue.

I think that docs who tend to not want to prescribe both a benzo and an MR, feel that way because both are sedating and both slow respiration. Combine that with opiates/opioids, (which have the same side effect) and the risks of respiratory problems would most likely triple.

I am prescribed all three of the above, but I only take the benzo (Xanax) on an as needed basis for anxiety. It was prescribed by my psych doc solely for that purpose. For me to take all three them in one day is rare.

Don't know if that helps, but I wish you the best of luck, whatever you and your doc decide on. CMP

 
Old 05-29-2009, 07:04 AM   #10
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Re: Difference between "Muscle Relaxers" and Benzodiazepines?

i personally have been on the robaxin now for many years with no tolerance setting in like can occur with both benzos and of course the narcotic meds. like i mentioned in the other post,they just really seem to work in very different ways. hope that helps. Marcia
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11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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