Is Tizanidine Addictive ?

Like many prescription medications, tizanidine can be addictive. Some people deliberately misuse the medication, while others may develop an addiction over time.

Tizanidine is an FDA-approved medicine for the management of spasticity caused by:

    • An acquired brain injury
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Spinal cord injury

It is also used in the management of pain associated with:

    • Lumbosacral neuralgia and chronic neck issues
    • Musculoskeletal pain syndrome
    • Migraine headaches

Tizanidine medication is an off-label prescription used as an anticonvulsant for the management of migraine headaches and insomnia.

Tizanidine abuse is possible due to its fast action on pain. A study to compare the muscle strength of Tizanidine and other approved skeletal muscle relaxants showed that there was increased improvement with Tizanidine.

What Is Tizanidine?

It is an antispasmodic prescription drug that is taken orally at specified intervals of time to treat symptoms related to multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal and brain injury. In simple terms, Tizanidine is a sharp pain-relief medicine that is acquired only with a doctor’s prescription.

Is Tizanidine a narcotic? No. Just because Tizanidine is sometimes abused doesn’t qualify it as a narcotic. Narcotics are substances traditionally used to ease pain by binding to pain receptors in the nervous system, whereas Tizanidine is a muscle relaxer. While Tizanidine muscle relaxers may help reduce pain, they do so in a different way than narcotics. Tizanidine is a muscle relaxer and blocks pain around the skeletal muscle areas. It is an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist that treats:

    • Cramping
    • Spasm
    • Tightness of muscles

Symptoms that may warrant Tizanidine use may be the result of:

    • Injury to the spine or central nervous system
    • Spastic diplegia
    • Back pain
    • Multiple sclerosis

What Is Tizanidine Used For?

Spasm and muscle tone are common in people who have experienced a stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain or spinal injury. Since the body functions abnormally during contraction and muscle tone, Tizanidine is used to slow down the brain and nervous system action so that the muscles can relax.

You might have seen people taking Tizanidine for other medical conditions and wondered what is Tizanidine used for? Tizanidine can be used to treat several medical conditions, including:

    • Spinal cord or acquired brain injuries
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Regional musculoskeletal pain syndrome
    • Chronic neck and lumbosacral neuralgia

Other uses for Tizanidine include treatment for:

    • Insomnia
    • Migraine headaches
    • Anticonvulsant

Tizanidine can also be used as part of a detoxification regimen in rebound headaches caused by analgesic withdrawal.

Is Tizanidine Addictive?

Though Tizanidine isn’t a narcotic, it can be addictive. You can’t get self-prescribe or over-the-counter Tizanidine due to its addictive nature. Instead, it is available with a doctor’s prescription. All medical instructions should be followed closely. Most medicines that act on the central nervous system (brain) have withdrawal effects when stopped immediately.

When a person is under this type of medication, the doctor will gradually reduce the dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Hypertension
  • Tachycardia
  • Tremor
  • Anxiety
  • Hypertonia

Tizanidine withdrawal can be managed by restarting and gradually reducing the dosage until the cessation of the medication.

You might be wondering how Tizanidine is addictive. When Tizanidine is taken more than 35 mg within 24 hours for more than two weeks, you risk the chance of being addicted to it. High doses of Tizanidine range from 20 mg to 36 mg daily.

If you are taking Tizanidine in high doses for more than nine weeks, it is advisable not to stop without professional help due to:

  • Rebound hypertension
  • Increased spasticity
  • Tachycardia

Tizanidine recreational use is rising by the day, and most people combine it with other narcotics to achieve the feeling of a Tizanidine high. The high feeling usually lasts for a shorter time, and this may lead to a person taking more doses to stay high.

Tizanidine Street Names, Common Misspellings, and Generics

Although Tizanidine is a prescription medication, it may be sold illegally and be known by a variety of street names. Although Tizanidine is a generic medication itself, it may be known by other brand names.

Tizanidine brand names include:

  • Zanaflex
  • Sirdalud(Novartis)
  • Relentus(Beximco Pharma)

Tizanidine is sometimes misspelled deliberately or unknowingly. Sometimes people misspell it to hide the fact they are using the medicine incorrectly or illicitly. Common misspellings or variants include:

  • Tizanadine
  • Xanaflex

Tizanidine Ingredients

Tizanidine is made up of active and inactive ingredients to form a muscle relaxer that is effective for many patients. The ingredients found in Tizanidine can cause liver damage, especially if you have liver problems.

Active ingredient:

  • Tizanidine hydrochloride(HCL)

Inactive ingredients:

  • Gelatin
  • Colorant
  • silicon dioxide
  • Hypromellose
  • Sugar spheres
  • Titanium dioxide

Tizanidine Warnings

Tizanidine side effects are present after the medication is abruptly stopping. Most Tizanidine warnings are related to withdrawal of the medicine. Related warnings include:

  • Hypotension
  • Liver injury
  • Sedation. You can’t drive while taking Tizanidine medication
  • Hallucination
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Withdrawal adverse reactions
  • Nonclinical toxicology( carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, fertility impairment).

Since it isn’t clear how the medicine affects a pregnant person, it is advisable to avoid Tizanidine unless it is used to save a life. Since it isn’t clear whether Tizanidine excretion is through milk, it is advisable to avoid it during lactation.

Are There any other Warnings for Zanaflex?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Birth control: Women taking birth control pills may need a lower dose of tizanidine to achieve a good effect. Birth control pills prevent tizanidine from leaving the body readily and may cause tizanidine to build up in the body leading to side effects.

Drowsiness/reduced alertness: This medication may cause drowsiness and severe dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform other potentially hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.

Heart rhythm: Tizanidine can cause changes to the normal rhythm of the heart, including an irregular heartbeat called QT prolongation. QT prolongation is a serious life-threatening condition that can cause fainting, seizures, and sudden death. If you are at risk for heart rhythm problems (e.g., people with heart failure, angina, low potassium or magnesium levels), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Kidney function: People with decreased kidney function are more likely to experience side effects at lower doses. If you have kidney disease or decreased kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Liver function: Tizanidine is removed from the body by the liver and may cause liver problems. Decreased liver function or liver disease can cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver disease or decreased liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.

Low blood pressure: Symptoms of severe lowering of blood pressure, such as weakness or dizziness, particularly when rising suddenly from a sitting or lying position, may occur. People who are prone to low blood pressure (e.g., those taking diuretics) should be cautious when using this medication. This effect may happen before the dose of medication is enough to reduce the muscle spasticity. Starting this medication at a very low dose and gradually increasing the daily dose helps to reduce the effect of rapidly dropping blood pressure.

Mental health: Tizanidine can cause hallucinations (e.g., seeing or hearing things that are not really there). People with a history of mental health concerns, such as psychosis or schizophrenia are more likely to experience this effect. If you have a history of mental health issues, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Stopping the medication: Stopping this medication suddenly can cause increased muscle spasms, an increase in blood pressure, or a rapid heart rate. Talk to your doctor before stopping this medication.

Pregnancy: Tizanidine has not been studied for use by pregnant women. In some animal studies, tizanidine caused birth defects and other pregnancy problems. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if tizanidine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using tizanidine has not been established for children less than 18 years of age.

Seniors: Tizanidine is cleared from the body at a slower rate in older adults. This can result in an increase in the number and severity of side effects. The doctor will take this into consideration when determining the dose you should be taking.

Precautions of Zanaflex

It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks of treatment with this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

White Round U 169 - Tizanidine Hydrochloride 4mg Tablet

Do not use this medicine together with ciprofloxacin or fluvoxamine. Using these medicines together may cause serious unwanted effects.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help lessen this problem.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

White Round M 724 - Tizanidine Hydrochloride 4mg Tablet

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, barbiturates, medicine for seizures, other muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using tizanidine.

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This medicine may cause dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, clumsiness or unsteadiness, or vision problems in some people. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert, well-coordinated, and able to see well.

Hallucinations (visual) may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have hallucinations (seeing things that are not there).

White Oval R180 - Tizanidine Hydrochloride 4mg Tablet

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.

White Round E 44 - Tizanidine Hydrochloride 4mg Tablet

Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping completely. This may help prevent a possible worsening of your condition and reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms.

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Tizanidine may cause dryness of the mouth. For temporary relief, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if dry mouth continues for more than 2 weeks, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental disease, including tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.