Zanaflex Vs Baclofen (lioresal)

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Belinda Says:
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I've been on muscle relaxers for about 7 years, due to a neck fracture injury ending in a surgut oval nonfusion. I have chaotic pain that my pain Doctor treats with 10/325 Hyrdroco/APAP. Limit of six per day. Some days I take the maximum some days I don't depending on my activities. He substitutes my hydrocodone done with Baclofen 10 mg. his prescription says take one to two tablets by mouth three times daily as needed for muscle spasms. I rarely ever take the maximum dose. We first started out with Flexeril that worked for a little while but I needed something more. I was having severe muscle spasm's that felt like my muscles in my shoulderswere drawing up into my ears. This caused excruciating headaches. So he put me on a stronger muscle relaxer back to the van and we talked about the severity of the medication. He indicated that this was a very strong muscle relaxer. Now that I'm seeing a pattern of not using the Baclofen as much as he described. I would like to reduce the potency of the medication and go down to something less serious Which please don't get me wrong, all medications are serious. Is Zanaflex a lesser string of medication? I know I'm probably asking the question wrong but I'm not for sure of the wording I need to ask the question correctly. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I go to see my physician in a few weeks and would like to bring some informed material to him for us to discuss. I have a very good rapport with my pain management doctor because I don't want to increase strength of medication and less it's absolutely necessary and he appreciates my attitude toward medications in general.


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Verwon Says:

Hello, Belinda! How are you?

Neither of these muscle relaxants are super strong, it really just depends on which one works better for the individual taking them. But these are both actually on the lower end of the spectrum.

The FDA lists their typical side effects as possibly including nausea, dizziness, headache and dry mouth.

The best thing to do might be to just inform him that you don't always need to take them all.

Is there anything else I can help with?

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Belinda Says:
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Thank you Verwon, it makes me feel better when you indicated these were on the lower end of strength. The nurse practitioner in my pain management doctors office made me feel like these were very seriously and addictive medications. I was really concerned about that, so I've been trying not to take them and try mind over matter with the spasms and cramps. Some nights I would go all night without sleep just because I was afraid to take the medication. I have not requested the change yet. But did ask for another medication when I felt I could tolerate a medication not as strong as the Vicodin. He prescribed me Tramadol. He is allowing me to determine when I need the stronger medication. My main purpose is if I can tolerate using the Tramadol more throughout the day for pain, when I go back to see my pain management doctor in three months I'm hoping we can try to reduce my Vicodin down to 7.5 instead of 10. It's my choice to try to reduce my dosage because it scares me reading how several people self medicate and over medicate. What is your feeling about using Tramadol for breakthrough pain?

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