TIZANIDINE (Zanaflex®) is a drug used to relax certain muscles. It can help to relieve, but not cure muscle spasms (or muscle tightening) caused by medical problems such as multiple sclerosis or injuries to the brain or spine. Generic tizanidine tablets or capsules are available.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions: • heart or blood vessel disease • kidney disease • liver disease • low blood pressure • mental disorder • an unusual or allergic reaction to tizanidine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives • pregnant or trying to get pregnant • breast-feeding
How should I take this medicine?
Take tizanidine tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets or capsules with a drink of water. Do not take with food until you have talked with your health care provider. Food can change the amount of tizanidine absorbed by the body. This can cause tizanidine not to work for you or to cause more side effects. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Check with your prescriber or health care professional before stopping your medicine; gradual dosage reduction may be needed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Older patients (age > 65 years) may have a stronger reaction to this medicine and may need smaller doses.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with tizanidine?
• acetaminophen • alcohol • antihistamine medicines for colds, hay fever, or allergies • baclofen • benzodiazepine or sedative medicines for treating anxiety or to induce sleep • barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures (convulsions) • birth control pills • medicines for high blood pressure • medicines for mental depression or other mental disorders • medicines for pain such codeine, morphine, hydrocodone and others • phenytoin or fosphenytoin • rofecoxib
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking tizanidine?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible: • confusion • dizziness or fainting spells • excitability, nervousness • low blood pressure • nausea or vomiting • slow or irregular heartbeat, palpitations, or chest pain • stomach pain • unusual or persistent rash • unusual tiredness or weakness • yellowing of the skin or eyes
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome): • blurred vision • constipation • drowsiness • dry mouth • tiredness or weakness
What should I watch for while taking tizanidine?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Do not suddenly stop taking tizanidine. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for advice on how to gradually reduce the dose of your medicine, before stopping completely.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how tizanidine affects you. To avoid dizzy or fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older person. Alcohol can make you more drowsy and dizzy. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds or allergies without asking your prescriber or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients (antihistamines) can cause drowsiness which may be additive with tizanidine.
If you are going to have surgery tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking tizanidine.
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15—30 degrees C (59—86 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.