Are Muscle Relaxers Addictive?

Are Muscle Relaxers Addictive?

The two most significant types of muscle relaxers include neuromuscular blockers and spasmolytics.

While neuromuscular blockers are useful in surgical procedures, spasmolytics are commonly used to relieve pain associated with spasms and various other neurological conditions.

Neuromuscular blockers are also used to cause temporary paralysis in emergency situations.

Despite the benefits, doctors do not always recommend muscle relaxers as the first method of treatment for back pain because of their side effects.

They are basically used to cure more severe neurological conditions, in which an initial assessment is necessary to evaluate the need for the drug and the duration it is required.

They are not prescribed for prolonged use, and those individuals who are using them should do so under the care of a physician.


If you take the drug strictly according to the doctor’s prescription, it may produce some mild side effects while improving the pain, but it does not make you addictive.

For instance, people living with arthritis usually find lots of relief with muscle relaxers.

The addiction to muscle relaxers develops when the drugs are habitually taken to relieve pain.

Due to the fast-acting nature of the drugs, it is not uncommon for individuals to become dependent on them whenever they feel any degree of pain. The drug becomes the primary source of relaxation and relief from both mental and physical stresses.

Even more concerning is when muscle relaxers are used with other substances.

The combination of different drugs results in the exacerbation of the side effects associated with abuse. Individuals who are no longer using the drug can experience withdrawal symptoms after prolonged use.

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Muscle relaxers can be very dangerous and highly addictive if not used as advised by the physician.

While the addiction and abuse of muscle relaxers are not as commonly seen as other controlled substances, the wide use of these drugs to relieve pain makes them more readily and easily available in many households, which has made them easier to abuse.

For avoiding any addiction risk you should try an OTC before making an appointment with your doctor for a prescription, read our OTC Muscle Relaxer Buying Guide.

Side Effects

Abusing muscle relaxers can result in severe adverse side effects that can alter normal everyday functions.

Incidents of dizziness, sedation and drowsiness are commonly reported, whereas in other cases, muscle relaxers’ high can lead to paralysis and heart failure.

Considering the side effects of using these drugs, individuals are recommended not to operate any machinery or drive after taking the drug. Furthermore, the drug should be taken before going to bed.


The results of muscle relaxer abuse on the nervous system make it attractive to individuals who are looking to get high.

Often, muscle relaxers are abused along with other substances to produce greater experiences of euphoria.

A few types of muscle relaxers, especially when taken in combination with other substances or in excess, can cause irregular heartbeat, severe allergic reactions and hallucinations.

Since these drugs are made to slow down the central nervous system (CNS), the dangers associated with abusing muscle relaxants can be life-threatening.


Muscle relaxant drugs are also known to increase the effects of alcohol as well as other drugs that suppress the central nervous system.

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Any individual who is consuming muscle relaxants is advised to avoid activities that might compromise their performance and safety.

The United States Food and Drug Administration does not recommend the use of muscle relaxants for a longer time.

If you experience any unusual sickness or disease such as kidney disease, allergies, irregular heartbeat, hepatitis, overactive thyroid, glaucoma or problem in urination, then you should immediately consult your doctor.

David Warren
David Warren

Pharmaceutical specialist at
David Warren is a pharmaceutical specialist that dispenses prescription medication on a daily basis. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Tennessee in 1991. With over 50 publications on medication-related and pharmacy topics, David has been able to share his experiences and knowledge with others.

David with lots of experience and knowledge in medications that are utilized to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Before David dispenses a medication to a patient, he will go over the side effects, dosage recommendation and contraindications.
David Warren
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