Flexeril is a skeletal muscle relaxant; its generic name is cyclobenzaprine. It’s typically prescribed for pain relief for acute back or neck pain, or to treat muscle spasms and increase functioning.1 Abuse of Flexeril can require inpatient addiction treatment and therapy at a rehab facility.
Is Flexeril Addictive?
Cyclobenzaprine, just like other muscle relaxants, is a target for diversion and abuse.2 Some people take the drug to enhance the effects of alcohol, other central nervous system depressants and other illicit drugs.3
Research is ongoing to determine if it is addictive, but some DEA reports point in that direction.4
- There were about 12,411 hospital emergency room visits connected with cyclobenzaprine in 2010.
- This was a significant rise of 101% from 6,183 visits in 2004.
In addition, in 2016, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported:4
- 10,615 case mentions as well as 4,444 single exposures connected to cyclobenzaprine
- Of those poison cases, there were 4 deaths.
What is its Medication Classification?
Flexeril is classified as a CNS (central nervous system) muscle relaxant.
Where is Flexeril on the Schedule?
It is not currently a controlled drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Is Flexeril Safe?
It is safe as long as it is taken as directed for short periods of time.
What Are its Street Names?
The street names include:
- Mellow yellow
How is it Used?
The amount of the medication someone takes depends on the drug’s strength and the number of doses prescribed each day. The length of time the drug is taken depends on the medical problem it’s being used to treat.
What are the Short-Term Effects of Flexeril?
The most frequent short-term side effects include:4
- Dry mouth
It’s important to know how your body reacts to the drug before engaging in any activities that could be hazardous, such as driving or using machines.
What are the Long-Term Effects?
If you experience any side effects, contact your doctor right away. The most common long-term effects include:4
- Blurred vision
- Abnormal thinking
Rare side effects include:5
- Trouble speaking
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Urination problems
- Unusual sleepiness
- Ringing or buzzing in the ears
- Skin rash
- Itchy skin
- Unusual thoughts or dreams
- Yellow eyes or skin
Can You Overdose on Flexeril?
It is possible to overdose of Flexeril, making it important to take as directed by a doctor. It’s also not recommended to take the drug if it was prescribed for someone else. In both cases, overdose can occur. Get medical help right away if you experience any of the following overdose signs:5
- Severe drowsiness
- Dry, hot skin / Flushed skin
- Racing heartbeat
- A drop or increase in body temperature
- Breathing problems
- Muscle stiffness
- Severe nervousness/restlessness
- Vomiting with some of the other overdose symptoms
How Do I Stop Using Flexeril?
You may find it difficult to stop taking it, especially if you have been taking it for long periods of time or at higher doses than prescribed. Talk with your doctor or a treatment center about the safest way to stop using Flexeril. Suddenly stopping the medication may cause withdrawal symptoms.
What is Withdrawal Like?
Abruptly stopping Flexeril after taking it for long periods of time can produce nausea, headache and a general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness.4
Treatment Options for Addiction and Abuse
Flexeril addiction treatment depends on each individual’s situation. No single treatment works the same for everyone.
Common treatment options include:
Inpatient treatment includes entering a residential facility where clients live full-time during recovery. The stay can be as short as a few weeks, 30 days, or longer if the case is severe. Residential treatment programs use a combination of approaches such as medical detox, individual counseling, group therapy, and 12-step programs.
Outpatient treatment is another option that offers the same types of therapies as residential rehab. During this type of treatment, clients live at home. Outpatient treatment is a good choice for anyone who wants to attend treatment while continuing to work, attend school, or meet family obligations.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you suspect the presence of a Flexeril use disorder. Recovery is possible.