Muscle Relaxants and Alcohol Interactions


It can be hard to admit that you’re facing alcohol addiction or drug addiction, and it can be even harder to take the first step to overcome it. Fortunately, a variety of treatment programs, different addiction recovery types of drug detox, and addiction treatment programs exist that can help you through the process. Be honest with healthcare providers about the substances you’ve consumed for accurate treatment.

This makes consulting with the doctor imperative so that the half-life of the specific muscle relaxant taken can be established. If you are taking muscle relaxers, it’s best to avoid alcohol consumption altogether. However, if you choose to drink alcohol, it’s crucial to do so responsibly and in moderation.

The dangers linked to this use may occur unknowingly, as a person consumes one drug in close proximity to the dose of the other. This may happen when a person is taking the muscle relaxant as prescribed and has a drink with it (without realizing the harmful interactions). It can also happen if they have a drink a short time latter while the medication is still in their system. As you can see, many of these sober living homes oxford houses effects echo those caused by muscle relaxants, benzodiazepines included, which is the main reason it is so risky to combine these drugs. The different types and brands of skeletal muscle relaxers work in different ways to affect muscle function. Most muscle relaxers act as central nervous system depressants and cause a sedative effect, or prevent your nerves from sending pain signals to your brain.

Long-lasting impacts on mental health and overall well-being are potential consequences of the continued mixing of muscle relaxants and alcohol. It’s crucial to understand and address these risks for a healthier future. If you find yourself thinking about combining these two substances, it’s important to consider why. Most people who are drinking alcohol and taking prescription medications are trying to amplify the effects of alcohol, which is a sign of alcohol addiction. If you have been prescribed muscle relaxers by your doctor, it’s important to ask them before consuming alcohol. Typically, alcohol should never be mixed with prescription medications, especially a muscle relaxer.

  1. Mixing alcohol and drugs is never advised, this is especially true of mixing muscle relaxers and alcohol.
  2. In this section, side effects that may arise from alcohol-muscle relaxant interactions will be discussed.
  3. When someone experiences muscle spasms, the muscle contracts and tightens involuntarily.
  4. If someone requires diazepam injections, the doctor may prescribe an initial intravenous (IV) dose of 5–10 mg and another dose 3–4 hours later.
  5. Most people who are drinking alcohol and taking prescription medications are trying to amplify the effects of alcohol, which is a sign of alcohol addiction.

If other treatments don’t work to alleviate the pain, providers may recommend a muscle relaxant. In addition to alcohol, there are other drugs that can interact with muscle relaxers as well. If you’re prescribed a muscle relaxer, be sure to let your doctor or pharmacist know any other medications you are taking. Additionally, both alcohol and muscle relaxers are potentially addictive substances. Long-term use of either or both may increase your risk of developing an addiction.

What may interact with this medication?

If this medication upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. The first author on the paper is Mehdi Farokhnia, M.D., a postdoctoral Fellow in the NIAAA/NIDA CPN Section. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Call now to be connected with one of our compassionate treatment specialists. The reactions listed for benzodiazepines are the same, except for the omission of the seizure risk.

Long-Term Side Effects of Mixing Muscle Relaxants and Alcohol

While there are many different treatments for pain, your doctor may decide that a muscle relaxer is the best solution for you. Muscle relaxers like cyclobenzaprine usually last around four to six hours. Cyclobenzaprine has a half-life that ranges between eight to 37 hours for most adults. The half-life of a substance is the amount of time it takes for your body to metabolize half of the medication and remove it from your body. Remaining abstinent from substances that the body has become physiologically dependent upon can be difficult without support. Triggers in an addicted person’s immediate environment can easily lead to relapse without the proper support.

Potential Side Effects and Complications

Some muscle relaxers start working within 30 minutes of taking them, and the effects can last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. While you are in detox, you may be given other medications to ease the withdrawal symptoms and perhaps, fluids to help keep you hydrated. The attentive medical and addiction care teams at your treatment facility are there to help you through this physically and mentally challenging time. Combining muscle relaxants with alcohol can lead to immediate side effects. You may experience increased drowsiness, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. Your coordination might be affected, making tasks like driving unsafe.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

This means that the side effects of muscle relaxers, such as drowsiness or dizziness, can be intensified when you drink alcohol. Discover the dangers and safer alternatives for responsible consumption. Typically, patients start off by taking the medication while drinking their normal amount of alcohol. Over time, cravings tend to diminish until a person reaches their goal. Although some people may still experience alcohol withdrawal, the symptoms are less intense, since baclofen seems to help treat these.

There is evidence that baclofen can be used to treat other addictions as well, particularly cocaine, so it can be a good option if you struggle with both issues. Finally, like acamprosate and gabapentin, baclofen may help with insomnia and anxiety. It’s important to ask your doctor if there is anything you should avoid consuming when placed on a new prescription. The easiest way to avoid harmful drug interactions is to be informed and cautious before drinking alcohol with any prescription medication. While antispasmodics can be used to treat muscle spasms, they have not been shown to work better than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen. In addition, they have more side effects than NSAIDs or acetaminophen.

Muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol and diazepam can be habit-forming. Be sure to take your medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Below, we answer some of the most commonly asked is there a connection between narcissism and alcoholism questions about this muscle relaxer. Please call our 24-hour hotline listed above if you need information about treatment for addiction to Flexeril or alcohol for yourself or for a loved one.

In this article, we’ll explore OTC and prescription muscle relaxers. Another concern is the increased risk for overdose due to the sedative effects of both depressants. Muscle relaxers can slow down breathing, and when combined with alcohol, this effect is amplified. This can lead to difficulty breathing or even stopped breathing, which can be fatal. When someone experiences muscle spasms, the muscle contracts and tightens involuntarily. Muscle relaxers help to relieve this pain by relaxing the muscle and preventing these spasms from occurring.

This reaction could be considered both a drug-drug interaction and a drug-beverage interaction as alcohol is classified as a drug. In this blog, we cover what happens when you combine alcohol and muscle relaxers and why you should never mix these two substances together. Side effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and fatigue. Addiction Resource is an educational platform for sharing and disseminating information about addiction and substance abuse recovery centers. Addiction Resource is not a healthcare provider, nor does it claim to offer sound medical advice to anyone.