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Tizanidine to Manage and Relieve Muscle Spasticity

Tizanidine is an inexpensive medication used as a muscle relaxant to manage and relieve muscle spasticity and increased muscle tone due to multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain, or spinal injury. It belongs to the class of drugs known as alpha 2 adrenoceptor agonist.

What condition does Tizanidine treat?

Tizanidine is a prescription drug prescribed by doctor for the treatment and management of muscle spasticity associated with conditions like:

  • Multiple sclerosis: Is a common disabling disease among young adults. It’s a disease of the spinal cord and the brain that can present with almost anything from simple fatigue to immediate paralysis. The nerves of people with MS do not function properly and may likely experience loss of muscle coordination, vision, speech, and bladder control function. This disease is caused by an overactive immune system turning on the body’s own tissue.
  • Stroke: Are caused by abrupt blockage or bleeding of arteries leading to the brain. Stroke can be fatal. It is a potentially life-changing event that can have lasting emotional and physical effects.
  • Brain and spinal cord injury

How does Tizanidine work?

  • As an alpha-2-adrenoceptor agonist, Tizanidine works as a muscle relaxant by blocking the alpha-2-adrenoceptor in the central nervous system. Alpha-2-adrenoceptor agonist is a class of sympathomimetic agent that selectively stimulates the alpha adrenoceptor. The effects of Tizanidine on the alpha-2adrenoceptor reduces the activity of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control the muscle thus also reducing the contraction and tension in the muscle.
  • This medicine has been used predominantly in the management of spasticity, but it also proved to be useful in treating painful conditions such as headache disorder. It has been found to be effective in the treatment of chronic daily headache.
  • In conditions where there is disturbing and painful muscle spasm, this medicine reduces muscle stiffness to enable patients to undergo rehabilitation to increase their mobility.
  • Tizanidine is found to be more tolerable than diazepam and Baclofen for it causes less muscle weakness and a lower incidence of sedation.

What is the dosage of Tizanidine?

  • Your dose and the duration of treatment depends on your condition, the severity of your condition, and the strength of the medicine.
  • The recommended starting dose in treating muscle spasm among adults is 2mg every 6-8 hours or as needed. Your doctor may increase your dose by 2 to 4mg after 1 to 4 days. The maximum recommended dose is 3 doses within 24 hours. Do not take more than 36mg within 24-hours.

How to take Tizanidine?

  • Take Tizanidine exactly as you are told. You need to take it for the long-term or on a short-term basis. Do not stop taking your medications suddenly as this can cause withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can include a fast heart rate, high blood pressure, or a worsened muscle spasm. If you wish to stop taking your medication, do it slowly. Decrease your dose by 2-4mg per day. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor about this.
  • The onset of action of Tizanidine takes over an hour after administration. The duration of the effect lasts about 3 to 6 hours.
  • If you do not take this medicine at all your muscle spasm may not improve.
  • Taking too much could also lead to overdose with symptoms like extreme tiredness, coma, slowed breathing, very low blood pressure, and decreased heart rate.

What are the precautions in taking Tizanidine?

  • Tizanidine can lower your blood pressure so you must be careful if you are taking a blood lowering medication. This medicine may also cause drowsiness and may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
  • Use this medicine with caution among elderly patients and patients with decreased liver and kidney function. People with a decreased liver functions must regularly check their liver while using Tizanidine. Symptoms that suggest a liver problem include persistent abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
  • Do not use this among patients with severely decreased liver function, people who are taking antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and antidepressant such as fluvoxamine.
  • This medication is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It should only be used unless deemed necessary by your physician. Discuss with your doctor about the risk and benefits you can get out of using this medication.
  • Children and adolescents under 18 years old must not use this drug.
  • Do not drink alcohol while using Tizanidine as this can increase the risk of side effects like dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, very low blood pressure and difficulty concentrating.
  • Do not use this if you are allergic to its active ingredient or any other components present along with it.
  • You must inform your doctor what medicines you are taking including those bought without prescriptions, vitamin, and herbal supplements.
  • Tizanidine may cause unwanted side effects like any other muscle relaxant. Common side effects are nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, difficulty sleeping, skin rash, and itching. There may also be other side effects not listed above.
  • In case of serious side effects like extremely low blood pressure, liver damage, hallucinations, and delusions seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Costs of Generic Tizanidine vs Zanaflex

Tizanidine is an inexpensive generic muscle relaxant used to treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, brain, or spinal cord injury. It is much cheaper compared with the brand name Zanaflex. Tizanidine 6mg cost $1.17 per unit price or $35 for 30 pills. While the brand name Zanaflex cost $172.99 for 30 tabs or $5.76 per unit price.