"Sept. 14, 2011 -- Low doses of the muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine, taken at bedtime, help people with fibromyalgia sleep better and feel less pain, according to a small study.
"Bedtime treatment of fibromyalgia patients with low-dose"...
The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome has been reported with FLEXERIL when used in combination with other drugs, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), tramadol, bupropion, meperidine, verapamil, or MAO inhibitors. The concomitant use of FLEXERIL with MAO inhibitors is contraindicated (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., confusion, agitation, hallucinations), autonomic instability (e.g., diaphoresis, tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular abnormalities (e.g., tremor, ataxia, hyperreflexia, clonus, muscle rigidity), and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Treatment with FLEXERIL and any concomitant serotonergic agents should be discontinued immediately if the above reactions occur and supportive symptomatic treatment should be initiated. If concomitant treatment with FLEXERIL and other serotonergic drugs is clinically warranted, careful observation is advised, particularly during treatment initiation or dose increases (see PRECAUTIONS: DRUG INTERACTIONS).
Cyclobenzaprine is closely related to the tricyclic antidepressants, e.g., amitriptyline and imipramine. In short term studies for indications other than muscle spasm associated with acute musculoskeletal conditions, and usually at doses somewhat greater than those recommended for skeletal muscle spasm, some of the more serious central nervous system reactions noted with the tricyclic antidepressants have occurred (see WARNINGS below, and ADVERSE REACTIONS).
FLEXERIL may enhance the effects of alcohol, barbiturates, and other CNS depressants.
Because of its atropine-like action, FLEXERIL should be used with caution in patients with a history of urinary retention, angle-closure glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, and in patients taking anticholinergic medication.
Impaired Hepatic Function
The plasma concentration of cyclobenzaprine is increased in patients with hepatic impairment (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Pharmacokinetics, Hepatic Impairment). These patients are generally more susceptible to drugs with potentially sedating effects, including cyclobenzaprine. FLEXERIL should be used with caution in subjects with mild hepatic impairment starting with a 5 mg dose and titrating slowly upward. Due to the lack of data in subjects with more severe hepatic insufficiency, the use of FLEXERIL in subjects with moderate to severe impairment is not recommended.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
In rats treated with FLEXERIL for up to 67 weeks at doses of approximately 5 to 40 times the maximum recommended human dose, pale, sometimes enlarged, livers were noted and there was a dose-related hepatocyte vacuolation with lipidosis. In the higher dose groups this microscopic change was seen after 26 weeks and even earlier in rats which died prior to 26 weeks; at lower doses, the change was not seen until after 26 weeks.
Cyclobenzaprine did not affect the onset, incidence or distribution of neoplasia in an 81-week study in the mouse or in a 105-week study in the rat.
At oral doses of up to 10 times the human dose, cyclobenzaprine did not adversely affect the reproductive performance or fertility of male or female rats. Cyclobenzaprine did not demonstrate mutagenic activity in the male mouse at dose levels of up to 20 times the human dose.
Pregnancy Category B
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats, mice and rabbits at doses up to 20 times the human dose, and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to FLEXERIL. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because cyclobenzaprine is closely related to the tricyclic antidepressants, some of which are known to be excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when FLEXERIL is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness of FLEXERIL in pediatric patients below 15 years of age have not been established.
Use in the Elderly
The plasma concentration of cyclobenzaprine is increased in the elderly (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Pharmacokinetics, Elderly). The elderly may also be more at risk for CNS adverse events such as hallucinations and confusion, cardiac events resulting in falls or other sequelae, drug-drug and drug-disease interactions. For these reasons, in the elderly, cyclobenzaprine should be used only if clearly needed. In such patients FLEXERIL should be initiated with a 5 mg dose and titrated slowly upward.
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/29/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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