Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) Addiction

Learn about Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) addiction and how to minimize your risks of developing a cyclobenzaprine dependency.

What is Cyclobenzaprine?

Cyclobenzaprine Addiction

Cyclobenzaprine addiction is the addiction to a drug more commonly known as Flexeril. Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) is prescribed by pain management doctors, as well as general practice physicians at times, to help patients recover from muscle injuries.1

Cyclobenzaprine’s purpose is to help relax the skeletal-muscular system so that the body can recover without significant pain. It is commonly used in conjunction with physical therapy and prescribed rest. While Flexeril is the most commonly prescribed cyclobenzaprine, some doctors prefer to prescribe Novo-cycloprine medication instead.

Some people think that cyclobenzaprine is a benzodiazepine since they have similar sounding names, but they are completely different types of medications. While the first is used for muscle spasms, the second is used for anxiety and insomnia.

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Is Cyclobenzaprine Addictive?

There has not been significant research done into the long-term benefits or side-effects of taking cyclobenzaprine. Preliminary studies suggest that there may be some benefit to long-term use for certain medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia.2

The concern is then of potential addiction. While Flexeril is not as addictive as many other medications, there is still a chance of cyclobenzaprine addiction. The risk of cyclobenzaprine abuse doesn’t come from a feeling of being high but rather from overuse due to the potential pain relief that it can offer.

Slang for Cyclobenzaprine

Cyclobenzaprine abuse occurs more frequently in people who buy the drug illegally. Common street names for cyclobenzaprine include Flexies, Cyclone, and Mellow Yellow.

What Are the Side Effects of Cyclobenzaprine Abuse?

Cyclobenzaprine abuse most commonly occurs when a person is using the medication as a pain management supplement. While the medication inherently offers pain relief as part of the way that it relaxes muscles, it is not a pain management medication and should not be taken as such.

Some of the following common cyclobenzaprine symptoms can occur if the medication is taken too frequently or in a higher dosage than intended.3

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Other potential, but less common, cyclobenzaprine side effects are anxiety, restlessness, and fever. If any of these occur, speak to your doctor immediately as they may indicate a reaction with another medication.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Cyclobenzaprine Addiction?

People are more likely to have a cyclobenzaprine addiction when it is used in conjunction with other medications, alcohol, or illicit substances such as cocaine. As with other forms of medication abuse, cyclobenzaprine abuse can be recognized by the following:

  • Excessive mood swings or hostility
  • Stealing, forging, or selling prescriptions
  • Using cyclobenzaprine with illegal drugs or alcohol
  • Taking higher doses of cyclobenzaprine than prescribed

Cyclobenzaprine addiction and Flexeril withdrawal are more likely to occur when the drug is misused. People that have a cyclobenzaprine addiction may snort cyclobenzaprine or dissolve it in their alcohol to make it more potent.

When people snort cyclobenzaprine, they may take four to six times the recommended amount at once in order to experience a rush of euphoria. Rather than the recommended oral dosage of five to ten milligrams at a time, those who snort cyclobenzaprine typically inhale up to sixty milligrams at once.4

Cyclobenzaprine Withdrawal Timeline

Cyclobenzaprine’s duration in your system can vary greatly depending on your size, gender, and metabolic speed. 

On average, Flexeril withdrawal symptoms will begin to occur within eighteen to twenty-four hours of your last dose, and they can last for up to a little over sixteen days. Although the benefit of Flexeril typically wears off within twelve to twenty-four hours, the drug remains in your system for much longer.5

Because of this, the cyclobenzaprine symptoms of cyclobenzaprine withdrawal will be more severe and more long lasting if you have been taking it for longer than recommended due to the buildup of the drug in your system. 

It is never recommended to suddenly stop taking Flexeril. Instead, you should work with your doctor or treatment facility to slowly wean off of the medication.

One to Two Days After the Last Dose

During the first two days of Flexeril withdrawal, you may experience flu-like symptoms. Body aches, chills, headaches, and lethargy are common. 

These Flexeril withdrawal symptoms are almost never life threatening, but they can be severe enough to make you extremely uncomfortable.

Two to Four Days After the Last Dose

Beginning as soon as two days after your last dose, you may begin feeling cyclobenzaprine withdrawal symptoms that mimic the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. These can cause a temporary form of cyclobenzaprine depression, cause feelings of anxiety, and severely disrupt your sleeping patterns, which can lead to insomnia. 

For most people that are going through cyclobenzaprine withdrawal as a result of a cyclobenzaprine addiction, this is the time period in which symptoms will be the worst.

One to Two Weeks After the Last Dose

It can take a full two weeks for cyclobenzaprine withdrawal symptoms to end. Throughout this period, those who had a cyclobenzaprine addiction may experience any combination of the above symptoms.

Cyclobenzaprine Abuse Treatment

Cyclobenzaprine Abuse Treatment

Cyclobenzaprine addiction can be difficult to overcome alone. The symptoms of cyclobenzaprine addiction and withdrawal are often extremely uncomfortable, and it may be tempting to continue using the medication to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Unfortunately, because there are no significant long-term studies on the effects of cyclobenzaprine addiction or usage, continued use may have severe and long-lasting effects on your body.

Detox

Cyclobenzaprine addiction is best managed through a detox program, either at an in-patient center or under the direct supervision of your doctor. This way, the more severe symptoms can be managed and steps can be taken to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during the withdrawal period. 

By undergoing medical or supervised detox, you will have a better chance at long-term recovery.

Individual and Group Counseling

Once you have completed the physical part of detox, it may be beneficial to attend a support group, 12-Step Program, therapy, or counseling to help you learn how to cope with the mental aspect of detox and recovery. 

Recovery is not an easy process, but it can be easier with the help of dedicated professionals and peers who have lived through similar experiences. In many cases, having a trusted support group that you can rely on to remain sober after detox is essential in preventing a relapse.