Tizanidine is an antispasmodic drug in the class of medications called skeletal muscle relaxants. It is primarily prescribed to treat a person with Multiple Sclerosis.
Tizanidine is a short-acting muscle relaxant that works by slowing action in the brain and nervous system to allow the muscles to relax.
Why Is Tizanidine Prescribed?
Tizanidine is a prescription medication primarily used to relieve symptoms of muscular spasms and increased muscular tone caused by the disease Multiple Sclerosis also known as MS for short. MS is a disease which causes a person to experience weakness and loss of muscle coordination as well as problems with vision, bladder control and speech. This happens because the person's nerves no longer function properly. Tizanidine may also be prescribed for a person who has had a stroke, brain or a spinal injury and experience symptoms similar to that of MS. Tizanidine may also be prescribed as an off-label treatment for migraine headaches, and as a sleep aid, or as an anticonvulsant. In rare cases it may also prescribed for some symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
Statistics Relating To Tizanidine
Tizanidine comes in capsule form and is usually prescribed to be taken orally 3 to 4 times a day. Tizanidine belongs to a group of medications known as alpha-2 adrenergic agonists. It binds to and stimulates alpha-2 receptors; this is an action that inhibits motor neurons. Tizanidine works centrally (in the spinal cord or brain), and not directly on the muscles. Tizanidine is a short-acting medication that should be taken only for daily activities that require relief from muscle spasticity. Tizanidine may cause drowsiness in the people who use it. It also tends to reduce blood pressure in many people, which leads to dizziness and light-headedness.
Tizanidine may cause severe withdrawal symptoms especially if it has been used regularly over a long period of time or in high doses. These withdrawal symptoms may include muscle tenseness, anxiety, tremors, increased blood pressure and heart rate. Usually this will occur if you abruptly stop using this medication. Many people find that the withdrawal is too severe and will continue use of this medication even if their doctor believes they don't need it anymore. Thus this medication does have a high potential for addiction and abuse.
How Is Tizanidine Abused?
Tizanidine may be abused in many ways because of its muscle relaxant effects. A person who was legitimately prescribed Tizanidine may develop a psychological or physical dependence to this drug. They also may develop a tolerance to this drug and will need to take more of it in order to achieve the general effect of this drug.
Persons who have been taking Tizanidine in large doses over a long period of time will experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop using this medication. Because of the extreme withdrawal symptoms, they will want to continue using this drug even if the prescribing doctor finds it unnecessary. This is when Tizanidine is most commonly misused. Alternately a person who was never prescribed Tizanidine may get it from a friend or family member, take it, and enjoy the general feeling of relaxation and well-being it gives them. They may become addicted to this drug and use it to get high. These abusers will tend to go "doctor shopping" and fake symptoms in order to get a prescription for this drug.
The use of Tizanidine may cause certain side effects. These less serious side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue or weakness and constipation. Some much more serious side effects may include fainting, mental/mood changes including hallucinations, frequent/burning urination, hearing loss or blurred vision. If these are experienced a doctor should be notified immediately.
Rarely Tizanidine has caused black stools and a slow or irregular heartbeat. Tizanidine may also cause a very serious and possibly fatal liver disease. The use of Tizanadine should be closely monitored by a medical physician to decrease the chances for liver disease.
Tizanidine Addiction Treatment Options
Primarily a person who abuses Tizanidine may want to seek treatment at a rehabilitation facility. The doctors on staff will be able to provide a safe and healthy detoxification for the patient with 24 hour medial supervision.
The withdrawal symptoms may be severe and a doctor may choose to prescribe alternative medications to help wean a person off of this drug. The patient may also need psychological therapy and counseling which can be provided in a one on one or group setting at a behavioral health center.