Zanaflex (Tizanidine)

Zanaflex, dispensed in it's generic form as Tizanidine,  is a skeletal muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries.

 

 

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PATIENT INFORMATION ON Zanaflex

GENERIC NAME:  tizanidine

COMMON USES: This medication is a centrally-acting alpha2-adrenergic agonist, an anti-spasticity agent commonly used to treat muscle spasms and used in management of chronic pain both as a muscle relaxant and because if often reduces pain directly with continued use.

WHEN NOT TO TAKE TIZANIDINE:

  • DON'T take this medication if you have had an allergic reaction to it before.
  • Be sure your physician knows if you have health problems other than that for which this medication has been prescribed, especially liver disease or if you drink alcohol chronically.
  • Make sure your physician knows about any other medications you take, especially blood pressure medications.
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or anticipate pregnancy, your physician may not want you to take this medication.

PROPER USAGE:

Follow the directions for using this medication provided by your physician.  It is commonly prescribed once at bedtime initially, since it frequently causes drowsiness.  Your doctor may want to gradually increase your daily dosage over a period of several weeks; and it should be taken regularly at about the same times each day.   It may be taken either with or without food.  If it upsets your stomach, taking it with food may help. 

If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as the missed dose is discovered.  If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose.  If more than one dose is missed, contact your healthcare provider for advice.  

Do not stop taking it abruptly or change the dosewithout discussing it with your Doctor first.

STORAGE:

  • Store this medication at room temperature between 69-86 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep the container tightly closed, away from moisture, and out of direct sunlight - the extreme heat in a car on a summer day is not good for any medication and may reduce its effectiveness.
  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.  Do not allow ANYONE else to take your medication under any circumstances.  

CAUTIONS and SIDE EFFECTS:

Any medication can cause side effects, but many people experience none, or only minor side effects with tizanidine.  Though they often subside with continued use after a few days or weeks, this medication often causes:

  • Light headedness, dizziness, and drowsiness – Evaluate its effect on YOU before driving or engaging in other activities where alertness and balance are necessary.  Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication.
  • Taking tizanidine with other medications that cause drowsiness may greatly increase the sedation you experience with either medication alone (this includes alcohol).
  • Tizanidine may reduce your blood pressure suddenly, especially when you stand from a lying or sitting position.  Though this side effect generally improves with continued use, be careful when standing suddenly to avoid lightheadedness or fainting,and let your prescriber know if this continues or becomes severe.
  • Before taking other medications, either prescription or non-prescription, consult your physician or pharmacist.

CONTACT YOUR PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY if you experience:

Skin rash, severe itching, hives, unexplained fever, very rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, chest tightness, or difficulty breathing, any of which might indicate an allergic reaction to the medication.