Tizanidine is a muscle relaxant prescribed to manage muscle spasms caused by certain conditions such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis. It works by helping to relax the muscles. Tizanidine is prescribed for medical issues such as, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, a mild case of scoliosis, and fibromyalgia all of which cause chronic back pain.
How does Tizanidine work?
It is a short-acting muscle relaxant. Tizanidine works by blocking nerve impulses (pain signals) that are sent to your brain
Tizanidine is an α2-adrenergic agonist which reduces muscular spasticity by increasing presynaptic inhibition of motor neurons. This drug affects the polysynaptic pathways, and thus reduces facilitation of spinal motor neurons.
About 95% of this drug is metabolized in the liver. In elderly patients with renal insufficiency, the metabolism of this drug is reduced to 50%.
Tizanidine is available in the form of tablets and is ingested orally.
Tizanidine is used to treat muscle spasms. Symptoms can include muscle pain, tightness, or stiffness. This medicine is often used for patients who are suffering from multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or muscle spasticity.
Tizanidine is usually helpful in the conditions listed below; however, this drug should be only taken as and when advised by a health care provider:
- Acute Low Back Pain
- Muscle Spasticity
- Acute Myofascial low back pain
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Tizanidine should be taken exactly as directed by your physician. The usual dosage is described below:
- Adults: Initially, a single dose of 2 mg, which may be gradually increased based on patients’ needs. Higher doses of this drug should be distributed into 2-3 smaller doses throughout the day. The daily dose for adults ranges from 12-24 mg; whereas the maximum daily dose is 36 mg.
- Elderly: Geriatric patients should be administered tizanidine tablets only when the drug has been prescribed by a physician. It should not be given to patients with liver dysfunction and heart-related problems.
- Children and adolescents: Tizanidine is prohibited for use in children and adolescents.
- In patients with kidney problems: Treatment is commenced with a single dose of 2 mg. The dose should be increased only on a physician’s advice
In the case of overdose with this drug, emergency medical attention should be sought. Usual symptoms of overdose are drowsiness, confusion, slow pulse, breathlessness, dizziness, fainting or coma.
Tizanidine Side Effects
Although mild, certain side-effects have been reported with the use of tizanidine; they are:
- Dry mouth
- Muscular weakness
A few patients may be allergic to tizanidine. Signs of an allergic reaction are:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat
Immediate medical attention must be approached if an individual experience difficulty in breathing, fainting, hallucination/confusion, nausea/stomach pain, dark urine/pain while urination, fever or yellowish appearance of skin or eyes.
Apart from the ones listed above, there can be numerous other mild side-effects of this drug. In case you experience any sign or symptom of an allergic reaction or side-effects after intake of this drug, you must report it to your health care provider immediately.
Tizanidine – Drug Interactions
Tizanidine interacts with a number of drugs if taken simultaneously. Hence, you must report to your physician if you are on any of the drugs listed below:
- Birth control pills
- Medications for treating cardiac arrhythmia
It is always advisable to inform your doctor about your regular medication list before the prescription of new medications. This can help in eliminating unwarranted side-effects.
Moreover, it is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions regarding medicine intake to minimize side-effects.
Contraindications of Tizanidine
- Tinadizine is contraindicated in cases with known allergies or hypersensitivity to the drug.
- In patients with severely impaired liver function, impaired renal function, and coronary artery disease.
- Patients who are on medications which interact with tinadizine.
Discontinuation of Treatment
Tinadizine treatment should not be discontinued suddenly, but the dose must be tapered gradually. Thus, the drug should be stopped as and when directed by your physician.
Sudden discontinuation of treatment may cause adverse effects, for instance, increased heart rate and high blood pressure.
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Dr. Kaleem Mohammed graduated as a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2014 from Deccan College of Physiotherapy, affiliated to Dr. N.T.R. University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, India. Dr. Kaleem is an expert at handling physiotherapy needs of patients suffering from orthopedic and spinal conditions and post-surgery rehabilitation. Dr. Kaleem is associated with HealthClues since its inception where he facilitates diagnosis and advanced consultation with senior doctors. He is also a medical researcher and prolific writer who loves sharing insightful commentaries and useful tips to educate the patient community about fitness, treatment options, and post-treatment recovery.