Zanaflex is used to relieve spasms and increased muscle tone caused by multiple sclerosis and other conditions. May cause drowsiness. Do not drive until you know how it affects you.
Zanaflex is a prescription medication used to relieve spasms and increased muscle tone caused by multiple sclerosis, stroke, or brain or spinal injury. Zanaflex belongs to a group of drugs called skeletal muscle relaxants, which work by slowing action in the brain and nervous system to allow the muscles to relax.
This medication comes in tablet and capsule forms and is taken up to 3 times a day, with or without food. It should always be taken consistently with food or without food, though.
Common side effects of Zanaflex include dry mouth, weakness, drowsiness, and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Zanaflex affects you.
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Uses of Zanaflex
Zanaflex is a prescription medication used to relieve spasms and increased muscle tone caused by multiple sclerosis, stroke, or brain or spinal injury.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Zanaflex Drug Class
Zanaflex is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Zanaflex
Serious side effects have been reported with Zanaflex. See the “Drug Precautions” section.
Common side effects of Zanaflex include the following:
- dry mouth
This is not a complete list of Zanaflex side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- baclofen (Lioresal)
- benzodiazepines such as triazolam (Halcion), alprazolam (Xanax), and diazepam (Valium)
- medications that block the enzyme CYP1A2 such as zileuton (Zyflo), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), mexiletine (Mexitil), propafenone (Rythmol), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin), cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), birth control pills, acyclovir (Zovirax), ticlopidine (Ticlid), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and fluvoxamine (Luvox)
This is not a complete list of Zanaflex drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with Zanaflex including:
- rebound hypertension (high blood pressure) and tachycardia (fast heart rate). Do not stop taking Zanaflex suddenly, as rebound hypertension and tachycardia can occur.
- liver injury. This may occur with use of Zanaflex, but has been shown to resolve once use of this medication is stopped. It is recommended that liver function monitoring should be done for the first 6 months of treatment and periodically afterwards.
- low blood pressure. There is a possibility that Zanaflex may lower your blood pressure. Exercise caution with standing from a sitting position, as dizziness may occur due to a lowered blood pressure.
Zanaflex can cause dizziness and drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Zanaflex affects you.
Do not take Zanaflex if you:
Zanaflex Food Interactions
Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Zanaflex, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before taking Zanaflex, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to Zanaflex or to any of its ingredients
- have liver problems
- have kidney problems
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Zanaflex and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
Zanaflex falls into category C. In animals studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. There are no well-controlled studies that have been done in humans with Zanaflex though. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.
Zanaflex and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
It is not known if Zanaflex crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Zanaflex.
Take Zanaflex exactly as prescribed.
This medication comes in tablet and capsule forms and is taken up to 3 times a day, with or without food.
You may sprinkle the contents of the capsule into a soft food such as applesauce or pudding. Be sure to consume the contents of this mixture completely.
The ability of the body to absorb Zanaflex if taken with food differs if taken without food. Be sure to be consistent and either take only with food or only take without food.
The ability of the body to absorb Zanaflex capsules and tablets differ. Switching between the two forms will cause a difference in therapeutic levels of Zanaflex in the body.
Alcohol may intensify some of the side effects of this medication.
If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Zanaflex at the same time.
Take Zanaflex exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The Zanaflex dose your doctor recommends will be based on the following:
- the condition being treated
- other medical conditions you have
- other medications you are taking
- how you respond to this medication
- your liver function
- your kidney function
The recommended dose range for Zanaflex is 12 mg to 24 mg, divided into even doses and given up to 3 times a day. Doses above 24 mg per day is not advised.
If you take too much Zanaflex, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
If Zanaflex is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
- Store Zanaflex at room temperature between 15–30°C (59–86°F).
- Dispense in containers with child resistant closure.
- Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.