Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a CNS (central nervous system) skeletal muscle relaxant prescribed to treat muscle injuries, spasms, pain, and tenderness. When used as specified, Flexeril side effects are typically mild, and there are not likely to be any long-term risks. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) does not classify Flexeril as a controlled substance, although for some, it may have a relatively low potential for abuse and addiction.
Individuals may misuse Flexeril for its mild high effects, characterized by feelings of sedation, relaxation, and well-being. More significantly, Flexeril is often abused in combination with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines.
Flexeril is also sometimes used with amphetamines or street drugs like cocaine to reduce a stimulant’s adverse effects. Although Flexeril is considered safe when used as directed by a licensed health provider, abuse/misuse can have many adverse effects.
Side Effects of Abuse
Many side effects can manifest when abusing Flexeril, some of which may worsen when used in conjunction with alcohol or other intoxicating substances. Potential side effects of Flexeril misuse/abuse include the following:
- Elevated heart rate
- Extreme drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Impaired cognition
- Chemical dependence
The risk of adverse effects related to Flexeril use substantially increased when taken with alcohol because both substances’ effects are intensified. While this may induce a more potent high, it can also be associated with more dangerous side effects, such as the following:
- Impaired motor skills
- Reduced cognitive function
- Impaired memory
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Abnormal behavior
- Increased risk of overdose
Flexeril use can become problematic for some individuals, and there is some evidence that dependence can develop. However, withdrawal symptoms are relatively rare, and when they occur, mild during Flexeril detox compared to drugs with a more significant potential for abuse, such as opioids, alcohol, or benzodiazepines.
That said, withdrawal symptoms can and have occurred on occasion and are typically more intense if Flexeril has been regularly taken in combination with alcohol or other substances. An individual who suddenly stops using Flexeril may experience headaches, nausea, drug cravings, and general malaise (overall discomfort, illness, or unease).
Although relatively rare, it is certainly possible to overdose if an individual uses an excessive amount of Flexeril and combines it with other substances. The most commonly experienced symptoms of Flexeril overdose are extreme drowsiness and an accelerated heartbeat.
Other common overdose effects that may occur, especially when mixed with other intoxicating substances, include the following:
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
- Elevated blood pressure
- Speaking difficulties
- Uncoordinated movements
- Loss of consciousness
Some rare but potentially lethal effects of Flexeril overdose may include the following:
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Chest pain
- Cardiac arrest
- Seizures and death
Although uncommon, an overdose involving Flexeril can occur and is usually the result of the above-mentioned potentially lethal overdose effects.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing overdose symptoms related to Flexeril or other substances, seek professional medical intervention immediately by visiting an emergency room or calling 911.
Flexeril Abuse Treatment
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery centers are highly-specialized addiction treatment facilities that offer services essential for recovery, including behavioral therapy, counseling, peer group support, relapse prevention, mindfulness therapy, aftercare planning, and more. These services are provided to those we treat in both partial-hospitalization and residential formats.
Medical detox is often the first step toward recovery for Flexeril dependence for those at risk of experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Although not everyone who misuses Flexeril will encounter withdrawal symptoms, there are some who benefit from medical detox, especially those who tend to combine Flexeril with other substances.
Behavioral therapy and counseling are essential components of any substance abuse treatment program because they help participants improve their coping skills and learn to manage cravings and relapse triggers. Behavioral therapy also helps individuals identify the underlying factors, motivations, and emotions that contributed to their need to abuse drugs in the first place.
Support groups provide comradeship and the support of others to help people stay focused on sobriety. Peers can share experiences, offer advice, promote accountability, and remind each other of drug use’s unwanted effects.
Aftercare is one of the most vital treatment elements, as many individuals believe that when they complete the initial rehab program, that treatment is over. However, addiction is a long-lasting, relapsing disease. So, to help maintain long-term recovery, addiction specialists must ensure that each person is provided with a comprehensive aftercare plan before they are discharged from rehab.