Cyclobenzaprine, commonly known as Flexeril, is a prescription muscle relaxer that shares similar qualities with tricyclic antidepressants, which are used to treat depression, anxiety, and pain.
In addition to helping anxiety symptoms, cyclobenzaprine is also commonly prescribed to alleviate mild pain and discomfort that results from muscle injuries and is often used alongside physical therapy. This medication specifically targets pain caused by muscle spasms and sprains. While this medication helps treat ailments like mild pain, the cyclobenzaprine abuse potential is high. Our drug and alcohol treatment center in Palm Beach knows that cyclobenzaprine is addictive and can lead to a drug use disorder as well as numerous adverse side effects when abused or misused.
What Does Cyclobenzaprine Do?
As a muscle relaxant, cyclobenzaprine works by blocking nerve impulses from sending sensations of pain to the brain. It’s most often used to treat muscle spasms that cause pain and discomfort as well as minor injuries. When treating pain, Flexeril is often used alongside physical therapy and consistent rest to promote healing. Cyclobenzaprine is also used to treat patients with fibromyalgia.
Cyclobenzaprine alleviates skeletal muscle spasms without interfering with muscle function. According to preclinical research, cyclobenzaprine reduces skeletal muscle hyperactivity by acting primarily in the central nervous system. Additionally, the drug has an impact on tonic somatic motor activity (tonic meaning a state of continuous activity).
However, unlike benzodiazepines, cyclobenzaprine stimulates the release of the chemical norepinephrine, which is also known as noradrenaline. This is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone that plays a crucial role in the body’s fight-or-flight response.
Is Cyclobenzaprine Addictive?
In addition to alleviating pain, cyclobenzaprine can also improve sleep, improve motor skills, and boost energy levels in people who are suffering from severe muscle pain. These are largely the reasons why you can get addicted to cyclobenzaprine. Pain is difficult to live with every day, so it’s no surprise that people may become addicted to cyclobenzaprine because of its effects.
In addition to misusing cyclobenzaprine as an emotional crutch for coping with discomfort, long-term misuse also leads to chemical changes in the brain. These changes also contribute to a physical dependence on the drug.
What Are the Side Effects of Cyclobenzaprine?
Unfortunately, like many other medications, Flexeril can also produce a variety of negative side effects that can be dangerous and just as uncomfortable as the person’s original pain.
Common cyclobenzaprine side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constipation and other digestive issues
- Stomach pain
- Acid reflux
- Dry mouth
- Vision problems
- Problems urinating
Another life-threatening symptom of cyclobenzaprine dependence is an overdose. A drug overdose occurs when a person ingests more of a substance than the body can process at that moment. When the body senses that it’s been poisoned, in a way, it begins to shut down. While cyclobenzaprine doesn’t produce the typical feelings of euphoria that people often become addicted to, people will abuse it for its relaxing side effects.
The more of it a person takes, the more relaxed they’ll feel. Overdosing on Flexeril can cause heart failure, heart attack, low blood pressure, and seizures. The risk of overdose increases exponentially when combined with other substances like alcohol and benzodiazepines.
An addiction is a chronic disease that takes over the mind and body. It often requires professional and consistent treatment to help an addict fully recover from the physical and mental dependence they’ve developed. At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we offer a medically monitored detox that serves as the first step in many patients’ addiction treatment plans. A medically assisted detox is a safe and effective way to treat the withdrawal symptoms of a cyclobenzaprine addiction.
Signs of Cyclobenzaprine Addiction
While many people don’t identify Flexeril as an addictive substance, its relaxing side effects often lead to misuse, which can result in dependency. A person may abuse cyclobenzaprine to feel relaxed or sedated. Because it works by targeting the central nervous system, cyclobenzaprine can alter brain activity. A person taking cyclobenzaprine for pain can become accustomed to having it in their system if they begin to take a higher dose than prescribed or begin to take it more frequently than directed.
Even so, cyclobenzaprine is not addictive in the same way that opioids are. While opioids produce a high that can lead to euphoria and make permanent changes to brain chemistry, cyclobenzaprine is addictive in a different way. Not only may patients who are accustomed to its effects become emotionally dependent on it to feel comfortable, but they may also continue to take the medication simply to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Signs of Flexeril addiction and abuse to look out for include:
- Taking cyclobenzaprine when they no longer need to or when the injury is healed
- Developed tolerance, needing more of the drug to experience the same side effects
- Spending most of their day thinking about how they’re going to get cyclobenzaprine and when they’ll have the chance to take it next
- Lying about feeling symptoms to get a new prescription
- Lying about losing prescriptions to get more
- Sudden changes in mood or behavior
- Sudden changes in appearance and hygiene
Combining Flexeril with alcohol and other drugs is also a common indicator of cyclobenzaprine addiction. This is an extremely dangerous and often life-threatening habit. At our Lake Worth drug rehab in Florida, we offer a residential addiction treatment that focuses on helping patients recover from their addictions under the 24-hour care of our team.
Street Names for Cyclobenzaprine
Cyclobenzaprine abuse can also be identified by recognizing the slang terms for cyclobenzaprine. Some common street names for Flexeril include:
- Mellow Yellow
- Whitney Houston
Addiction can destroy anyone’s life. If you or a loved one is battling this disease, get help now. Our dedicated team of professionals helps each patient recover from their addiction and learn how to properly navigate their emotions in recovery. Call Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches today at 561-220-3981 or give us your contact information to learn more about our addiction treatment in Lake Worth.