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Tizanidine (Zanaflex)

What is Tizanidine (Zanaflex)?

Tizanidine (Zanaflex) is a fast-acting muscle relaxant. It helps by relieving rigidity and reduces inflammation and swelling in conditions that affect the muscles. Tizanidine works by blocking the chemical messengers in the brain that cause such symptoms. Thus, it relieves muscle stiffness or spasms and thus improves muscle movement.

It is a prescription-based medicine; you should take it in dose and duration as your doctor suggested. Tizanidine can help you perform your daily activities more easily by easing pain and improving muscle movement.

Medical benefits of Tizanidine

Tizanidine, sold under the brand name Zanaflex, helps to treat medical conditions like-

Muscle spasticity

How does Tizanidine work?

Tizanidine is a muscle relaxant and works by blocking nerve impulses. It specifically blocks the nerve impulses that send pain signals to our brain. Tizanidine helps to calm overactive nerves in the spinal cord. This way, it prevents excessive signs leading to muscle spasms and stiffness. This drug relieves pain and also improves the movement of muscles.

How to take Tizanidine?

Tizanidine comes in the form of oral tablets and Capsules. It is available in different dosage strengths, and a doctor will prescribe it depending on certain factors. Factors like age, medical condition, tolerance and efficiency of an individual. Tizanidine is not for use in children less than 18 years of age, and the rest of the age group people should use it in directed doses.

To take a Tizanidine tablet or Capsule, you can take it with or without food. Swallow the pill orally with a glass of water, and ensure you do not chew or break it while eating. And, if you have any doubt regarding your dosage, please consult a doctor and only make changes with the doctor's advice.

Depending on a person's medical condition, a doctor may prescribe it for long-term or short-term treatment. Also, it comes with serious risks, so it would be best to take it as prescribed. Tizanidine can also induce withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly, so inform your doctor before you stop taking this drug.

Missed Dose

Do not miss your doses, and ensure you take them on schedule. If you forget to take any Tizanidine, take it as soon as possible. But if it's time for the next scheduled dose, skip the missed one and return to your regular scheduled doses.


Taking too much Tizanidine, more than the prescribed dose, can lead to unwanted outcomes. Overdosing can lead to symptoms such as

  • Decrease heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Slow breathing
  • Severe fall in blood pressure

If you mistakenly consume an overdose, make sure that you seek immediate medical help.

Side effects of Tizanidine(Zanaflex)

These are some common and Less common side effects that may appear during the use of Tizanidine.


  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness

Less common

  • Hallucinations
  • Low blood pressure
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes
  • Right upper belly pain
  • Liver injury
  • CNS depression
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling faint
  • Blurry vision
  • Allergic reactions include itching, skin rash, and swelling of the face. Lips, tongue, or throat and hives

If you suspect any common and less common side effects that turn severe, please consult a doctor. Seek immediate medical help if required.

Drug Interaction for Tizanidine

Certain drugs can interact with Tizanidine and lead to a negative impact on your health. So inform your doctor about the medicine you are already taking before starting Tizanidine. Drugs that may cause interaction with this drug are-

  • Zileuton
  • Acyclovir
  • Antibiotic medicines like moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin and levofloxacin
  • Stomach acid medications such as famotidine, cimetidine
  • Birth control pills
  • Verapamil, amiodarone, propafenone and mexiletine-like heart rhythm medications
  • Ticlopidine
  • Blood pressure drugs like guanfacine, clonidine, methyldopa

Disease Interaction for Tizanidine(Zanaflex)

Using Tizanidine under certain medical conditions can be highly unsafe. Here are some health conditions that the use of this drug may influence. So inform your doctor if you have any of these health conditions before you start taking Tizanidine-

  • Bradyarrhythmias(Slow heart rate)
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Low blood pressure problem
  • Certain Neurological conditions

Precautions and Safety advice

  • Do not consume alcohol while taking Tizanidine, as it can be unsafe.
  • A person having an allergy to Tizanidine should not take it.
  • Tizanidine is unsafe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It is essential to discuss this with a doctor before you use this drug in these situations.
  • Tizanidine oral drug can decrease your alertness, making you sleepy or dizzy. If you face such effects of this drug on your body, then do not drive. Wait until you feel alright and face.
  • You need caution while taking Tizanidine if you have liver or kidney disease. Your doctor may adjust your dosage to prevent risk factors if you have these medical problems. So, discuss your medical history with a doctor before starting treatment with Tizanidine.
  • A person over the age of 65 may have a stronger reaction to Tizanidine and need a smaller dose of this drug. 

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Is Tizanidine a potent muscle relaxer?

Tizanidine is a fast-acting muscle relaxant; it helps to treat muscle spasticity. The drug increases the inhibition of motor neurons in the brain that send messages to the muscles to contract. By blocking this action, it improves muscle movement and relieves symptoms.

Is Tizanidine stronger than Tramadol?

Yes, Tizanidine is more potent than Tramadol when dealing with muscle spasms. But If you have moderate to severe pain, then Tramadol might be an appropriate option.

Do Muscle relaxers like Tizanidine affect the heart?

Tizanidine may cause heart arrhythmias (heart rate or rhythm problems). It comes with a warning of affecting the heart rhythm. So, if you already have heart problems or are taking drugs used to treat depression, then you are at risk while using this drug. So make sure you consult with a doctor and use it with caution.