Skeletal Muscle Relaxants

Sharon See, PharmD; Regina Ginzburg, PharmD


Pharmacotherapy. 2008;28(2):207-213. 

In This Article


Much of the evidence regarding skeletal muscle relaxants is limited because of poor methodologic design, insensitive assessment methods, and small numbers of patients. Most active comparator trials of patients with spasticity indicated that tizanidine, baclofen, dantrolene, and diazepam improved spasticity equally. Evidence appears to support the use of tizanidine, orphenadrine, carisoprodol, and cyclobenzaprine in the treatment of acute low back pain; however, evidence for their long-term use is poor. In addition, comparative studies of antispasmodics showed no benefit of using benzodiazepines over nonbenzodiazepines. Because of similarities in efficacy and/or a lack of evidence to support one skeletal muscle relaxant versus another, drug selection should depend on adverse-effect profiles, tolerability, and cost.


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