Cyclobenzaprine is a short-term treatment for muscle spasms, and is often used in combination with rest and physical therapy. It works by helping to relax the muscles, but not by acting directly on them. Instead, it affects the central nervous system, particularly the brain stem, to reduce spasms. The recommended dose of Flexeril is 5 mg three times a day, but this can be increased to 10 mg three times a day depending on the patient's response.
It is not recommended for use for more than two or three weeks. Cyclobenzaprine is most effective in cases of acute musculoskeletal pain and muscle spasms. It can also be used occasionally for chronic pain, although it is less suitable for this purpose. It can help relieve lower back and neck pain, and those suffering from fibromyalgia may find that it relaxes sore muscles and helps improve their sleep.
In short-term studies for indications other than muscle spasm associated with acute musculoskeletal conditions, and generally at doses slightly higher than those recommended for skeletal muscle spasm, some of the more serious central nervous system reactions seen with tricyclic antidepressants have been reported (see WARNINGS, below, and ADVERSE REACTIONS). Cyclobenzaprine HCl relieves locally occurring skeletal muscle spasms without interfering with muscle function. Cyclobenzaprine is used with rest, physical therapy, and other measures to relax muscles and relieve pain and discomfort caused by strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries.