Flexeril is used for treating adults and adolescents (age 15 and older) who have muscle spasms due to injuries, overuse, or similar problems. This prescription muscle relaxant can help relieve pain, tenderness, and stiffness due to muscle spasms. However, Flexeril is not helpful for muscle spasms that are due to problems in the brain or spinal cord (such as cerebral palsy). Some off-label Flexeril uses include treating pain associated with fibromyalgia and helping people sleep.
What Is Flexeril Used For?Flexeril® (cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used to treat muscle spasms. As a muscle relaxant, Flexeril can help relieve pain, tenderness, and stiffness due to muscle spasms.
A muscle spasm is an uncontrollable contraction of a muscle. Muscle spasms can cause pain, tenderness, and stiffness. Sometimes muscles spasms in the neck can cause headaches. Muscle spasms are a frequent cause of back pain.
Most often, muscle spasms are caused by injury, overuse, or similar problems (like sleeping in a strange position). Flexeril usually works quite well for these types of muscle spasms. However, some people have muscle spasms due to problems in the brain or spinal cord, such as with cerebral palsy or spinal cord injury. Flexeril is not usually very effective for these types of muscle spasms.
Flexeril is intended to be used for only two or three weeks at a time. This should be enough time to allow any muscle injury or damage to heal. If you feel that the problem has not improved after two or three weeks, check with your healthcare provider. You may have an ongoing problem that needs to be treated differently.
How Does Flexeril Work?It is not clear as to how exactly Flexeril works to relieve muscle spasms. However, it is known that it mostly works in the brain stem, not in the spinal cord and not directly on the muscles. Flexeril only works to relieve muscle spasms caused by problems in the muscles; it does not help with muscle spasms caused by problems in the brain or spinal cord.