Cyclobenzaprine, better known as the brand name medication Flexeril, is a muscle relaxant used to treat muscle-related pain such as tenderness and spasms from strains and other types of muscle injuries. Despite being deemed low to no-risk by the DEA (Flexeril is not a controlled substance) cyclobenzaprine abuse is a fairly regular occurrence that is at its most dangerous when it’s combined with other substances be they legal or illicit, depressant or stimulant.
How Does Cyclobenzaprine Work?
Cyclobenzaprine works by blocking the pain signals sent from nerves to the brain (two key components of the central nervous system), rather than impacting the muscles directly. Like any other drug that impacts the CNS, side effects are far-reaching and affect respiratory, cardiovascular, and even gastrointestinal function. Side effects can take place within 20 to 40 minutes of ingestion and last 4-6 hours for immediate-release tablets or up to 24 hours for extended-release tablets.
Pain medication of any kind has a high potential to be habit-forming, but those with long half-lives such as cyclobenzaprine face a significant risk of doing so and causing toxic levels of medication build-up. As a result, this medication is only intended for short-term use or periods for a few weeks at a time.
Can Cyclobenzaprine Get You High?
On its own, cyclobenzaprine has minimal risks or long-term effects. However, it does have sedative properties, and misusing this drug (taking too much, crushing or chewing a capsule rather than swallowing, using it without a prescription) can result in a cyclobenzaprine high.
A cyclobenzaprine high causes feelings of sedation and mild euphoria. Those effects—and its dangers—are heightened when cyclobenzaprine is combined with other drugs, particularly central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, benzos, and barbiturates.
Wherever there are drug highs to be found, there are adverse effects including the risk of overdosing, developing an addiction, and even withdrawal effects. In rare circumstances, cyclobenzaprine can even cause life-threatening complications.
Risks & Drug Interactions
The risk of adverse side effects becomes more serious in instances when cyclobenzaprine was combined with other drugs. When mixed with depressants, it can amplify the effects of those drugs to cause intense and debilitating consequences that affect cognition, consciousness, and basic bodily functions. It also significantly increases the likelihood of a cyclobenzaprine overdose which can result in extreme drowsiness and CNS depression.
However, cyclobenzaprine can also be harmful when combined with stimulants, antidepressants, or even simple over-the-counter migraine medication. The presence of cyclobenzaprine in the body can cause a condition called serotonin syndrome; when there’s too much serotonin being present in the body. These symptoms can take effect within hours of taking a medication, ranging from mild to severe, and yes, can even result in death.
Side Effects of Cyclobenzaprine Abuse
Common Side Effects
- Dry mouth
- Extreme fatigue
- Increased heart rate
Uncommon Side Effects
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Hives or skin rash
- Swelling of tongue or face
Serious Side Effects
- Fast heartbeat
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle stiffness
- Slurred speech
Struggling With Prescription Painkillers?
If you are struggling with prescription painkillers, you’re not alone. These drugs (including opioid analgesics) are the leading cause of addiction and overdose in the nation. Specialized addiction treatment centers can help individuals get through unpleasant withdrawal side effects and safely overcome any compulsive or inappropriate use of pain meds. Call today to learn more.