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Skeletal Muscle Relaxants

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A class of drugs known as skeletal muscle relaxants works by acting on the central nervous system to cause relaxation and lessen spasms in the muscles. These medications are frequently used to treat musculoskeletal symptoms like strained muscles, back pain, and stiffness brought on by neurological problems. They accomplish their muscle-relaxing effects by focusing on various nervous system pathways.Benzodiazepines, which include lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium), are one class of skeletal muscle relaxants. The neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which lowers neuronal activity, has inhibitory effects that these medications intensify. Benzodiazepines provide hypnotic and anxiolytic effects via raising GABA activity, which consequently causes muscles to relax. They are normally taken sparingly and cautiously because they have the potential to be abused and might make you drowsy.Centrally acting muscle relaxants, such as methocarbamol (Robaxin) and cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), are another type of muscle relaxants. These medications mostly function inside the central nervous system by blocking spinal cord reflexes. For instance, cyclobenzaprine is believed to lessen muscle spasms by reducing the activity of noradrenergic neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord. Conversely, methocarbamol probably works by suppressing the central nervous system and blocking the multisynaptic pathways that are involved in the stretch reflex.Although methocarbamol and cyclobenzaprine are also centrally acting muscle relaxants, tizanidine, often known as Zanaflex, acts differently. Tizanidine activates alpha-2 receptors in the central nervous system, making it an alpha-2 adrenergic agonist. By doing this, it prevents excitatory neurotransmitters from being released, which lowers muscular tone and stiffness. It's frequently used for spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis. Peripherally acting muscle relaxants such as dantrolene (Dantrium) exist in addition to these. By obstructing the release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, which is required for muscular contraction, dantrolene directly affects skeletal muscle. Because of its special function, it's very helpful for diseases like malignant hyperthermia and abnormalities of the higher motor neurons that produce spasticity.Skeletal muscle relaxants have the potential to cause adverse effects such dry mouth, sleepiness, dizziness, and liver damage, even though they can be useful in treating diseases relating to the muscles. Patients should take these drugs under the supervision of a medical practitioner so that the latter can monitor the effects and change the dosage as necessary.