Muscle relaxants work to ease muscle spasms by inhibiting nerve signals from the brain and spinal cord, blocking the spasm-pain message. This makes them very effective at calming the muscles and also causes general sedation. This is why they are often taken at night. They are also known to cause a host of side effects, some of which can be quite severe. For this reason, they are generally only prescribed for short-term use.
The duration of time that muscle relaxers remain in a person’s system depends on a variety of factors. For example, the drug cyclobenzaprine (brand name Flexeril) can be detected in urine for up to eight days after use. Other medications, like amitriptyline, may be detectable in blood tests for less time. In addition, the body’s age and overall health can influence how long drugs stay in the system as well. Those who have chronic kidney or liver disease, for example, can experience slower elimination of the medication from their bodies.
With prolonged or excessive use, the use of muscle relaxants can lead to addiction and even physical dependence. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms if the drug is suddenly stopped or if the dose is significantly reduced. If a person is addicted to muscle relaxants, they should seek help to overcome the addiction and get back on track. There are many treatments available that can assist in getting the user sober from muscle relaxants. Regardless of how the addiction is treated, recovery from any drug is a long process and requires dedication.