Like many prescription medications, tizanidine can be addictive. Some people deliberately misuse the medication, while others may develop an addiction over time. Tizanidine is an FDA-approved medicine for the management of spasticity caused by:
- An acquired brain injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury
It is also used in the management of pain associated with:
- Lumbosacral neuralgia and chronic neck issues
- Musculoskeletal pain syndrome
- Migraine headaches
Tizanidine abuse is possible due to its fast action on pain. A study to compare the muscle strength of Tizanidine and other approved skeletal muscle relaxants showed that there was increased improvement with Tizanidine.
What Is Tizanidine?
It is an antispasmodic prescription drug that is taken orally at specified intervals of time to treat symptoms related to multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal and brain injury. In simple terms, Tizanidine is a sharp pain-relief medicine that is acquired only with a doctor’s prescription.
Is Tizanidine a narcotic? No. Just because Tizanidine is sometimes abused doesn’t qualify it as a narcotic. Narcotics are substances traditionally used to ease pain by binding to pain receptors in the nervous system, whereas Tizanidine is a muscle relaxer. While Tizanidine muscle relaxers may help reduce pain, they do so in a different way than narcotics. Tizanidine is a muscle relaxer and blocks pain around the skeletal muscle areas. It is an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist that treats:
- Tightness of muscles
Symptoms that may warrant Tizanidine use may be the result of:
- Injury to the spine or central nervous system
- Spastic diplegia
- Back pain
- Multiple sclerosis
What Is Tizanidine Used For?
Spasm and muscle tone are common in people who have experienced a stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain or spinal injury. Since the body functions abnormally during contraction and muscle tone, Tizanidine is used to slow down the brain and nervous system action so that the muscles can relax.
You might have seen people taking Tizanidine for other medical conditions and wondered what is Tizanidine used for? Tizanidine can be used to treat several medical conditions, including:
- Spinal cord or acquired brain injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
- Regional musculoskeletal pain syndrome
- Chronic neck and lumbosacral neuralgia
Other uses for Tizanidine include treatment for:
- Migraine headaches
Tizanidine can also be used as part of a detoxification regimen in rebound headaches caused by analgesic withdrawal.
Is Tizanidine Addictive?
Though Tizanidine isn’t a narcotic, it can be addictive. You can’t get self-prescribe or over-the-counter Tizanidine due to its addictive nature. Instead, it is available with a doctor’s prescription. All medical instructions should be followed closely. Most medicines that act on the central nervous system (brain) have withdrawal effects when stopped immediately.
When a person is under this type of medication, the doctor will gradually reduce the dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms may include:
Tizanidine withdrawal can be managed by restarting and gradually reducing the dosage until the cessation of the medication.
You might be wondering how Tizanidine is addictive. When Tizanidine is taken more than 35 mg within 24 hours for more than two weeks, you risk the chance of being addicted to it. High doses of Tizanidine range from 20 mg to 36 mg daily.
If you are taking Tizanidine in high doses for more than nine weeks, it is advisable not to stop without professional help due to:
- Rebound hypertension
- Increased spasticity
Tizanidine recreational use is rising by the day, and most people combine it with other narcotics to achieve the feeling of a Tizanidine high. The high feeling usually lasts for a shorter time, and this may lead to a person taking more doses to stay high.
Tizanidine Street Names, Common Misspellings, and Generics
Although Tizanidine is a prescription medication, it may be sold illegally and be known by a variety of street names. Although Tizanidine is a generic medication itself, it may be known by other brand names.
Tizanidine brand names include:
- Relentus(Beximco Pharma)
Tizanidine is sometimes misspelled deliberately or unknowingly. Sometimes people misspell it to hide the fact they are using the medicine incorrectly or illicitly. Common misspellings or variants include:
Tizanidine is made up of active and inactive ingredients to form a muscle relaxer that is effective for many patients. The ingredients found in Tizanidine can cause liver damage, especially if you have liver problems.
- Tizanidine hydrochloride(HCL)
- silicon dioxide
- Sugar spheres
- Titanium dioxide
Tizanidine side effects are present after the medication is abruptly stopping. Most Tizanidine warnings are related to withdrawal of the medicine. Related warnings include:
- Liver injury
- Sedation. You can’t drive while taking Tizanidine medication
- Hypersensitivity reactions
- Withdrawal adverse reactions
- Nonclinical toxicology( carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, fertility impairment).
Since it isn’t clear how medicine affects a pregnant person, it is advisable to avoid Tizanidine unless it is used to save a life. Since it isn’t clear whether Tizanidine excretion is through milk, it is advisable to avoid it during lactation.
Tizanidine Addiction Statistics
According to NIH, cases reported of Tizanidine addiction often end with withdrawal symptoms when the medication intake is stopped. Addiction happens when the daily average dose of Tizanidine exceeds 20 to 36 mg. You can tell you are addicted to medicine when symptoms follow after cessation of consumption.
The dosage of the medicine is reduced gradually over time until it is stopped to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
If you or someone you know is addicted to Tizanidine or other prescription medications, help is available. Call The Recovery Village to learn more about treatment options for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Meythaler, J.M.; Guin-Rnfroe, S.; Johnson, A.; Brunner, R.M. Prospective assessment of tizanidine for spasticity due to acquired brain injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. September 2001. Accessed April 26, 2019.
www.accessdata.fda.gov. HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION, FDA approved labeling dated October 4, 2013
Shirin Ghanavatian; Armen Derian. Tizanidine Mayo clinic. March 5, 2019. Accessed April 26, 2019.
Haukka J, Kriikku P, Mariottini C, Partonen T, Ojanperä I Non-medical use of psychoactive prescription drugs is associated with fatal poisoning. Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. Forensic Toxicology Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland. Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. Department of Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland. March 2018. Accessed April 26, 2019.
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