Over the counter muscle relaxer

Muscle spasms can occur sporadically or be part of some chronic conditions (for example multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia). If you have ever experienced a muscle spasm you are aware how painful and unpleasant the feeling may be. In such situations, muscle relaxer drugs are necessary. In simple words, muscle relaxers represent medications that are responsible for the changes in the function of skeletal muscles through reducing their tone. As a result, experienced muscle spasms are decreased, the pain relieved, and overresponsive reflexes lessened. The drugs are suitable for treating short-term acute conditions and, together with other methods of minimizing uneasiness, such as physiotherapeutic procedures and some breaks from an intense physical effort, can effectively cure musculoskeletal disorders. Rather than a particular class of medications, muscle relaxers constitute a collection of various preparations with one common feature – general sedative properties. Usually, muscle relaxers are recommended to treat pain in its initial stage and during a short period of time. However, the drugs can be also advised to treat symptoms of long-term conditions. If back pain is something that you frequently experience, consulting a doctor might be required. In the cases of minor pain, using OTC muscle relaxer should be satisfactory.

OTC Muscle Relaxers

In general, muscle relaxers are used to ease muscle spasms. The spasms may be experienced as a result of different disorders that have negative effects on the human nervous system. Such disorders include, among others, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy. Muscle tightness can also occur in the case of back or head injuries of a prolonged duration. Muscle spasms are experienced due to an uncontrolled contraction of muscle fibers. Most often, these contract rapidly causing a painful reaction. Muscle stiffness takes place when contracted muscles become difficult to use. Muscle relaxers, thus, contribute to muscle relaxation and a loss of stiffness. Such action, in addition, soothes pain and eliminates the sensation of uncomfortable tightness. However, muscle relaxation can be achieved in various ways. Some medications affect the central nervous system, other directly impact the muscle. Importantly, muscle relaxer preparations should be used for the maximum period of three weeks. If the symptoms persist, a qualified healthcare practitioner has to be consulted.

Additionally, muscle relaxers cause some adverse effects. Besides drowsiness, symptoms such as dizziness, dry mouth, and nausea can occur. The drugs may undesirably react with other medicines and, consequently, contribute to amplifying some pre-existing conditions. Because of their sedative properties, the drugs must not be used when operating vehicles and machines as well as combined with alcohol. The available over the counter muscle relaxers are usually well tolerated by patients and are characterized by high effectiveness. What is more, compared to their prescription equivalents with higher doses of active substances, when used according to specifications, they do not lead to addiction. Due to the effect of a relatively rapid pain relief, the use of muscle relaxers can generally lead to addiction as patients do not want the painless periods to come to an end. Moreover, when you are buying muscle relaxers OTC, you are getting medications that cause fewer side effects. All of this makes the medications widely available. In many countries, they can be purchased at a pharmacy and regular retailers, such as supermarkets.

Types of Muscle Relaxers

There are generally two types of muscle relaxers available: spasmolytics as well as neuromuscular blockers. As the name suggests, spasmolytics are taken in order to relieve pain related to muscle spasms but also other conditions of a neurological etiology. Spasmolytics are used, among others, to treat smooth muscles spasms, notably in the digestive tract. They protect from spasms that may affect, above all, the stomach and bladder. Another application is the treatment of skeletal muscle spasms, particularly in acute pain affecting back or neck, as well as in relieving post-traumatic pain. Some neurological disorders (for example multiple sclerosis and spinal cord disease) are also associated with muscle spasms and can be alleviated using spasmolytics. In general, muscle contractions are determined by the mutual correspondence of both excitation and inhibition that synapses in the motor neurons produce. As a rule, spasmolytics operate on the principle of intensifying the inhibition or lowering the excitation. Due to the restraining effect on the central nervous system, sedation and drowsiness may be experienced while using the drugs.

Neuromuscular blockers, on the other hand, are commonly used in the case of surgical procedures as well as various emergency situations where temporary paralysis is required. The medications are given intravenously, together with general anesthesia in order to impede the sending of signals connecting motor nerve endings and muscles. This causes the necessary muscle relaxation in the case of medical procedures so that tracheal intubation can be easily facilitated, for example. On the whole, there are two types of neuromuscular blockers: depolarizing and non-depolarizing neuromuscular blockers. Depolarizing drugs operate on the basis of binding to the acetylcholine receptor and, thus, activating it. The medications cannot be metabolized by the enzyme that facilitates the degradation of acetylcholine since their prolonged binding as well as lengthened depolarization of the muscles as a result. Non-depolarizing muscle relaxants, in turn, bind to the acetylcholine receptors preventing openings of ion channels and developing muscular potential. Neuromuscular blockers cause some serious adverse effects when compared with other medications intended for the use during general anesthesia. These are mostly immunological in nature (anaphylactic reactions, for example).

List of Muscle Relaxers

Over the counter muscle relaxant drugs are commonly available in the form of pills, however, liquid medications are also offered. Generic Azor, for example, available as pills, is used in the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases, hypertension in particular. One of the drug components, Olmesartan, is essentially responsible for preventing blood vessels from constricting, which, in turn, reduces blood pressure as well as enhances the blood flow. The other substance, Amlodipine, similarly dilates blood vessels causing the heart muscle to relax.

Going further, generic Buscopan represents a drug that hinders acetylcholine within the nervous system. The medicine plays many roles in the human organism. It contributes, among others, to limiting the release of body fluids and slowing down the functioning of the stomach as well as intestines. The medicine helps relieve motion sickness and accelerates anesthesia recovery.

Generic Dulcolax falls within the category of stimulant laxatives. It affects the bowel movement by encouraging the bowel muscles to act, soothing sporadic cases of constipation, for example. What is important, the medicine must not be taken if you experience symptoms, such as stomach pain, bleeding from the digestive tract, or other severe gastrointestinal conditions.

Generic Emflaza, on the other hand, constitutes a medicine that is used when treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy in children. The condition represents a rare disorder that leads to muscle weakness. This kind of dystrophy is genetic. With the lack of the specific protein due to mutation, body muscles do not work as usual and gradually deteriorate. The progressive changes eventually result in the loss of movement ability.

Generic Flexeril, in turn, is used to relieve less serious conditions affecting skeletal muscles. Significantly, the drug must not be taken if any monoamine oxidase inhibitors (present in depression and Parkinson’s disease medications) have been used over the past two weeks as the drug may then cause dangerous adverse effects due to the interaction between the substances.

Generic Ovol is available both in the form of chewable tablets as well as liquid. The drug helps release gas in the intestinal tract without much effort, soothing the associated pain. To be most effective, it is recommended to take the medication right after meals and before bedtime. Both children and adults tolerate the medication well.

Further, generic Robaxin is widely used in the case of sprain-related pain. Its active substance, methocarbamol, effectively reduces muscle tension and can be taken together with other painkillers without causing any harm.

Generic Savella represents a drug used to sooth the symptoms of fibromyalgia. This serious illness is associated with chronic pain as well as an elevated sensitivity to pressure. The condition could be the effect of the altered levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Due to the use of Savella, more neurotransmitters find their way to neurons, relieving the pain as a consequence. The drug dose should be gradually increased up to 200 milligrams per day.

Finally, generic Zanaflex is recommended for healing muscle spasms related to occasional muscle tightness and need to be taken solely before carrying out activities that may cause such a tightness. The drug, however, may affect your balance during some activities, therefore, prior reflection as to the planned daily undertakings is required.

Prices of the presented over the counter muscle relaxers vary from $1 in the case of generic Dulcolax to $9 for a liquid generic Ovol.

Muscle relaxers are medications used to relieve the pain of various etiology. Their diversity allows for treating both minor muscle spasms resulting from injuries, for example, as well as severe chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia or Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The choice of a muscle relaxer can be made considering its indications, side effects, or costs, for example. Given that, over the counter muscle relaxers represent a good option due to their high tolerance and insignificant cost. This is particularly important as the pain associated with muscle tightness requires a rapid relief and financial issues should not be a barrier to its soothing and calming effects.

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