Mixing Flexeril and Alcohol Side Effects, Interactions and Blackouts
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Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a prescription muscle relaxer. Flexeril was initially approved by the FDA in 1977. Flexeril is intended as a short-term treatment for musculoskeletal pain and spasms. Flexeril is also used as an off-label treatment for symptoms of fibromyalgia. Flexeril blocks nerve impulses -which are pain sensations sent from muscles to the brain. The drug affects the central nervous system in a way that is similar to tricyclic antidepressants.
Certain people shouldn’t use Flexeril, including elderly patients who may be more sensitive to the sedative effects of the drug and individuals who take MAOIs. People with heart issues, such as a previous heart attack, congestive heart failure, blockages or heart rhythm problems, are also advised against taking Flexeril. It’s important that patients let their doctors know if they’re taking any medicines for depression, seizures, allergies, tranquilizers or sleeping pills before using Flexeril.
While the risk is somewhat low, there are anecdotal examples of people recreationally abusing Flexeril. Flexeril can cause some effects similar to narcotics, such as relaxation and drowsiness. In high doses, Flexeril is especially likely to affect neurotransmitters in the brain -causing both mental and physical impairment. Dependence is also possible with Flexeril. Dependence means that when someone uses Flexeril for a period and then stops, they may go through withdrawal. Flexeril isn’t usually prescribed for more than ten days. After the first few days, the therapeutic effects peak. After around ten days, there is little therapeutic value associated with the use of Flexeril.
People mix Flexeril with alcohol for several reasons. They could do it accidentally when using the medication as prescribed. Conversely, some people intentionally mix Flexeril with other substances in order to enhance the effects of both substances and feel intoxicated. Combining Flexeril with alcohol can be dangerous or deadly. Both alcohol and Flexeril depress the central nervous system and, when mixed, result in impairment. People who mix the two substances may slur their speech, have problems with walking or coordination or be more likely to have an accident. Mixing alcohol and Flexeril can also make someone extremely drowsy.
On its own, the risk of overdosing on Flexeril is low. However, when Flexeril is used with alcohol that risk goes up quite a bit. Two central nervous system depressants taken together can cause fatal respiratory depression. Another possibility is unconsciousness or coma. These risks are possible when Flexeril is mixed with central nervous system depressants like opioids and benzodiazepines as well. Blackouts and memory loss are more likely to occur when someone mixes alcohol with Flexeril.
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Some of the signs and side effects of mixing alcohol and Flexeril are extreme intoxication, sedation, blackouts and fatal respiratory depression. When multiple substances are used together, there is an increased risk of addiction and dependence as well. While Flexeril, on its own, has a relatively low risk of addiction, the risk is much higher when it’s mixed with alcohol. In addition to psychological addiction, if someone is dependent on both alcohol and Flexeril and they try to stop using the two substances, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal, on its own, can be severe or deadly. It can be even more difficult to manage when someone is going through withdrawal from Flexeril at the same time. It’s never safe to combine two central nervous system depressants like alcohol and Flexeril.
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