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Can you get high on cyclobenzaprine: Flexeril Addiction And Abuse – Addiction Center

What Does A Cyclobenzaprine High Feel Like? Is It Dangerous?

Cyclobenzaprine, better known as the brand name medication Flexeril, is a muscle relaxant used to treat muscle-related pain such as tenderness and spasms from strains and other types of muscle injuries. Despite being deemed low to no-risk by the DEA (Flexeril is not a controlled substance) cyclobenzaprine abuse is a fairly regular occurrence that is at its most dangerous when it’s combined with other substances be they legal or illicit, depressant or stimulant. 

How Does Cyclobenzaprine Work? 

Cyclobenzaprine works by blocking the pain signals sent from nerves to the brain (two key components of the central nervous system), rather than impacting the muscles directly. Like any other drug that impacts the CNS, side effects are far-reaching and affect respiratory, cardiovascular, and even gastrointestinal function. Side effects can take place within 20 to 40 minutes of ingestion and last 4-6 hours for immediate-release tablets or up to 24 hours for extended-release tablets.

Pain medication of any kind has a high potential to be habit-forming, but those with long half-lives such as cyclobenzaprine face a significant risk of doing so and causing toxic levels of medication build-up. As a result, this medication is only intended for short-term use or periods for a few weeks at a time. 

Can Cyclobenzaprine Get You High?

On its own, cyclobenzaprine has minimal risks or long-term effects. However, it does have sedative properties, and misusing this drug (taking too much, crushing or chewing a capsule rather than swallowing, using it without a prescription) can result in a cyclobenzaprine high. 

A cyclobenzaprine high causes feelings of sedation and mild euphoria. Those effects—and its dangers—are heightened when cyclobenzaprine is combined with other drugs, particularly central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, benzos, and barbiturates. 

Wherever there are drug highs to be found, there are adverse effects including the risk of overdosing, developing an addiction, and even withdrawal effects. In rare circumstances, cyclobenzaprine can even cause life-threatening complications. 

Risks & Drug Interactions

The risk of adverse side effects becomes more serious in instances when cyclobenzaprine was combined with other drugs. When mixed with depressants, it can amplify the effects of those drugs to cause intense and debilitating consequences that affect cognition, consciousness, and basic bodily functions. It also significantly increases the likelihood of a cyclobenzaprine overdose which can result in extreme drowsiness and CNS depression.

However, cyclobenzaprine can also be harmful when combined with stimulants, antidepressants, or even simple over-the-counter migraine medication. The presence of cyclobenzaprine in the body can cause a condition called serotonin syndrome; when there’s too much serotonin being present in the body. These symptoms can take effect within hours of taking a medication, ranging from mild to severe, and yes, can even result in death.

Side Effects of Cyclobenzaprine Abuse 

Common Side Effects

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea


Uncommon Side Effects

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Hives or skin rash
  • Swelling of tongue or face


Serious Side Effects

  • Agitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Slurred speech
  • Shivering
  • Sweating
  • Twitching
  • Vomiting

Struggling With Prescription Painkillers?

If you are struggling with prescription painkillers, you’re not alone. These drugs (including opioid analgesics) are the leading cause of addiction and overdose in the nation. Specialized addiction treatment centers can help individuals get through unpleasant withdrawal side effects and safely overcome any compulsive or inappropriate use of pain meds. Call today to learn more. 




Treatment for Recreational Use of Flexeril

A prescription-based medication, cyclobenzaprine (known by the brand names Flexeril and Amrix) is similar to tricyclic antidepressants and being both diverted and abused, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports.

Designed for the short-term relief of limited motion and pain that may be caused by muscle spasms, cyclobenzaprine is a central nervous system muscle relaxer that may stop hyperactive nerve firings that can cause muscles to spasm.

The DEA reports that there were more than 25 million prescriptions written for cyclobenzaprine in 2011, which may be a common medication prescribed for back pain. Flexeril comes in tablet form in both immediate- and extended-release formations to be swallowed.

Who Abuses Flexeril and Why?

NIDA reports that young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 (according to 2014 data) abuse prescription drugs at the highest rates of any other age demographic. Young adults may use the Internet to access information on how to abuse Flexeril and the possible desirable effects that may come from the drug’s recreational use. Flexeril may be used to heighten the effects of alcohol or other drugs when used recreationally.

Prescription drugs are abused across almost all age, gender, race, cultural, and socioeconomic demographics, however. For example, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that prescription drug abuse is increasing for older adults in their 50s, which may be of particular concern due to the range of negative side effects that specifically impact this population group. Flexeril in particular is not even generally prescribed to the elderly population, according to the FDA, because of the high risk factors.

Additionally, individuals with a legitimate prescription to Flexeril may develop a tolerance to the drug, requiring them to take higher and more frequent doses to feel its effects. Drug dependence can develop wherein the brain becomes accustomed to the interaction of cyclobenzaprine and begins to rely on it in order to keep functioning the same way.

Dependence on cyclobenzaprine is recognized by the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the drug leaves the bloodstream. These may include fatigue, nausea, headache, and general malaise.

Understanding Drug Dependence and Addiction

The terms drug dependence and addiction are often used interchangeably; however, they are not the same thing. A dependence on a drug can occur independently of addiction. It is a physical reaction to the brain needing a particular drug to remain balanced. Drug dependence can form even when a drug is taken for medical reasons and used exactly as prescribed. Narcotic drugs, like opioids, and sedatives, like benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants (which are similar in structure to cyclobenzaprine), can cause physical dependence.

Medical help is needed to stop taking a drug after a person has become dependent on it, as withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings may be significant. Instead of stopping the drug suddenly, these drugs can be tapered off slowly, or their dosage slowly reduced over a period of time to minimize withdrawal. This should only be done under medical supervision. Significant dependence, often created by the nonmedical use of drugs, is best treated with medical detox where medications may be used and medical supervision is available around the clock.

Addiction is not just physical but also behavioral. Addiction is classified as a disease by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) that is related to changes in brain structure and chemical makeup as the result of substance abuse. The main indicator of drug addiction is a loss of control over drug use. An individual battling addiction may make multiple attempts to stop using the drug, may take more than intended at one time, or may take the drug for longer than initially desired. Individuals suffering from addiction may use drugs in situations that could potentially be hazardous and continue abusing them even when negative consequences are clear.

Signs of a Cyclobenzaprine Overdose

A drug overdose occurs when a toxin is unable to be successfully metabolized and removed from the body, and certain bodily functions are negatively affected. In the case of cyclobenzaprine, the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology reports that more than 100 mg of the drug taken in one dose can cause a toxic overdose.

The FDA publishes the following as potential overdose signs of Flexural:

  • Drowsiness
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of muscle control (ataxia)
  • Coma

Less common and more serious symptoms of a Flexeril overdose, according to the drug’s prescription information published by the FDA, include:

  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Extremely low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • The heart stops beating (cardiac arrest)
  • Irregular heart rate (cardiac dysrhythmia)
  • Fever, muscle rigidity, and altered mental state (neuroleptic malignant syndrome)

A toxic overdose necessitates immediate medical attention.

The DEA reported that in 2010, there were over 10,000 mentions of cyclobenzaprine in calls to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) published that in 2011, more than 11,000 people sought emergency department (ED) treatment for abuse of cyclobenzaprine.

Recovery Is Possible

If an overdose on cyclobenzaprine is suspected, call 911. Immediate medical attention is always needed in cases of overdose.

If you, or someone you love, have been struggling with Flexeril abuse, treatment is needed. With medical detox and comprehensive addiction treatment, you can leave such abuse in your past and embrace a happier, healthier future without substance abuse of any kind.

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Last Updated on Nov 16, 2022

Description of CYCLOBENZAPRIN indications, dosages, contraindications of the active substance CYCLOBENZAPRINE

Rec. INN
WHO registered

drug interaction

Included in preparations:

Pharmacological action

Cyclobenzaprine is a centrally acting muscle relaxant.

Indications of the active substance

Treatment of painful pathologically increased tone and spasm of striated muscles in dorsopathy, dorsalgia, cervicalgia, lumbalgia, thoracalgia, sciatica.

Open list of ICD-10 codes

M40-M54 Dorsopathies (M40-M54)
M54 Dorsalgia
M54.2 Cervicalgia
M54.3 Sciatica
M54. 4 Lumbago with sciatica
M54.6 Pain in the thoracic spine
R25.2 Convulsions and spasm

Dosing regimen

Int. The recommended dose for adults is 15 mg/day. If necessary, the dose can be increased to 22.5-30 mg / day.

Elderly patients, patients with mild hepatic impairment require dose adjustment. The use of cyclobenzaprine in patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment is not recommended.

Side effects

Mental disorders: very often – drowsiness; often – irritability, anxiety; infrequently – psychosis, agitation, abnormal thoughts and dreams, hallucinations, disorientation, depression, insomnia.

From the side of the central nervous system: often – headache, dizziness, fatigue; infrequently – fainting, convulsions, ataxia, dysarthria, tremor, convulsions, muscle hypertonicity, serotonin syndrome, paresthesia, tinnitus, diplopia, taste disturbances.

From the immune system: infrequently severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic reactions, angioedema), swelling of the face, swelling of the tongue, itching, rash, urticaria.

From the urinary system: infrequently increased frequency of urination, urinary retention.

From the respiratory system: often – pharyngitis, infections of the upper respiratory tract.

From the digestive system: very often – dry mouth; often – abdominal pain, gastroesophageal reflux, constipation, diarrhea, nausea; infrequently – vomiting, anorexia, gastritis, thirst, bloating, jaundice, hepatitis, cholestasis, increased ALT activity.

From the side of the cardiovascular system: infrequently – tachycardia, arrhythmia, palpitations, hypotension, vasodilation.

On the part of the body as a whole: infrequently – increased sweating, weakness in certain muscle groups, malaise.

Contraindications for use

Hypersensitivity to cyclobenzaprine; the simultaneous use of drugs from the group of MAO inhibitors or the end of the course of treatment with MAO inhibitors less than 14 days before the start of therapy with cyclobenzaprine; recovery period after acute myocardial infarction; cardiac arrhythmia and conduction disorders, including blockade of the conduction system of the heart; congestive heart failure; hyperthyroidism; age up to 18 years.

Pregnancy and lactation

Contraindicated during pregnancy and during breastfeeding.

Use in hepatic impairment

Patients with mild hepatic impairment require dose adjustment. The use of cyclobenzaprine in patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment is not recommended

Use in children

Use is contraindicated in children and adolescents under 18 years of age.

Elderly use

Cyclobenzaprine should be used in elderly patients only if absolutely necessary, dose adjustment is required.


Cyclobenzaprine should only be used for a short period (up to 2-3 weeks) as there is insufficient evidence of efficacy over a longer period of time. The use of the drug cyclobenzaprine has not been shown to be effective in the treatment of muscle spasm associated with diseases of the brain or spinal cord, or with cerebral palsy.

In the elderly, the concentration of cyclobenzaprine in blood plasma increases. Also, in elderly patients, the risk of adverse reactions from the central nervous system and from the cardiovascular system, as well as the risk of developing drug interactions and the effect of the drug on concomitant diseases, may be increased. In this regard, cyclobenzaprine should be used in elderly patients only if clearly needed.

The concentration of cyclobenzaprine in patients with impaired liver function is increased. Cyclobenzaprine should be used with caution in patients with mild hepatic impairment. The use of cyclobenzaprine in patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment is not recommended due to insufficient data on the use.

Sudden discontinuation of the drug after prolonged use may in rare cases cause nausea, headache and malaise. These symptoms do not indicate the development of addiction.

Influence on the ability to drive vehicles and mechanisms

increased concentration of attention and speed of psychomotor reactions.

Drug interactions

The development of a potentially life-threatening condition – serotonin syndrome has been reported with the use of cyclobenzaprine in combination with the following drugs: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, tramadol, buprop ion, meperidine , verapamil or MAO inhibitors. If the development of symptoms of serotonin syndrome is noted, it is necessary to immediately stop taking cyclobenzaprine and any concomitant serotonergic agents and start symptomatic treatment.

If concomitant treatment with cyclobenzaprine and other serotonergic drugs is clinically warranted, careful monitoring of the patient is recommended, especially at the start of treatment or when the dose is increased.

Cyclobenzaprine is structurally similar to tricyclic antidepressants. Against the background of the use of tricyclic antidepressants, cases of arrhythmia, sinus tachycardia, intracardiac conduction disturbances, which can cause the development of myocardial infarction and stroke, have been reported.

Some of the more serious CNS reactions associated with tricyclic antidepressants have been observed in short-term studies with cyclobenzaprine for indications other than skeletal muscle spasm for musculoskeletal disorders, mostly at higher than recommended doses.

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