I don't know of a website but from reading and researching, I know of 3 - flexeril, Skelaxin and Soma. I've tried flexeril and Skelaxin (prefer Skelaxin but my PM uses flexeril). I get a bit tired from the Flexeril but not as tired as I did in the beginning.
I tried Robaxin which did nothing for me. I just tried Flexeril which made me feel TERRIBLE. I didn't realize this is similar to and anti-depressant I used to take which turned on me. Anything that affects norepiniphrine makes my skin crawl. In doing more reading since my original post, Baclofen looks interesting.
Soma works wonderful for me. My doc put me on it a few months ago because I get spasms in my leg and foot that causes my foot to curl in and is extremely painful. Since starting it, the spasms have decreased 80% or more. Plus, it helps me sleep but I don't wake up feeling groggy the next morning. Flexeril did not help my problems nearly as much as Soma, plus Flexeril causes weight gain and I have had none with Soma. With Flexeril I would have to sleep at least 12 hours or I was in a stuper. Just couldn't function and I hated it. Plus I am a cronic back pain sufferer and staying in bed for 12 hours is not something done comfortably. I hope you find one that works for you. You might be able to find a list on *****. Good luck!
I haven't developed a tolerance as of yet. I take it nightly without fail because if I miss a night my spasms are right back that fast. But, I haven't felt it less effective at all. You can take it up to 3 times a day but I find that the one at night is plenty for me because that is when my spasms are the worst for some reason and the one takes are of it. Maybe being immobile at night? I've been on it for about 5 months or so now. I was really shocked at how well it worked and how quickly. I have to be honest, after trying others and the side affects from flexeril, I was leary to even try another muscle relaxant. I didn't want that always exhausted feeling. I really hope you find something that helps you and quickly. Frosty
I tried skelaxin at the start of my injury a few years back and off and on since then and I could never tell they actually did anything (although my pain was a lot worse back then as well). A different doc recently gave me soma to try and that seemed to do fairly well for me. After starting the soma, my insurance changed and the new plan wanted something like $200 for a month's worth of soma at 250mg and I guess they stopped making the generic at 250mg but after a little research, I found out they still have the generic for soma (carisoprodol) available in a 350mg dose. I called back to the doc's office and explained to them the difference between the insurance plans for the brand vs generic at a higher dose ($200 vs $15) and they had no problem changing the script for me to use the higher dose generic.
But, even though the pain relief from the carisoprodol is good, they do leave me a bit on the tired side sometimes and I will sometimes alternate between the carisoprodol and valium during the days for muscle spasm/pain.
All considered, I'll trade being a little tired for the relief I get with the carisoprodol. I threw out the skelaxin I had left over a long while back so I have no way of knowing if now that my pain levels are better if the skelaxin would help or not but I'm satisfied with what I have now and don't want to mess with anything else. Also if I remember right, even with my other insurance plan that was a lot better on the drug co-pays, there was still a fairly big price tag for the skelaxin.
Hi Lemon, did you hear back from the nurse? One of my biggest problems is back spasms - I feel your pain.
I should mention - I take valium for anxiety dating back to childhood trauma. Something tragic happened in my life and my doctor prescribed 2mg of valium about 15 years ago. Valium works great for my anxiety but it doesn't help muscle spasms for me (that I can tell). I take it as needed. I don't take my prescribed dose daily - my doctor is fine with this. I have gone off it several times (weened down) without issue.
Valium stays in the blood stream from 20-50 hours half life - it's long-acting. I don't know what the difference is between Valium/Xanax. A friend of mine takes Xanax (for anxiety) and I asked her to ask her doctor what he thought about changing to valium (as I have another friend who HAS to follow a dose schedule or she starts withdrawals. I think Xanax has a 12 hour half life? Her doctor said that Xanax is the less of 2 evils (versus Valium) but she has gone up in dosage quickly while mine has been steady for years now. At one point my doctor tried Lexapro for anxiety - I was fine on the 10mg but the 20mg - I couldn't care less about anything - it was awful for me. I just wanted to add that I view Valium as anti-anxiety and it works well for me but I'm sure it is widely used for muscles spasms too.
Now Flexeril - after reading the side effects, I'm thinking of asking for a switch or just giving them up completely. They don't really help with the spasms. If a spasms is particularly bad, I take my pain medication instead. And I stopped researching it because it was depressing! But everyone reacts differently so what may work for some may not for others, as you know I'm sure. I feel for you - I hope your nurse/PM gets back to you soon.
Good luck finding the one that works for you!
Last edited by kim46; 08-11-2009 at 08:06 PM.
Reason: Added text on anxiety
PS: I am not a drinker. I may have an occasional glass of wine for anniversary, etc. but generally, I can count on 2 hands the # of drinks I have had in the last 2 years. Obviously, I would never and have never taken a valium and had a drink. Maybe I did when I was in my 20's but not now - I don't enjoy drinking as a rule - I like a beer now and again but that is about it. My doctor is pretty adamant about drinking and taking anxiety/MR's and pain meds - if he even thought that I drank on a regular basis, he would not renew my script. Also, I have to see him for every renewal although valium can be renewed on the original script. We have a chat every month about what's going on in my life, anxiety and pain wise, and I have also been through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (to help me deal with personnel matters) - all results are sent through to my primary - I just felt I had to add this for those who lurk, etc. - "don't drink and take these type of meds".
Muscle relaxants I have used over the years and results...
Robaxin......eh? didn't do that much...now allergic
Flexeril......helped more but not that much...now allergic
Soma.......the old stand by and my favorite when in bad spasms...it is addictive and can be tough to come off of if you take it regularly for a while...but it works!
Skelaxin......worked some but not enough to really help my back..allergy starting
Zanaflex...new...without drowsy side effects but mild effect...allergic almost immediately
Valium.....old reliable and what I use as a regular med when I don't need the power of Soma. Other anti-anxiety drugs don't have the same anti-spasmotic effect of Valium and shouldn't be used for spasms. I take a minimum of 10mgs to have any effect.
There may have been others but it's been so long I've forgotten them now.
I've had a bad back since age 25(58 tomorrow) and I've tried just about everything and found the oldies but goodies are the best. Interestingly enough, the new arthritis drugs called TNF inhibitors(TNF stands for tumor necrosis factor...Enbrel is an example)are helping people with major spasms post neurosurgery. It is used off label and is VERY expensive($2000./month...means insurance doesn't pay for it). But it makes the point that no one knows what is causing these spasms if a TNF inhibitor can stop them. I have gotten relief from my rheumatoid arthritis drug, Orencia...a t-cell inhibitor. RA isn't supposed to affect the lower spine but stopped my pain cold and has stopped the spasms as well. Why???? No one can tell me. So there is hope that someday well have effective control of these horrible pains. First they need to find the true cause.
Xanax is very short acting as opposed to valium. The benzos actually work very well for me. They augment the narcotics well but I have to use them sparingly because I develop a tolerance real quick. If I could just find a muscle relaxer where a tolerance doesn't develop that could have the same synergistic effect, that would be great. Waiting...
Thanks for the list Jenny. Have you tried Baclofen? If it were up to me that's what I'd try next. I'd try Soma if my doc recommends it but I don't like the tolerance possibility.
There are many doctors who won't even prescribe Soma because they can be addictive but so can pain meds. However, the Somas will hit hard and fast so I guess that is why they can become addictive for some people because of that factor (the instant feeling). If you start to notice that you are taking it for the "feeling" and not for the muscle relaxing effect, then you know that is becoming a problem, just my opinion
I finally got a Baclofen prescription. 10mg tablets. I just took 5 mg and don't feel much but I took some extra stuff today because I had to do a lot of sitting. Tomorrow I may try 10 mg 3x day which is the prescription.