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Robaxin vs. Zanaflex

Reviewed on 4/11/2019

Are Robaxin and Zanaflex the Same Thing?

Robaxin (methocarbamol) and Zanaflex (tizanidine hydrochloride) are muscle relaxants used in slightly different ways.

Robaxin used together with rest and physical therapy to treat skeletal muscle conditions such as pain or injury.

Zanaflex is used to treat muscle tightness and cramping (spasm) caused by conditions such as multiple sclerosis or spinal injury.

Side effects of Robaxin and Zanaflex that are similar include vomiting, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, or skin rash.

Side effects of Robaxin that are different from Zanaflex include stomach upset, nausea, flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling), headache, confusion, memory problems, loss of balance or coordination, blurred vision, double vision, eye redness, lightheadedness, spinning sensation, sleep problems (insomnia), stuffy nose, or itching.

Side effects of Zanaflex that are different from Robaxin include anxiousness, nervousness, numbness or tingling, stomach pain, diarrhea, fever, dry mouth, muscle weakness, back pain, increased muscle tone or spasms, sweating, and fatigue.

Both Robaxin and Zanaflex may interact with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing (sleeping pills, narcotics, prescription cough medicines, muscle relaxers, or medicines for anxiety, depression, or seizures).

Robaxin may also interact with pyridostigmine, donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, or tacrine.

Zanaflex may also interact with acyclovir, cimetidine, amotidine, ticlopidine, zileuton, birth control pills, antibiotics, blood pressure medications, or heart rhythm medications.

If you stop using Zanaflex suddenly after long-term use, you may have withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, fast heartbeats, tremors, and anxiety.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Robaxin?

Common side effects of Robaxin include:

  • stomach upset,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling),
  • constipation,
  • headache,
  • confusion,
  • memory problems,
  • loss of balance or coordination,
  • blurred vision,
  • double vision,
  • eye redness,
  • lightheadedness,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • drowsiness,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • stuffy nose,
  • itching, or
  • rash, especially during the first few days as your body adjusts to this medication.

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Robaxin including:

  • fever,
  • chills,
  • flu symptoms,
  • slow heart rate,
  • feeling like you might pass out,
  • seizures (convulsions), or
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zanaflex?

Common side effects of Zanaflex include:

  • anxiousness,
  • nervousness,
  • numbness or tingling,
  • stomach pain,
  • diarrhea,
  • constipation,
  • vomiting,
  • fever,
  • dry mouth,
  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • muscle weakness,
  • back pain,
  • increased muscle tone or spasms,
  • sweating,
  • skin rash, and
  • fatigue.

What Is Robaxin?

Robaxin (methocarbamol) is a muscle relaxant used together with rest and physical therapy to treat skeletal muscle conditions such as pain or injury.

What Is Zanaflex?

Zanaflex is used to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis or spinal injury.

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What Drugs Interact With Robaxin?

Patients should be cautioned that Robaxin may cause drowsiness or dizziness, which may impair their ability to operate motor vehicles or machinery.

Because Robaxin may possess a general CNS-depressant effect, patients should be cautioned about combined effects with alcohol and other CNS depressants.

What Drugs Interact With Zanaflex?

Zanaflex may interact with alcohol. Zanaflex may also interact with different drugs including acyclovir, cimetidine, amotidine, ticlopidine, zileuton, birth control pills, antibiotics, blood pressure medications, or heart rhythm medications.

How Should Robaxin Be Taken?

The recommended starting dose of Robaxin is six grams a day for the first 48 to 72 hours of treatment. Thereafter, the dosage can usually be reduced to approximately 4 grams a day. Robaxin may interact with pyridostigmine, donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, or tacrine. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you use. Robaxin should be used during pregnancy only when prescribed. It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

How Should Zanaflex Be Taken?

Zanaflex should be taken exactly as prescribed (consistently either with or without food) and not to switch between tablets and capsules. Inform patients that they should not take more Zanaflex than prescribed because of the risk of adverse events at single doses greater than 8 mg or total daily doses greater than 36 mg. Tell patients that they should not suddenly discontinue Zanaflex, because rebound hypertension and tachycardia may occur.

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Drug information found in the drug comparisons published on RxList.com is primarily sourced from the FDA drug information. The drug comparison information found in this article does not contain any data from clinical trials with human participants or animals performed by any of the drug manufacturers comparing the drugs.

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References
SOURCE:

Zoetis. Robaxin Product Information.

https://www.zoetisus.com/_locale-assets/mcm-portal-assets/msds_pi/pi/robaxin-v_injectable.pdf

FDA. Zanaflex Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2013/021447s011_020397s026lbl.pdf
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