What is Skelaxin?

Skelaxin is a commonly prescribed drug for muscle spasms, back pain and neck pain. It is typically described as a muscle relaxer. Skelaxin is frequently used to treat whiplash injuries due to automobile accidents and sports injuries. Skelaxin is also known as Metaxalone. The mechanism of how this "muscle relaxer" works has not been discovered. After years of study, doctors and pharmacists still do not know how this drug effects the body. Metaxalone or Skelaxin has no direct action on the contractile mechanism of striated muscle, the nerve fiber, or the motor end plate. In other words, it doesn't relax muscles and can not reduce muscle spasms. It is thought to work by depressing the central nervous system. Skelaxin appears to work much like alcohol works as a central nervous system depressant. 

What are the effects and side effects of Skelaxin? 

 The pharmacokinetics or how Skelaxin effects the liver and kidneys has not been determined. Because we don't know how this drug effects the liver and kidneys, Skelaxin should be used with caution for patients with kidney or liver disease. Skelaxin enhances the effect of alcohol and should not be consumed with alcohol or other CNS depressants. Skelaxin may impair your mental and physical abilities. "Muscle relaxers" should not be used when operating machinery or driving a car. There is an increase risk of falls and other injuries associated with the use of "muscle relaxants" Drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting ,and are common side effects of this drug.

A potentially life threatening condition called Serotonin syndrome has been associated with the use of Skelaxin. Serotonin syndrome generally is the result of taking Skelaxin with Tramadol or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).  This combination of drugs is commonly used to treat patients with back pain and neck pain. Serotonin syndrome's signs include clonus, diaphoresis, tremor, agitation, hypertonia, hyper reflexia, and temperature elevation. Hypertonia essentially means muscle spasm. The ironic thing is that Skelaxin is primarily prescribed to treat muscle spasms but it has no direct effect on muscle spasms. However; when Skelaxin is combined with other medications, it can cause muscle spasms. 

Greg L. Crawford D.C., D.A.B.C.O. Foothills Chiropractic,1337 East Prospect Road Fort Collins, CO 80525 (970) 493-2105 http://ftcollinschiropractor.com  

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