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jitteryme 04-25-2006 11:09 AM

Questions about Muscle Relaxers
I have some pretty severe muscle tension in the back of my head where my neck connects to my head. I know that I have some degenerated disks and some straightening of my cervical spine. I don't know how much of the muscle tension is related to the physical aspects of my neck and how much is related to my anxiety. I do know that when I am anxious, the muscles seem to be so much worse.

Several months ago, my doctor called in a prescription for Flexeril (spelling?) but after reading about it in the internet I cancelled the prescription. It said that it should not be taken by people with heart arythmias (spelling again). I get PVC's from time to time and wondered if this was something I shouldn't take.

Right now the muscle tension has become unbearable. It makes me anxious and then there is a vicious cycle. I am back to the point of being willing to try the muscle relaxers. For those of you that have taken a muscle relaxer, is this something that can only be taken at night? Do they make you feel "loopy" at all? And if they can be taken during the day, can you still function and drive? Most importantly, do they have any kind of lasting effect that would carry on for more than a day. I'm not sure I want to get started on something that I would have to take every single day but right now I am in desperate need of relief.

Also, has anyone taken Valerian for muscle tension? I was reading up on that and may be willing to give that a try. Also, can you take Valerian and then take a Xanax if you need it?

Any input on this topic would be appreciated.

NVR2L8 04-26-2006 03:41 AM

Re: Questions about Muscle Relaxers
I take Flexiril and I mainly take it at night. It puts me to sleep and I get a good nights sleep from it. Make sure you can get at least 8 hours because you will be groggy the next morning but your muscles will definately be relaxed. It is nothing to be scared of. Your doc would not have put you on them knowing they would possibly hurt you. At least I don't think so. Some docs just have their heads up there butt but most times, they know what else is wrong with you and don't prescribe meds that will interfere with those things. I would take one or maybe half of one til you get used to it.

Good luck,

iwonder 04-26-2006 05:43 AM

Re: Questions about Muscle Relaxers
Hi jittery,
I take valerian root for leg cramps and muscle tension, insomnia and some moments of anxiety. I am 30 weeks prego so I have all kinds of muscle aches with everything else. The only thing I have noticed with valerian is it puts me to sleep if I take more than 2 capsules. Every company processes theirs differently so if you do want to try this, read the back label for recommended usage amounts. Mine says you can take up to 3 capsules 3 times a day, but I would be a walking zombie if I did that ;). Good luck to you!
Oh yeah, one more thing if you get home and open up your valerian capsules/tea/root whatever you decide to buy and it smells worse than last week's gym socks---dont worry---thats what its supposed to smell like :D the stinkier the better actually!

hry33 04-26-2006 03:18 PM

Re: Questions about Muscle Relaxers
to jittery
flexeril doesnt sound too bad . discuss with pharmacist, perhaps

otherwise any valium type med is a good muscle relaxer, some are sold for this puropse

bulletinboard25 04-26-2006 04:40 PM

Re: Questions about Muscle Relaxers
I was actually going to reply with what hry33 said...If you're worried about the Flexeril why don't you ask about Valium?

I mean, it's an anti-anxiety medicine, so you'd be getting the best of both worlds.. because it's also an EXCELLENT muscle relaxer (from my personal experience).

lauralu2000 04-27-2006 08:02 AM

Re: Questions about Muscle Relaxers
Hi...I take flexeril as needed for my muscle tension and for my neck. I had a whiplash injury 5 years agao. I think my neck may be a huge contributor to my headaches that I get at night. There sometimes is no comfy position when my neck hurts. I take only a half tab at night for this. if my neck is hurting at night and I don't take it.I will ...99% of the time... wake up in the middle of the night with a massive killer headache.

I also take Klonipin for anxiety. As needed and usually just one .5 mg tablet or even half a tablet several times a week. I make sure I do not take both of these together at the same time because they knock me out entirely. I usually take the flexeril at night anyway before bed and If I am in need of a klonopin I will have already taken it hours before bedtime anyway.

Flexeril does make you tired and you may be alittle slow in the mornings. Not mentally..physically because your muscles get nice and relaxed when you take it. It really has worked well for my neck. All the physical therepy and pain meds in the world cannot do for my neck what flexeril can and I never have to take it as much as the script says I can works so well.

My dr. did once prescribe me valium for my muscle spasms in my neck about 4 years agao. I had no idea Valium could be taken as a muscle relaxer at that time and was suprised when she gave me a script for worked really well though... but she would not give me more than a two weeks script for them. I find it really bazar that they will precribe me Klonopin and flexeril together long term but not just Valium by itself.

I do not know about the valerian. Hope this helped some.

jitteryme 04-27-2006 08:22 AM

Re: Questions about Muscle Relaxers
Thank you for your replies. I actually have some Xanax which has helped with relaxing the muscles. I love the fact that I am able to function and can drive while taking a very low dose of Xanax, however I question whether I would be able to do this on a traditional muscle relaxer. I have a tendency to hoard my Xanax and only take them when I have to face something that threatens me or when I am absolutely at the end of my rope with anxiety. I also cut them into the smallest effective dose for me and never take more than .25 mg. in one day.

I got 30 Xanax pills back in August when the anxiety first hit, and I still have about ten pills left. I've not had any refills during that time. I would love to take the Xanax every day if the muscles and anxiety act up but I would hate to use it all up in case my doctor won't give me more.

I would like to find something natural that will help with the muscle tension and not cause any problems if I do need to take a Xanax. If not, I may ask again for the Flexeril and hope to heck it works without side effects.

jitteryme 04-27-2006 08:33 AM

Re: Questions about Muscle Relaxers
Lauralu - If you're still around could you answer a couple more questions about flexeril? If you take it at night, how long does the feeling of having the muscles being relaxed last? Will it last more than one day or will I need to take it every night? I am looking for something that will last a bit longer than the Xanax.

Thank you for your reply. It really was helpful to me.

SRMom 04-27-2006 10:10 AM

Re: Questions about Muscle Relaxers
I have taken both Flexeril and Soma (carisoprodol) muscle relaxers. In my experience, Flexeril worked great, but gave me a morning hangover (so to speak) where it was more difficult to get out of bed and moving. I currently have a long-standing prescription for Soma and I take one at night to help relax my shoulder and neck tension from anxiety. It also helps me to relax and fall asleep. It doesn't give me the same morning hangover that Flexeril does. If you are worried about that, maybe you could ask your doc to change you to Soma.

lauralu2000 04-27-2006 10:18 AM

Re: Questions about Muscle Relaxers
Yes for me it does last awhile. I am amazed how long it does last when I am not even taking the whole dose. I don't have to take it everynight. Night time is the only time I will take it though due to it making me so tired and relaxed. The tiredness and the relaxation it does right after you take it is not nearly as strong the next day. But I still can feel the effects of it usually through the next day into the afternoon. My script is 10mgs and I always half them when I take them. There are times I have needed to take it several nights in a row and if I do that to much it will catch up to me and I will end up having a whole day where i feel really tired. Not none functioning tired..but just tired. Especially if I fined I need to take a Klonopin the next day on top of several nights of flexeril.

But flexeril is the only thing that helps my neck and headaches when my neck hurts so badly and is spasming...

Hope that helps.

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