General Question

rexpresso's avatar

When you take a muscle relaxant are you still able to make good use of the muscles?

Asked by rexpresso (920 points ) May 9th, 2010

I wonder if it makes the muscles useless in higher dosages for instance.

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15 Answers

gasman's avatar

So-called muscle relaxants like Soma or Robaxin (there are many) act centrally to help relieve muscle spasm. In other words, they act on the brain (and possibly spinal cord) but not directly on the muscles. Many of these are in reality sedatives similar to Valium. In higher doses they produce sedation and sleepiness. Your muscles, however, remain just as strong as ever.

There is another class of drugs, also knows as muscle relaxants, which are used in anesthesia to actually paralyze the muscles—often quite profoundly. You can’t move anything even if you try, though normally this doesn’t bother you because you’re unconscious and on a ventilator. These paralyzing agents are reversible, however, by specific other drugs. The original paralytic agent was curare, derived from the toxin used in South American blow darts to kill animal prey.

Facade's avatar

The muscle relaxer I used to take put me to sleep, even on a fourth of the recommended dosage.

Rarebear's avatar

@gasman Do you know if reversal agents for agents such as rocuronium are used in critical care settings? I haven’t seen it.

Coloma's avatar

I have little experience with muscle relaxers, but, do know that one must be careful to not strain or re-injure themselves while under their influence.

Just because the pain is gone does not mean you are healed.

Pain is GOOD, it lets you know to honor your bodies signals.

casheroo's avatar

I’ve taken Valium and it never made me not be able to use my muscles. It just kept them from spasms.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@gasman the muscle relaxant suxamethonium is not reversible.

faye's avatar

I take methocarbamol and can move just fine because it doesn’t hurt. They also have a lovely sedating effect.

slick44's avatar

I take valium when my kids are driving me crazy, it makes things a little better, but i can still kick their butts. So muscle function still works.

casheroo's avatar

@slick44 thats what alcohol is for ;)

gasman's avatar

@Rarebear Rocuronium is reversible with anticholinesterase inhibitors such as neostigmine. In critical care settings (disclaimer: I’m not an expert here) such a drug might be used if deep sedation alone is insufficient to keep the patient from, say, fighting the ventilator. Usually they just let it wear off when the time comes, though reversal agents might be used if, for example, the patient’s neurologic status must be evaluated periodically on a schedule.

@Lightlyseared Right. Suxamethonium (succinylcholine in the US) is a depolarizing muscle relaxant. Only non-depolarizers are reversible.

Rarebear's avatar

@gasman I’m a critical care physician—from your name I assumed you were an anesthesiologist. I use Roc when I need to but I’ve never reversed it because it’s always when someone is on the ventilator.

john65pennington's avatar

I have had several back and neck surgeries. i have been given Flexiril and Soma. i could really see any help from Flexiril. Soma is another story. Soma works, but is dangerous and addictive. One Soma and goodnight all. i was still able to function with my muscles with Soma, but it was a challenge. i think they are overprescribed by doctors for women during menopause. i have answered many calls where women have overdosed on Soma. one person had a botlle of 100 sitting on her night table and she had taken about 30 to end it all. her stomach was pumped and she survived. Soma is dangerous in the wrong hands.

slick44's avatar

@casheroo… Oh trust me, i drink that too.

Aster's avatar

I took 2 of them many yrs ago and almost threw up . They didn’t work at all and I was so nauseated. Whoever invented them should be shot.

slick44's avatar

Valium is great, if i take two its even greater.

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