Tizanidine Hydrochloride is used as a muscle relaxant in conditions such as multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. This is a type of medicine called alpha-2 adrenoreceptor agonist. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.
Multiple sclerosis is a disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. The immune system attacks the protective health that covers nerve fibers. It causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves. Signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage. Some people with severe multiple sclerosis may lose the ability to walk independently. Multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms may differ greatly from person to person and throughout the disease depending on the location of affected nerve fibers. Symptoms often affect movement, such as:
- Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain neck movements, especially bending the neck forward
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs that typically occurs on one side of your body at a time or your legs and trunk
- Lack of coordination or unsteady gait
Vision problems are also common, including:
- Prolonged double vision
- Partial or complete loss of vision usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement
- Blurry vision
Multiple sclerosis symptoms may also include:
- Slurred speech
- Problems with sexual, bowel and bladder function
- Tingling or pain in parts of your body
Spinal cord injury often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions below the site of the injury. Your ability to control your limbs after a spinal cord injury depends on two factors: the place of the injury along your spinal cord and the severity of injury to the spinal cord. The lowest normal part of your spinal cord is referred to as the neurological level of your injury.
Spinal cord injuries of any kind may result in one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
- Loss or altered sensation including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch
- Loss of movement
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility
- Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
- Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
- Difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs
How does Tizanidine Hydrochloride work for multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury?
Tizanidine Hydrochloride works by blocking the alpha-2 adrenoreceptor in the central nervous system which is the spinal cord and brain. The effect of this is to damp down the nerve signals that are carried in the spinal cord to the muscles. This lessens the contraction and tension in the muscles.
In conditions where it is painful or disabling muscle spasm, Tizanidine Hydrochloride can help to decrease stiffness. It will also enable people to undergo rehabilitation that increases their mobility.
How to use Tizanidine Hydrochloride?
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. This medication is taken by mouth usually every 6 to 8 hours or as directed by your doctor.
To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow the instructions of your doctor carefully. Do not take more than 36 milligrams a day or more than 3 doses in 24 hours. Your body will absorb this medication differently depending on whether you take it with food or on an empty stomach. Be sure to discuss with your doctor how to take this medication to determine the best way to take your dose.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms. To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used Tizanidine Hydrochloride for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor right away if you have withdrawal. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
What are the side effects of Tizanidine Hydrochloride?
Common side effects:
- Stomach pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Dry mouth
- Back pain
- Muscle weakness
- Increased muscle tone or spasms
- Skin rash
Call your doctor right away if you have:
- Weak or shallow breathing
- A light-headed feeling like you might pass out
- Pain or burning when you urinate
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Inform your doctor if you have any allergies or if you are allergic to this drug.
- Before using this medicine, let your doctor know if you are taking any medications including vitamins, herbal/food supplements.
- This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use any machinery, or do any activity that needs your alertness until you know how this affects you.
- Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug. These effects can increase the risk of falling.
- Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- This medicine should be used with caution during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
- Tizanidine Hydrochloride should be used with caution in people with decreased kidney function.
- Your liver should be monitored while you are taking this medicine. Symptoms may suggest liver problems including persistent nausea and vomiting, the development of jaundice, or abdominal pain. Consult your doctor right away if you have any of these.
- This should not be used by people who are taking antidepressants or antibiotics.
- This is also not recommended for use in children and adolescents under 18 years of age.