Centrally acting muscle relaxants

Carisoprodol (Soma), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Methocarbamol (Robaxin).

These drugs decrease pain, increase range of motion and have a sedative effect on the patient. Centrally acting muscle relaxants should not be taken concurrently with central nervous system depressants such as barbiturates, narcotics, and alcohol.

Diazepam (Valium) and Baclofen (Lioresal)

These are used to treat acute spasms from muscle trauma and for treating spasms caused by chronic neurologic disorders.

Dantrolene sodium (Dantrium)

This is a peripherally acting muscle relaxant. Peripherally acting muscle relaxants depress neuron activity at the skeletal muscles and have a minimal effect on the central nervous system. These are most effective for spasticity or muscle contractions caused by chronic neurologic disorders. This is also used to treat malignant hypertension which is an allergic reaction to anesthesia.

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