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What Is Methocarbamol?

Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxant used to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries. It works by slowing down the nervous system and providing relief from muscle spasms. Accompanied by rest and physical therapy, it can be a key component in recovery. Wondering how it fits into your treatment plan? Let's examine its uses and benefits further.
K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning

Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxant medication. The drug is most commonly prescribed for spasms and pain in the muscular skeletal system that have been caused by injury. It is marketed under the brand name Robaxin®.

The drug works by blocking nerve impulses to the brain before they can travel to the muscles. It does not target the muscles specifically, but rather relaxes the whole body. There also are other products on the market that combine methocarbamol with pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.

Methocarbamol can be used to treat muscle strains associated with vigorous exercise.
Methocarbamol can be used to treat muscle strains associated with vigorous exercise.

Methocarbamol comes in tablet form. Many doctors will first prescribe that the drug be taken four times a day. Depending on the effect it is having, the dosage may be reduced or increased after a few days. The drug is meant to be taken for no more than a few weeks. For maximum effectiveness, most doctors will prescribe a regimen of physical therapy and rest in addition to methocarbamol treatment.

Alcohol should be avoided while taking methocarbamol as it can increase the risk of side effects.
Alcohol should be avoided while taking methocarbamol as it can increase the risk of side effects.

There are some conditions which may make taking methocarbamol too risky. Doctors will typically use caution when treating patients who have myasthenia gravis and kidney or liver disease. Pregnant women are typically advised not to take the drug, though there has been no risk determined for nursing mothers. Elderly patients are also at a higher risk for getting adverse side effects from the medication.

Elderly patients have a higher risk of negative side effects from methocarbamol.
Elderly patients have a higher risk of negative side effects from methocarbamol.

As several medications can have an adverse interaction with methocarbamol, a full medical history should be disclosed to the prescribing doctor. Allergy medications, sleep aids, and tranquilizers are among the drugs that may be of concern. Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of side effects. There may also be certain foods which could cause an adverse interaction, depending on the patient.

Tranquilizers should not be taken with methocarbamol.
Tranquilizers should not be taken with methocarbamol.

The less serious side effects of taking methocarbamol include nausea, vomiting, and headache. Some patients also experience insomnia or drowsiness, problems with memory, and dizziness. There have also been reports of fever, itching, stuffy nose, and unusual sensations under the skin such as tingling and warmth. These effects should be discussed with a doctor if they persist or become more serious. The drug can also turn urine green, black, or blue, but this is normal and does not require medical attention.

Side effects of methocarbamol may include drowsiness.
Side effects of methocarbamol may include drowsiness.

Severe side effects of taking methocarbamol should be reported to a doctor immediately. They include convulsions, a slow heart rate, or jaundice. Feelings of faintness, poor balance, a feeling of spinning, or confusion should also be treated as soon as possible.

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Discussion Comments

anon321415

Can you take ibuprofen for headaches while taking methocarbamol?

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    • Methocarbamol can be used to treat muscle strains associated with vigorous exercise.
      By: BlueSkyImages
      Methocarbamol can be used to treat muscle strains associated with vigorous exercise.
    • Alcohol should be avoided while taking methocarbamol as it can increase the risk of side effects.
      By: lacamerachiara
      Alcohol should be avoided while taking methocarbamol as it can increase the risk of side effects.
    • Elderly patients have a higher risk of negative side effects from methocarbamol.
      By: olly
      Elderly patients have a higher risk of negative side effects from methocarbamol.
    • Tranquilizers should not be taken with methocarbamol.
      By: Monkey Business
      Tranquilizers should not be taken with methocarbamol.
    • Side effects of methocarbamol may include drowsiness.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      Side effects of methocarbamol may include drowsiness.
    • Side effects of methocarbamol may include a slow heart rate.
      By: pixdesign123
      Side effects of methocarbamol may include a slow heart rate.