There are several factors that control how long a muscle relaxer stays in your system. These include its half-life, the condition for which it was prescribed, and other drugs a person is taking. A patient’s age and body mass also play a role in how long the drug will remain in their system. Those who have serious medical conditions may have to wait longer for the medication to take effect.
Muscle relaxants can cause side effects that may interfere with daily activities, especially if they are taken for extended periods of time. Common side effects include sedation and dizziness. This is why it’s important not to drive or operate heavy machinery while on this medication. It is also not advisable to drink alcohol while on this medication.
Typically, it takes about an hour for the drug to begin working, and its effects last for four to six hours. The most commonly used muscle relaxer is cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), which works by directing signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles. It is not a benzodiazepine, and it’s less sedating than some of the other options on this list.
It’s possible for long-term use of muscle relaxers to lead to physical dependence and addiction. This can result in withdrawal symptoms when the medication is discontinued. Additionally, it’s important to follow the dosage instructions provided by a doctor.
If a person abuses this drug or uses it for an extended period of time, they may experience overdose symptoms. These can include seizures, severe anxiety, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat and possibly death.