HELP! Severe tension headache, terrified to take the muscle relaxer I was prescribed!

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/8/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I also posted this to the headache forum.
I'll just get right down to it bc I'm so scared!  Um yesterday I got this different kinda headache.  I had never felt anything like it before!  It hurt in the back of my head and behind my eyes a lot.  Well I took some ibuprofen and went to bed.  Going to bed usually helps the "little" tension headaches I get once in a while.  Well I woke up this morning in so much pain that I was throwing up!  I went to the ER bc I had a panic attack over it (being that I've never felt it before and I'm a hypochondriac).  The doctor felt my neck and said my muscles were very tense back there.  He prescribed me a muscle relaxer and sent me on my way.  The med is called cyclobenzaprine 10 mgs.  I haven't taken it yet bc I'm really scared to!  The ibuprofen is helping a little and making the pain bearable.  I don't know though, maybe I should just swallow my fear and just take it. 
Have you ever had a headache that hurt when you bent over or looked up more than when you don't?  Or hurt a lot more when you cough or sneeze or pick up something kinda heavy?
How do muscle relaxers make you feel?  What should I expect if I do take it?
Is there a more natural technique I can use right here at home that may help?
Thank you!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/8/2009 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok got some help from the good people in the headache forum. I called the pharmacy to see if it was ok just to take half the muscle relaxer and he said "yes". Then the good ppl in the headache forum helped give me the strength to take the half. Only I took a little more than half bc I bit off a little more than half. Now I just wait and see what it does. I'll update everyone when I find out. Maybe. If it doesn't make me fall asleep. If it does, I'll update you tomorrow.


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 6/8/2009 4:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jen,

I have that same pill sitting in my cupboard waiting for me to take it. I have 5 mg and cut them in half to 2.5mg.. chicken me. I haven't taken any but I'm supposed to take them for TMJ and my headaches from tension.

Doc stressed for me to take them before bed as they will put me to sleep. So your probably nappin pretty well!

Let me know how ya feel later. Maybe you can help me get the nerve up to take mine!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/9/2009 6:08 AM (GMT -7)   
How are you ever going to get better if you don't take/try the medication?
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   

The medication your talking about is Flexeril. It is a muscle relaxant. Cyclobenzaprine relieves muscle spasm when the spasm is due to local problems such as in your neck. 

Cyclobenzaprine is used together with rest and physical therapy for short-term relief of painful muscle conditions. It is only for short-term use, up to 2 to 3 weeks.

Cyclobenzaprine is most often prescribed three times daily but should be taken according to the physician's recommendations.

I guess if I spent the money for a trip to the ER and was Rx a medication that would help me I would give it a try otherwise it makes no sense to go to the ER. 

If your taking Ibuprofen or any NSAID you are also going to find a list of side effects that could but don't always happen to people.

If the medication will help you I would encourage you to take it but it is up to you.

I am glad the headache forum members helped you.

Take care



Kitt, Co-Moderator:
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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 6/9/2009 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I think taking half is a great idea to start, but really muscle relaxers are amazing. And I am terrified of medication, I don't even like to take Ibuprofen if I can help it - I have bottles of meloxicam and relafen in my cabinet that have never even been opened, ridiculous but that's just me. Seriously though if you have tension headaches the Flexeril should help, I've taken several different muscle relaxers for spasm and I don't want to sound like a drug addict but I LOVED them (to the point where I was nervous to go back to the doctor to ask for a refill for fear they would think just that!) They were one of the very few meds that actually made me feel better and helped my symptoms without a long list of side effects. Everyone is different but I would give them a fair shot. Here is hoping you are taking the ER doc advice and getting some relief! Cheers!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/10/2009 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry it took me so long to respond and tell you all how I was doing. I took the med and I did fine. It makes me kinda drowsy but that's a small price to pay. It doesn't MAKE me go to sleep. Its actually relaxing. So that's good. I took half and it works fine. I'm not afraid to take a whole one if I need to though.

Thanks for your advice and support!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 6/10/2009 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Jen, I'm late on this one, sorry. But I would have advised that you take the med. More often than not the medications help and we wonder why we were so scared to take them in the beginning. I'm glad it's working for you!
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
60 mg. Prozac, Ativan as needed.
"The part can never be well unless the whole is well." Plato

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/10/2009 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   


I am glad you took the med and that you are willing to take a whole tab if you need to. Good for you, look how you overcame the fear and anxiety.

You can be very proud of you.

Gentle Hugs


Jenny Marie
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/10/2013 11:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I too get severe headaches above my eye and the back of my neck if I sneeze, cough, laugh, bend over or use the restroom facilities (strain).  My doctor gave me an MRA and an MRI and then suggested valium (a muscle relaxer).  I thought valium was addictive.  I'm afraid of taking it, although it's 2 mg.  Is that too much.  I caved in because of the pain and it did take the pain away but I'm afraid to take the medicine.  Has anyone heard of this happening to them?  Please advise, I'm really scared.
Jenny Marie

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26974
   Posted 2/11/2013 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jenny and welcome!

I am sorry that you are dealing not only with pain..but with a fear of the thing that can help you.;(

Valium can carry the risk of dependency...however, if you have never had an issue with substance abuse before, and considering how concerned you are about are not likely at risk for becoming addicted.

Here is a site that may explain more about the common fear of taking medication:
Anyway, your presciption should only be for a small amount anyway...for short-term use, and only when you are really suffering with severe pain.
For the long term, you should discuss with your doctor alternative treatments such as physical therapy (strenthening and stretching exercises) or consider seeing a chiropractor perhaps.
I hope that this is helpful...and please post with us anytime.:)
Scaredy Cat

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

Post Edited (Scaredy Cat) : 2/11/2013 8:24:23 AM (GMT-7)

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