New to Zanaflex....couple of questions...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 2/27/2011 3:04 AM (GMT -6)   
So, after my 2nd cervical fusion 3 weeks ago, I started having HORRIBLE muscle spasms along my shoulders and across my back.  My surgeon was out of town so the PM Dr. that works with him saw me.  He started pushing around on my shoulders as lightening bolts shot out my shoulders and at one point, pushed around my collar bone, and gave me a muscle spasm in my butt!  Luckily he has a sense of humor, because I came out of my chair and asked exactly how he pushed on my collar bone and my butt had a charlie horse!  Anyway long story short, he said I was having unbelievable muscle spasms...I already take Robaxin and Valium (the valium is used for panic attack and muscle spasms).  The PM doc switched me over to 1 or 2 4mg tabs every 4-6 hrs.  I came home, took 2 and slept the rest of the day.  I have to admit that it has a MUCH better affect on the musle spasms and cramps, but I have noticed that about the time it starts wearing off I get really strange twitches.  I can be sitting perfectly still and my had or arm will jerk hard enough that I knock things over.  I also develop mysterious numb areas all over my body.  I did stop the Robaxin and am only taking the Valium for anxiety, but does anyone else have this issue with Zanaflex or am I just loosing my mind?

michael kelly
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 488
   Posted 2/27/2011 4:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Is there anyone out there with chronic liver disease ,Michael is my husband and wishes to chat to someone who knows what he is going through .He hasn't drank since being diagnosed and would like to chat to anyone who is going through the same pain and treatments. karen

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 2/27/2011 5:31 AM (GMT -6)   

I am going to suggest that you post yur own thread. Not trying to be mean here but we would like to get to know you and this way you can respond to your own thread instead of through someone elses. There are thousands of us here and by posting your own thread someone who maybe has a dx like yours can chat with you.

Welcome to HW CP

I live to "Tame My Pain!"

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/27/2011 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, no Zanaflex advise because I was allergic to it. I have several friends who take it though, and the husband does some wacky things on it. Please be very careful with this med. It can be a doozy!! Please don't get me wrong, they both still take it, but he tends to overuse it and has been hospitalized with some truly bizarre repetitive moaning for days and days and yet she can take it just fine. We (and the Dr's) think he must have OD'd on too many meds of too many kinds but the Zanaflex is his "drug of choice" and he thinks it helps his CP more than anything else.

(I know this sounds bad....but it was done in love.... My friend now substitutes all but one Zanaflex for him a day with vitamin pills that look exactly like them. He has no idea that he is taking less of the Zanaflex, but he has not had the problem with the repetitive moaning .... like a stuck record player.. since she started laying out his meds like this. She does not want him to suffer, but she was told he would likely pass away every time he has been hospitalized like this. It goes on for days and days and then he just wakes up and becomes himself again. It's please NEVER take too many of this one.)
Failed fusion L5-S1, Pituatary damage, HGH Def, Fibro, Bladder surgery failure, Nissen Failure, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CTS (Bilateral Surgery completed), CFS, TMJ, Migraines, Vit D, A, Magnesium deficiency, Pre-glaucomic (sp?), HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia, Edema, too many Drug/Food allergies, sensitivites, and current meds to list.

spinal soldier
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 2/27/2011 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
wow, that is a high dose of Zanaflex (tizanidine), 1-2 tablets? 4mg-8mg every 4-6 hrs. i think is the biggest dose of anyone i have ever known, ha ha. it is a great medication for spinal muscle spasms and as a sleep agent. i have taken 1-3 4mg tabs. at bedtime since 2005. it has a very potent effect the first time you take it; my mother could not make it to the bathroom at night from dizziness. Zanaflex (tizanidine) is very closely related to Catapres (clonidine) which is a alpha adernergic agonist that is meant to suppress sympathetic nervous system outflow to make a long story short. Zanaflex does basically the same thing, thats why when it's almost time for the next dose you can get jitters or twitches because the level of the "adrenalines" go up. Clonidine was more used in the past as a adjuvant to opioids, mostly given in a cocktail epidurally or intrathecally for cancer pain. in the same way the Zanaflex will add to the opioid you use for pain. Zanaflex has a very short half-life of maybe less than 4 fours. 4mg four times per day when you become tolerant to the sedating effect i think would calm very severe spasms, the way a Physician's Assistant told me to dose Zanaflex (tablets) was break a 4mg in half or quarter (1-2mg) every 6hrs. or so and then take a "mega" dose at bedtime. i could not handle daytime zanaflex and function but 8-12mg is a sleeping treatment that does not cause a handover effect or tolerance forming and a terrific anti-spasm drug so play around with it and i believe it will help you greatly. Soma, Parafon Forte, and Flexeril are good for some also. GOOD LUCK TO YA!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 2/27/2011 11:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I am prescribed Zanaflex but I have to take very very small doses, like 1 mg. I was prescribed 8mg as needed at first and was mostly taking it at night. I began to do things in my sleep, like my husband found me putting my make-up on at 3 in the morning, I began to cook and pack his lunch in the middle of the night but he doesn't take a pack lunch, things like that, freaked me out! Him too! So my doc told me just to take a smaller dose. The other thing to watch is this med interacts with a lot of other meds. I have to be careful and not take some of my other PRN meds when I take this one so I would definitely do a drug interaction on all your meds. I think it's who has a good one.

Post Edited (Boxerlover) : 2/27/2011 11:25:35 PM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 2/28/2011 1:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Finally, I was on Zanaflex and really was happy with them. The only thing I did not like was they made my mouth dry. I did not have anything happen like you have described. I have to wonder if it is interacting with one of your other meds. I would call the pharmacist or the nurse at my drs office and ask about this. Was any of these things listed on the print-out from the pharmacy? will give you a list of meds that Zanaflex can interact with too. I hope you can get this all taken care of.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 2/28/2011 2:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the interaction information on I am fixing to go check it out....another night that sleep escapes me!

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