Tizanidine Hydrochloride

Where it is used and how does it work?

Tizanidine Hydrochloride is used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. This is a type of medicine known as an alpha-2-adrenoceptor agonist. This works by blocking the alpha-2-adrenoceptor in the central nervous system. The effect of this is to damp down the nerve signal that is carried in the spinal cord to the muscles. This decreases the contraction and tension in the muscle. In a condition where there is a painful or disabling muscle spasm, Tizanidine Hydrochloride can help to reduce stiffness and enable people to undergo rehabilitation that increases their mobility. 

Multiple sclerosis is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. In this condition, the immune system attacks the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers. It also causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, multiple sclerosis 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 and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe multiple sclerosis may lose the ability to walk independently. Multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms may differ 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
  • Weakness or numbness in one or more limbs that typically occurs on one side of your body at a time
  • Tremor, lack of coordination, or unsteady gait

Vision problems are also common, including:

  • Prolonged double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Partial or complete loss of vision usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement

Multiple sclerosis symptoms may also include:

  • Fatigue
  • Slurred speech
  • Tingling or pain in parts of your body
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with sexual, bowel, and bladder function

Multiple sclerosis is considered an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its tissues. This immune system malfunction destroys the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin can be compared to the insulation coating on electrical wires. When the protective myelin is damaged and nerve fiber is exposed, the messages that travel along that nerve may be slowed or blocked. The nerve may also become damaged.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. Tizanidine Hydrochloride is supplied as a capsule for oral use. Each capsule is available in the dosage form of 4 mg. 

How to take the medication?

Tizanidine Hydrochloride is to be taken by mouth with a full glass of water. It is taken usually every 6 to 8 hours. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. To decrease your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase it. Do not take more than 36 milligrams a day or more than 3 doses in 24 hours.

Your body will absorb this drug differently whether you take it with or without food. Be sure to discuss with your doctor how to take this medication to determine the best way to take your dose especially when changes to your dose are being considered.  

Swallow the tablet as a whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the products you use. The continuous taking of this medication exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor is very important. Do not increase your dose, take this drug more often than prescribed, or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Changing or skipping your dosage without approval from your doctor might treat the condition harder or let side effects get worse. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.

Common and Serious Side Effects

  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash
  • Sweating
  • Increased muscle tone or spasms
  • Back pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation 
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Numbness or tingling 
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiousness
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble speaking
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat 
  • Flu-like symptoms 

Call your doctor right away if you have these side effects:

  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • A light-headed feeling like you might pass out
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Pain or burning when you urinate 

Call for medical help right away if you experience signs of an allergic reaction including:

  • Hives 
  • Difficulty or trouble breathing 
  • Swelling in your lips, throat, face, or mouth 

Things to Remember

  • Tizanidine Hydrochloride should be used with caution in people with decreased kidney function and elderly people. 
  • This is not recommended for use in people with severely decreased liver function and people taking antidepressants or antibiotics. 
  • If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding women consult your doctor first before taking this medication. Certain medicines should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other medicines may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweighs the risks to the unborn baby.
  • Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to this drug. Tell as well if you have any allergies. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. 
  • This medicine causes muscle weakness, drowsiness, and impairs alertness and concentration. These effects may continue into the following day and may get worse by drinking alcohol. If you are affected you should avoid possibly hazardous tasks such as operating machinery or driving. 
  • Your skin may be more sensitive to sunlight. For this reason, you must avoid exposing your skin to sunlight during treatment. If you will be going outside, you should cover exposed areas of skin with clothing or use sunscreen with a high protection factor.