Info about MuscleRelaxants
Muscle relaxantsare drugs which can decrease the tone of the skeletal muscles and thesemedications are used in conditions such as: muscle spasms, hyperreflexia ormuscle pains. This term usually refers to neuromuscular blockers andspasmolytic medications or only to spasmolytics.
Neuromuscularblockers affect the transmission at the neuromuscular end plate. They are mainlyused during various surgeries, or in some emergency situations to causeparalysis of the skeletal muscles. These medications don’t affect the centralnervous system at all.
Spasmolytics workby affecting the brain and because of that they are called “centrally-acting”relaxants. They are found useful in different neurological conditions, musclespasms and muscle pains.
First drug usedto relax the muscles was curare, discovered in the 16th century in South America. Its active ingredient tubocurarine andsynthetic derivatives were later used in many experiments, and since 1940s,muscle relaxant drugs are used in surgical practice.
Efficacy ofMuscle Relaxants
Muscle relaxants area group of medications, known to have sedative effect to the human body. Theycan be used to decrease the tone of the skeletal muscles, and they can alsorelax tense muscles. As effective muscle pain treatment, doctors may prescribe:diazepam, metaxalone, carisoprodol or the newest addition to the list of musclerelaxant drugs - cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride.
Cyclobenzaprine(Flexeril) may be effective when combined with analgesic medications likedifunisal (Dolobid), especially in early stages of the muscle pain, accordingto some studies. Combination with naproxen (Naprosyn) is also found to workbetter than the medication alone in the treatment of muscle spasms and pain inthe lower back.
Carisoprodol andcyclobenzaprine are both equally effective in the treatment of moderate tosevere acute thoracolumbar pain. Patients prescribed with any of these drugsexperienced significant improvements and even though there were some side effectspresent, only small percent (8%) of all patients decided to stop the treatment.
Carisoprodol wasalso found to be more efficient than butabarbital (sedative drug) and placeboin people suffering from lower back pain. This drug was effective because ofall effects it has on the body, including: analgesic, muscle relaxing, antipyreticand anticholinergic effects.
When comparingcarisoprodol and diazepam, scientists found out that carisoprodol is much moreeffective in patients experiencing moderate to severe lower back pains.
Because of theseeffects, muscle relaxants can be efficient treatment for people suffering fromlower back pain. However, there are some adverse effects which should not betaken lightly and patients using these drugs must use them with caution.