Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a central nervous system (CNS) muscle relaxer prescribed for the treatment of muscle injuries, pain, spasms, and tenderness. When used as directed, Flexeril side effects are minimal, and there are few long-term risks. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not schedule Flexeril as a controlled substance, although the drug does have some potential for abuse.
People may misuse Flexeril for its mild high effects, which are hallmarked by feelings of sedation, relaxation, and well-being. Flexeril is often misused in conjunction with CNS depressants, such as alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines.
It is also sometimes used with amphetamines or illicit drugs like cocaine to reduce the negative effects associated with stimulant use. While Flexeril is considered safe when it is used as prescribed, abuse can have many adverse effects.
Flexeril Side Effects
There are many side effects that can occur when misusing Flexeril, some of which may become exacerbated when mixing it with alcohol or other drugs. Potential adverse effects of Flexeril abuse include the following:
- Elevated heart rate
- Excessive drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Impaired cognition
- Physiological dependence
The risk of side effects related to Flexeril abuse is significantly increased when it is used with alcohol because the effects of both substances are amplified. While this may make for a more intense high, it can also induce more dangerous side effects, including the following:
- Increased drowsiness
- Impaired motor skills
- Poor cognitive function
- Slowed, labored breathing
- Impaired memory
- Abnormal behavior
- Increased risk of overdose
Flexeril use can become a problem for some people, and there is some evidence that dependence can develop. However, withdrawal symptoms are relatively uncommon during Flexeril detox compared to drugs with a greater potential for abuse, such as opiates, alcohol, or benzodiazepines.
That said, withdrawal symptoms can and do occur occasionally and are typically more intense if Flexeril has been frequently used in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs. A person who suddenly stops using Flexeril may encounter symptoms such as headache, nausea, drug cravings, and general malaise.
Although rare, it is possible to overdose if a person uses an excessive amount of Flexeril or it is combined with other drugs or alcohol. The most common symptoms of a Flexeril overdose are excessive drowsiness and an accelerated heartbeat.
Less-common overdose symptoms that may occur, especially when combined with other intoxicating substances, include the following:
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
- High blood pressure
- Difficulty speaking
- Uncoordinated movements
- Loss of consciousness
Some rare and potentially life-threatening effects of Flexeril overdose may include:
- Perilously low blood pressure
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
- Heart rhythm disturbances
- Chest pain
- Cardiac arrest
- Seizures and death
Although rare, an overdose involving Flexeril can occur and is usually the result of the aforementioned potentially critical overdose effects. If you or someone you know is experiencing overdose symptoms related to Flexeril and/or other substances, seek professional medical help by visiting an emergency room or contact 911 immediately.
Flexeril Abuse Treatment
Harmony Recovery Center is a highly-specialized addiction treatment facility that provides services vital to the recovery process, including outpatient detox, psychotherapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more. These services are offered in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats.
There are several different treatment options available to those who are engaging in Flexeril abuse. Medical detox is often the first course of treatment for those who are dependent and at risk of encountering unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. In some instances, medication may be administered to make the process more comfortable and help decrease the risk of relapse.
Although not everyone who abuses Flexeril will experience withdrawal symptoms, there are some who benefit from a supervised detox, especially those who tend to mix Flexeril with alcohol or other drugs.
Psychotherapy and counseling are essential components of any substance abuse treatment program because they help people improve coping skills to manage cravings and triggers. Psychotherapy also helps individuals identify the subconscious motivations and emotions that contribute to their need to abuse drugs.
Support groups provide comradery and the support of other people to help people stay focused on sobriety. Peers can share experiences, offer advice, and remind each other of the adverse effects of drug use, and further encourage the use of healthier coping skills.
Aftercare is one of the most important elements of treatment, as many people assume that when they complete their initial rehab program that treatment is over. However, addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease. So, to help sustain long-term recovery, it is vital that addiction specialists ensure that patients are given a solid aftercare plan before they are discharged from their treatment program.
If you or someone you love is suffering from Flexeril abuse or addiction, contact us today. Discover how we help people achieve abstinence and foster healthier, more fulfilling lives!