Tizanidine

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Generic Name: Tizanidine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is tizanidine used for?

Tizanidine is used to treat muscle spasms caused by certain conditions (such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury). It works by helping to relax the muscles.

How should I take tizanidine?

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 6 to 8 hours.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Do not take more than 36 milligrams a day or more than 3 doses in a 24-hour period.

Your body will absorb this medication differently depending on whether you take it as a tablet or capsule, whether you take it with food or on an empty stomach, or if you sprinkle the contents of the capsule on food. Be sure to discuss with your doctor how to take this medication to determine the best way to take your dose, especially when changes to your dose are being considered or if your doctor prescribes a different form of tizanidine (such as tablet or capsule).

This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, tremor, increased blood pressure/heart rate/muscle tenseness) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

How do I store tizanidine?

Tizanidine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store tizanidine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of tizanidine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush tizanidine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using tizanidine?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of tizanidine or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using tizanidine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking tizanidine. Tizanidine is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from tizanidine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • Feeling light-headed, fainting, slow heart rate
  • Hallucinations, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Burning or pain when you urinate

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Feeling anxious or nervous
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle weakness, back pain
  • Increased muscle tone or spasms
  • Sweating or skin rash

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with tizanidine?

Tizanidine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Acyclovir
  • Ticlopidine
  • Zileuton
  • Birth control pills
  • An antibiotic – ciprofloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, or ofloxacin
  • Blood pressure medicine – clonidine, guanfacine, methyldopa
  • Heart rhythm medicine – amiodarone, mexiletine, propafenone, verapamil
  • Stomach acid medicine – cimetidine, famotidine

Does food or alcohol interact with tizanidine?

Tizanidine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with tizanidine?

Tizanidine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Low blood pressure

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using tizanidine.

What is the dose of tizanidine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Muscle Spasm:

The initial dosage of tizanidine recommended for this patient with increased muscle tone associated with spasticity related to multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury is 4 mg orally once a day.

The dose of tizanidine may be repeated as needed at 6 to 8 hour intervals to a maximum dose 3 doses per 24 hours. The dose may be gradually increased (every 4 to 7 days) in increments of 1 to 2 mg until desired response is attained. The manufacturer recommends that total daily dose should not exceed 36 mg. Additionally, the use of single doses greater than 12 mg is not recommended.

Starting at a lower dose and titrating upward minimizes the risk for adverse effects. Experience with single doses greater than 8 mg and total daily dose greater than 24 mg is limited.

Effects appear to be dose related and gradually diminish within 3 to 6 hours after a dose. Use must be individualized and directed at times and activities where benefit is most important.

Usual Geriatric Dose for Muscle Spasm:

In geriatric patients, a starting dose of 2 mg orally once a day may be appropriate.

What is the dose of tizanidine for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is tizanidine available?

Tizanidine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Capsule 2 mg; 4 mg; 6 mg
  • Tablet 4 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of tizanidine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: July 25, 2017 | Last Modified: July 25, 2017

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