Muscle relaxants may be initially administered at bedtime to take advantage of their sedative effects and minimize daytime drowsiness.
The mechanisms of action of the medications in this class are widely varied and many are not thoroughly understood.
Carisoprodol: The action of carisoprodol is related to a central nervous system (CNS) mechanism and not to a direct effect on skeletal muscles.
Some believe that most of the benefit seen with carisoprodol is secondary to a generalized sedative effect.
Cyclobenzaprine: Since cyclobenzaprine is closely similar to amitriptyline in chemical structure, some of its effects are similar to the tricyclic antidepressants.
Skeletal muscle relaxants are commonly prescribed for the treatment of muscle spasms and discomfort.
These drugs relieve muscle spasms due to low back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, tension headaches.
Carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine and metaxalone are not found to be effective in the treatment of spasticity associated with upper motor neuron syndromes.
Cyclobenzaprine has also been studied in the treatment of fibromyalgia and migraine.
Medications that act as central nervous system depressants and have sedative and musculoskeletal relaxant properties are called muscle relaxants.