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What are the Different Cyclobenzaprine Side Effects?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Cyclobenzaprine side effects can involve sleepiness, dry mouth, and stomach pains. More seriously, this muscle relaxant medication can also cause neurological problems like slurred speech, seizures, and regional numbness. People who take high doses are also at risk of cardiac problems including chest pain and tachycardia, where the heart beats too quickly. Patients who start to develop more severe cyclobenzaprine side effects should consult their doctors to discuss whether the dosage should be adjusted or if a different medication should be tried.

This drug makes it more difficult for the muscles to spasm, leading to relief from intense muscle spasms. It can be prescribed in the management of a number of conditions and may be offered off label to people with conditions involving muscle pain for which cyclobenzaprine has not been specifically approved. Chemically, it is related to some antidepressants, and it is important to make sure that monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are completely cleared from the system before taking cyclobenzaprine.

Common cyclobenzaprine side effects include mild dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and diarrhea. Some patients experience nervousness while on the medication. Rarer and more serious issues can include jaundice, fainting, and allergic reactions to the medication, in addition to the cardiac side effects discussed above. Patients may experience a rapid onset of severe cyclobenzaprine side effects in some cases, especially if they accidentally take too much of the medication. This medication can also lead to slower cognition, potentially making it unsafe to drive or operate heavy machinery.

Patients on this medication who need to change the dosage or stop taking it should do so slowly. Sudden changes can lead to dangerous cyclobenzaprine side effects including mood disorders and behavioral outbursts. Withdrawal symptoms for people who abruptly stop taking the medication may include severe nausea and disorientation as the body attempts to adapt to changing concentrations of the medication.

People with a history of heart problems may be at increased risk of dangerous cyclobenzaprine side effects. These patients may want to discuss available alternatives with their doctors before taking this medication, and can also explore the possibility of taking low dosages to reduce the risks of reacting badly. If they do notice changes in the heartbeat, a doctor should be contacted immediately to get treatment and prescribe a more suitable medication for managing muscle spasms. There are other options available and it should be possible to find a safe and effective medication to treat a patient's condition.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
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