Muscle relaxants are helpful – if used appropriately. Muscle relaxants help in easing muscular pain. Many Singaporeans employ the use of muscle relaxants but we have to be wary because there are a number of side effects linked with them. Unless we consult our doctors first, we should not take one at all for our safety.
When we have sprains, strains and muscle spasms, muscle relaxants are our quick solution. We need to keep in mind that muscle relaxants do not heal our injuries but it provides temporary relief from muscle pain. Examples of muscle relaxants include chlorzoxazone, carisoprol, metaxalone, cyclobenzaprine and methocarbamol.
As mentioned earlier, these drugs are without side effects. The use of relaxants is only for a short period because long periods will lead to dependency and health abuse therefore discouraged by many physicians. Muscle relaxants focus on our central nervous system. If ingested, a person may experience:
- Alertness: Muscle relaxants can affect the alertness of a person. A person may experience dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, steadiness and clumsiness. These can affect the alertness of a person and if experienced, certain activities should be avoided like driving.
- Potential heart and liver problems: There are particular relaxants called chlorzoxazone and quinine sulphate that can potentially develop heart and liver problems.
- Urine color changes: Another side effect is the change in urine color. Patients should not worry because the change in color is harmless and the color will return once the medication is discontinued.
- Other mild side effects: The side effects vary depending on the person. Some persons may experience dry mouth, muscle fatigue, fainting, hiccups, nausea, committing, diarrhoea, constipation, sleep disorders, weakness and trembling.
If the side effects persist, we have to go see our physician right away. It is important that we notice the side effects and do not ignore it because it might lead to more serious ones like potential and liver problems.
For those who take muscle relaxants, doctors usually recommend it together with exercise, healthy diet, rest, physical therapy and other treatments. The important thing here is not to develop dependency. It is always highly recommended that we take the right doses prescribed to us and if it does not relieve the pain anymore, we still need to see our doctors.
It is easy to take relaxants especially if we feel pain but it should not be taken lightly and without careful consideration. As much as possible, we should not consider relaxants and if the pain is unbearable, we still need to take it slow.