Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Muscle Relaxants
The muscle-relaxing effects of these
medicines are most likely the result of their ability to depress the
central nervous system.
Muscle relaxants can be helpful when
severe muscle spasms follow the start of
low back pain.
Muscle relaxants are not recommended for use by pregnant women,
older adults, or people who have
depression or a history of drug or alcohol
Muscle relaxants may improve acute or chronic low back pain, muscle tension, and mobility. But side effects are common.footnote 1, footnote 2
Possible side effects of muscle relaxants
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
Muscle relaxant medicines work best when they are taken before bedtime. They should not be used by a person who needs to drive or operate machinery.
Use of muscle relaxants is restricted to short-term use to avoid
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
McIntosh G, Hall H (2011). Low back pain (acute), search date December 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
Chou R (2010). Low back pain (chronic), search date April 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRobert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.