This drug has been developed to relieve the spasms and also increase muscle tone that is caused by multiple sclerosis. MS or multiple sclerosis has been described as a disease in which the nerve does not function properly and may cause patients to experience numbness, weakness of muscle, vision, hearing, and speech problems. This drug has been classed under a class of medications that are referred to as; skeletal muscle relaxants.
This drug works in such a way that the brain and also the nervous system is slowed to ensure that the muscles are capable of relaxing. Several trials and reports have shown that this drug is as effective as some of the other antispasmodic drugs and also it happens to be far more tolerable that diazepam and baclofen.
Reports have revealed that this drug happens to be very strong and is capable of causing hypertension even at about 2-mg. That is why it is advised that caution should be applied when this drug is used on those that have a long history of hypertension. Also, those that would love to switch from the capsules to the tablet and vice versa should also apply caution. Unknown to most people, this drug can also cause liver failure. In fact, clinical trials that have been conducted in the United States show that about 5% of individuals that have been treated with this medication tend to experience elevated liver test. As part of precaution, it is advised that care is taken when this drug is used to treat patients and this is because it is capable of causing several severe health conditions. Regular liver tests should be conducted for those that are taking this medication for the first time. This will ensure that they do not experience any form of liver failure during the first six months of taking tizanidine.
How Tizanidine Is Used
As recommended by your doctor or physician, you should take this drug at least every six to eight hours. The dosage to be prescribed by your doctor will depend on certain factors;
- Your medical condition
- How you are able to respond to treatment
- The current drug or medication you are currently on
- Your age may also affect the type of medication that you have to take.
To enable your doctor to get a better idea of the tizanidine dose that is perfect for you, it is advised that you tell him about the current drug you are taking. Like most of the other drugs, tizanidine usage has certain side effects. To enable you to prevent yourself from experiencing any of these side effects, it is advised that your dosage should be low and gradually as your body begins to adjust to this drug, your dosage could increase. Irrespective of the factors that have been listed here, it is of great importance that you do not take more than the recommended 36 milligrams of this drug. Also, you are not supposed to take more than three doses of this medication each day.
Our bodies are different, meaning that how your body responds to tizanidine may be completely different from how another person reacts to it. Another thing that could affect how your body absorbs this drug is whether you take the capsule or tablet. Taking the food on an empty stomach will also affect how your body absorbs this food. All these conditions must be discussed with your doctor, this will help him/her devise the best way to take this medication.
Tizanidine may often times cause withdrawal reactions and this is probably because it has been used for a long period of time or if you have taken higher doses. Depending on these cases mentioned above, these withdrawal symptoms may stop if you completely stop making use of this medication. While withdrawal symptoms may make you stop taking this medication, it is of great importance that you do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor or physician. If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, the best thing your doctor could do would be to reduce your dosage gradually. It is advised that you consult your doctor or physician if you experience any of these withdrawal symptoms.
As mentioned above, this drug may be taken with or without food. Once this formula for taking this drug has been established, it is important that you stick to the formula. Reports have shown that food has certain complex effects on this medication and often times when you switch from either the capsule to the tablet or from a fed state to a fasted state, there could be adverse effects. This is why it is important that patients with intentions of taking this drug understand how significant the decisions they make before deciding to take this drug is and how it is capable of affecting the conditions or impact of this drug.
The nature of this medication is why it is advised that the starting dose is 2mg. Unlike most of the other drugs, this drug begins to work after about one to two hours after it must have been consumed. Since the benefits of this drug may not be felt after three hours, the treatment can be repeated at least at about six to eight hours interval. As mentioned earlier, this drug should be taken at a maximum of three doses. This is to ensure that the side effects are not more severe than they should already be. Although depending on the condition of the patient, the dose can be increased to about 4mg. This increase in dosage should be between one to four days after the drug is taken for the first time. While the dosage may increase, it is of great importance that you bear in mind that the daily dose should not be more than 36mg.
Tizanidine dosage for patients with hepatic impairment
For patients that are impaired, this drug should be used with caution. Patients are advised to read through the medical guidance form or the leaflet found in this medication. This will ensure that they take the right dose for their health condition.
If this medication is to be discontinued for any reason, it is vital that it is done gradually. To explain better, if patients that have been consuming a high dose of this medication for the past nine weeks are to discontinue this drug for whatever reason, it should be done gradually. That is, they will have to start with smaller doses until they are able to stop taking this medication altogether. This is advised because it helps to reduce or minimize the withdrawal risks and also hypertension that may hit them.
Overdose Of Tizanidine
Like most of the other drugs, there are certain severe effects that you may suffer if your overdose on this medication. Since tizanidine is used for relieving the spasms and also the muscle tone, there are certain effects that you may experience when you take more than the required or prescribed tizanidine dosage for sleep. Some of the main symptoms to look out for include;
- Chest pain
- Severe sleepiness
- Troubled or experiencing difficulty breathing
- Shallow breathing
- Light-headedness, faintness etc.
Because of certain reasons, you may forget to take your dose when due. If this has happened to you, you are advised to take it as soon as you remember but if the time is probably an hour close to your next dose, you could decide to leave the missed dose and continue with your regular routine. You do not have to double up your dose simply because you missed one. This could have severe effects on you.
Tizanidine Side Effects
There are a couple of side effects you could experience when you take this drug. Some of the most common ones you can expect include;
- Liver injury
- Hypersensitivity reactions
Tons of research has been conducted on the side effects of this medication. These researches have shown that hypertension is one of the most common side effects that those who consume this medication have had to deal with.
How This Medication Interacts With Other Drugs
- Fluvoxamine; some of the changes that were observed when these medications were used together include; increased drowsiness, decreased blood pressure, as well as an increased psychomotor impairment.
- Ciprofloxacin; the use of these medications will lead to increased blood pressure, increased drowsiness, and impairment. The use of these two drugs has proven to not be compatible.
Alcohol intake should be avoided when taking this medication, this is probably because it is capable of upsetting the stomach. Also, those taking this medication should do well to avoid the intake of antibiotics like; levofloxacin, trevofloaxin etc. Also, medications that help to treat blood pressure should also be avoided when you are currently taking tizanidine.
Basically, this medication should not be taken with any medication that in any way may lead to adverse effects. It is advised that you take out time to discuss these effects as well as the medications that you are currently taking with your doctor. This will ensure that you do not end up suffering from side effects that could be overlooked.
For Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers;
Although while this drug has not been tested on breastfeeding mothers, it is of great importance that they discuss with their doctors right before deciding to take this medication. Also, those that are pregnant or those that have plans to be pregnant in the next couple of months should also discuss with their doctor before deciding to take this medication. This is so that the benefits and risk are evaluated and if the benefits of taking this medication outweigh the risks, then it should be taken.
For seniors, tizanidine should be taken under the supervision of the doctor. This is because they may get to experience side effects more than the others. As elderly ones, their bones and body are not able to process drugs as fast as it should be, this would mean that they get to feel the effects of this medication more as it would stay in their body for a longer period of time. As mentioned earlier, they would have to discuss with their doctor to see if the effects of having to take this medication are more than the potential benefits they stand to gain. There are no proven studies or reports with evidence that states that tizanidine is ideal for children. You are advised to discuss with your doctor before taking the dose.
While taking this medication, it is important that you remember that you do not have to take a higher dose simply because you feel that the one you are currently taking is not bringing significant changes in your condition. The changes you seek would surely come, but if after a couple of weeks of taking this medication and you do not experience any form of improvement, it is advised that you immediately see your doctor. If you happen to have allergies, it is also important that you discuss them with your doctor. This will ensure that you do not end up taking something that may be disastrous to your health.
Do not miss doses or decide to recommend more doses for yourself, stick to the plan that has been devised by your doctor.
How You Can Cope With Some Of The Side Effects
- Dizziness; if you experience dizziness after taking this drug, it is advised that you stop what you are doing immediately and sit down until it stops. You should avoid coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes. If after a couple of days the dizziness does not stop, you have to visit your pharmacist and discuss it with him/her.
- Hypertension; when you experience these side effects, you could decide to sit down for a couple of minutes to regain yourself. Also, it is not advisable that you engage in any activity that may be physically and mentally demanding. This can make this condition severe. If after a couple of days and you still experience this symptom, it is advised that you visit your doctor immediately.