Cyclobenzaprine, more commonly known by its trade name Flexeril, is primarily used as a muscle relaxant. The drug is subject to abuse because, when taken at higher-than-prescription doses, it produces feelings of extreme relaxation. Signs of cyclobenzaprine abuse are many and varied but most often include extreme sleepiness, confusion, and loss of appetite. Extreme abuse of this drug can cause unconsciousness, irregular heartbeat, seizure, and possibly death.
This particular medication is usually prescribed to people who suffer from muscles spasm due to injury or other conditions. It affects the central nervous system and calms the spasms, thus reducing pain and discomfort. Normally, doctors prescribe it in doses of 5 to 10 mg. In the case of cyclobenzaprine abuse, though, users take doses ranging from 20 to 80 mg.
Those who abuse this medication often refer to it as mellow yellow or cyclone. At recreational doses, the drug is said to produce a state of extreme relaxation and a sensation of floating out of one’s own body. When taken in very high doses or with other drugs, it sometimes can produce hallucinations.
Someone who is subject to cyclobenzaprine abuse typically appears to be very drowsy and relaxed, and his or her pupils will probably be dilated. The person's breathing might be slowed or labored, and the skin could be flushed in appearance. He or she might also demonstrate a confused state of mind and slurred or incomprehensible speech. Dizziness and loss of balance often occur as well. Extended cyclobenzaprine abuse over a period of time can also cause a person to experience blurred vision.
When taken at excessive doses, cyclobenzaprine can cause an irregular heartbeat. The heart can feel as though it is racing or is somehow out of rhythm. Extreme cyclobenzaprine abuse can result in an anticholinergic toxidrome, in which the intended beneficial chemicals in the drug reach toxic, or poisonous, levels in the body. This is a dangerous condition, and oftentimes, the drug affects the heart muscle to such a degree that the user suffers cardiac arrest, which can lead to death.
Many times, cyclobenzaprine abuse occurs in conjunction with other drug or alcohol abuse. Certain other drugs, when taken together with cyclobenzaprine, are said to produce psychoactive effects. Alcohol is said to increase the relaxation effects of cyclobenzaprine. Mixing other drugs or alcohol with cyclobenzaprine can have devastating adverse reactions, including seizures, unconsciousness, tachycardia, and death. If a person suspected of cyclobenzaprine abuse loses consciousness, has difficulty breathing, experiences chest pains, numbness, or any of the aforementioned symptoms, emergency personnel should be contacted without delay.