Sometimes, muscle relaxants such as Soma (carisoprodol), Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), and Valium (diazepam) are used to treat neck pain. These are also sometimes combined with another medicine, such as in Norgesic, which combines orphenadrine with aspirin and caffeine.
Muscle relaxant medicines relax the muscles and are capable of reducing pain in people with muscle spasms. The laxative effect of these medicines is mostly the result of depression of the central nervous system. They are most helpful when the person has severe muscle spasms following the beginning of neck pain, and only recommended for initial, short-term treatment. Diazepam and carisoprodol are not recommended for treating pregnant women, older adults, or people who have depression or a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
It is vital to speak to your pharmacist about the side effects before you start imbibing muscle relaxants. Possible side effects include:
- Possible addiction or dependence
- Dry mouth
- Urinary retention
These side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while, and if they still bother you, call the doctor. He or she can lower the dose, or change the medicine. Do not stop taking the medicine unless you have explicit instructions from the doctor. It’s best to take these medicines at bedtime, but if you do use one during waking hours, make sure to avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing sensitive activities or those which are dangerous if you get drowsy.
Follow up care is an important part of treatment, which is why you should ensure not to miss any appointments. Call your doctor if problems surface and keep a list of your medicines ready if you need to go for additional checkups.