Zanaflex is the brand name for a medication called Tizanidine. The primary purpose for this medication is to relieve increased muscle tone and spasms that are associated with MS, a disease known as Multiple Sclerosis that causes the nerves to function improperly. Zanaflex is available in a tablet form as well as a capsule form, and both are designed to be taken orally.
Rather than being taken as symptoms present, this medication is designed to be taken on a consistent schedule between two and three times daily with or without food. It is important to follow the prescription label carefully when using Zanaflex, and patients taking it should talk to a physician or pharmacist if they have any questions to make sure that this medication is being taken exactly as it is directed.
Zanaflex falls into a category or class of drugs that is known as skeletal muscle relaxants. Its primary mechanism is to slow the actions of the nervous system and the brain in order to allow muscles in the body to relax more easily. Zanaflex is an agonist that reduces spasticity primarily by increasing the presynaptic inhibition in the motor neurons.
Why is Zanaflex Prescribed?
Zanaflex is primarily a medication that is used for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. When someone has Multiple Sclerosis, the nerves in their body are not properly functioning. Someone with this condition may experience numbness, weakness, loss of coordination in the muscles and problems relating to bladder control, vision and speech. Zanaflex is also often prescribed in the treatment of people who have experienced a brain injury, a spinal injury or a stroke. This medication is not designed to reverse the conditions it is used to treat, but rather its primary mechanism for use allows it to calm and relax the muscles in conditions where muscles or nerves are not functioning properly.
Statistics Relating to Zanaflex
Zanaflex or Tizanidine is not a commonly abused drug. It has no real street uses and is not typically abused by individuals that do not have a medical need for the drug. The most common type of addiction to Zanaflex is experienced by people that develop a physical dependency for the drug after using it for a lengthy period of time.
How is Zanaflex Abused?
For all intents and purposes, Zanaflex is a muscle relaxant drug, though it works in a way that is distinct to other muscle relaxant medications on the market. As such, its primary use is for people that have specific injuries, a history of strokes or who are suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Zanaflex abuse is most commonly carried out by people that have these conditions, but who are using the drug in a manner that is contraindicated, such as by taking more than they are meant to, or taking the medication more often than recommended by a physician.
Because it comes in a tablet form, some Zanaflex abuse entails crushing the tablet into a fine powder and snorting it through the nose, or dissolving it in water and injecting it intravenously. When people engage in this type of Zanaflex abuse, the reason is typically to feel the desired result more quickly than if they were to take the medication as prescribed.
The way that Zanaflex works is by relaxing muscles, and it accomplishes this by slowing the actions in the nervous system and the brain that control these muscles. There are a number of side effects that may result from the use of this medication, including weakness, drowsiness and dizziness which can result from the medication's primary actions within the body. If muscle spasms increase or you feel tingly, are sweating more than usual or feel nervous then you should talk to your physician, especially if the symptoms persist.
Zanaflex Abuse Treatment Options
Addiction to or abuse of Zanaflex is a serious problem that will only worsen with time as a physical dependency is formed on the medication. There are two aspects of treatment when it comes to Zanaflex abuse. The first is to handle the physical aspect of the addiction or abuse, weaning the patient off of the drug slowly and carefully to prevent withdrawal symptoms from occurring.
Once the drug is no longer in the system, cognitive behavioral therapy and behavior training must take place to tackle the emotional and psychological aspects of the addiction. The best way to treat a problem with Zanaflex is to commit oneself to the care of a drug rehabilitation center where they have the staff and the tools to eradicate the addiction once and for all.