Flexeril is a brand-name prescription medication. The generic name of the drug is cyclobenzaprine. Flexeril is prescribed as a short-term muscle relaxer. In some cases, Flexeril is also prescribed off-label to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia. Typically, Flexeril is given to patients to treat muscle spasms related to painful musculoskeletal conditions. For the first two weeks that a person uses Flexeril, it tends to be effective at relieving pain. Peak therapeutic effects occur within the first few days. After two weeks, the effects of Flexeril tend to subside altogether.
Flexeril isn’t prescribed for more than ten days, in most cases. Patients are advised not to take the drug with MAOIs or if they have a history of heart-related issues, such as problems with heart rhythm or congestive heart failure. Flexeril shouldn’t be prescribed to people who are aged 65 years and older, according to guidelines. When older patients take Flexeril, the side effects can be more severe. People with liver failure or hepatic impairment also tend to be more sensitive to the effects of drugs with sedative side effects.
Flexeril was approved by the FDA in 1977 as a short-term treatment for muscle spasms. According to prescribing guidelines, Flexeril should be used along with rest and physical therapy. In order to use Flexeril, someone has to have a prescription. Any situation in which a person is using Flexeril outside of prescribing instructions or without a prescription is considered to be indicative of abuse. According to the DEA, Flexeril isn’t habit-forming. However, there are some anecdotal reports of Flexeril abuse. Most Flexeril abuse occurs when it’s combined with other central nervous system depressants in order to heighten the effects.
Flexeril affects the central nervous system, targeting the brain stem. When someone uses Flexeril, it can change the way pain signals are sent. In doing so, the drug can also cause drowsiness. In higher doses, Flexeril may cause a sensation of relaxation, which makes it a potential drug of abuse. In some cases when people take very high doses of Flexeril, it can cause physical and cognitive impairment. There have been reports of people suffering ataxia when taking the drug in extremely high doses. Ataxia is a neurological condition in which someone no longer has control of their muscle movements. Common side effects of Flexeril include dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth and drowsiness.
The half-life of Flexeril is, on average, 18 hours. Based on that, Flexeril should leave the system just over four days after the last dose is taken. However, these are averages and the half-life range can be anywhere from 8 to 37 hours. These numbers don’t indicate the full elimination time for Flexeril. Rather, they indicate how long it takes half-dose of the drug to leave the system. If the half-life of Flexeril is eight hours, it will take just under two days for the body to fully eliminate the drug. With a half-life of 37 hours, it would take around 8 ½ days for Flexeril to be fully eliminated. For most people, it takes between four and five days to fully eliminate the drug.
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As with other drugs, there are individual factors that play a role in how long Flexeril stays in the system. Age, body weight and hepatic function are three primary factors that affect how long Flexeril stays in the body. If someone is older or has impaired hepatic function, it’s going to be harder for their body to eliminate Flexeril. Metabolic rates are relevant as well. People with faster metabolisms usually eliminate drugs more quickly, as do larger people with higher body weights. The amount of Flexeril someone uses can determine how long it takes them to eliminate it. People who use large amounts of the drug or use Flexeril frequently will eliminate it more slowly in most cases because it accumulates in their bodies.
Different drug tests can be used to determine if people have recently used substances like Flexeril. However, Flexeril isn’t going to show up on a standard drug testing panel. The drug test would have to specifically test for the presence of Flexeril. The drug may be detectable in urine anywhere from 5 to 13 days after someone takes Flexeril. In blood, Flexeril may be detectable from 2 to 4 hours after someone uses it, and for up to 10 days. Flexeril may show up in a hair-based drug test for up to three days after someone uses it.
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