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Risks and Side Effects for Muscle Relaxants Used for Chronic Pain

Source: Mayo Clinic
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Muscle relaxants are used to relieve chronic pain. People using relaxants should be aware of certain types of problems related or associated with their use. These problems might include the risk of drowsiness, dry mouth, urine retention or addiction and dependence on such medications. Women should inform their doctors beforehand if they are expecting or breastfeeding.

The Risks and Side Effects Include:

Potential for abuse


It is highly illegal to share these medications with others so they should be kept out of reach of children. Muscle relaxants should be taken for a short period of time to avoid dependency and abuse.


Multi-drug interactions


Interaction of muscle relaxants with antihistamines can be dangerous. It has been found that the combination has led to older people visiting the hospital emergency room frequently.


Alcohol interactions


It is also not appropriate to drink alcohol while using a muscle relaxant. A combination of the two can be fatal. These combinations should be importantly kept in mind while using muscle relaxants.


Allergic reactions


The primary symptoms of allergy include swelling in the throat, trouble breathing or chest tightness. No medicine should be taken by the patient if he or she experienced an allergic response to it in the past, even if it seemed mild. If this is not taken seriously, then it might result in severe problems.


Addiction or drowsiness


As a muscle relaxant induces sleep and relaxes muscles and pain, our bodies get used to them very easily. They should not be taken continuously. Keeping in mind their sedative effect, they should mostly be used in the evening.


Timing plays an important role while taking a relaxant. If you have to head out for work at 7 a.m., then do not take a muscle relaxant after 10 p.m. Instead, you should look for a muscle relaxant that has a less sedative effect. 

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