Is diazepam a muscle relaxant
Is diazepam a muscle relaxant?
Benzodiazepines raise the level of GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain).
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Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send messages among brain cells; these messages may have calming or stimulating effects.
GABA sends calming messages.
Commonly used benzodiazepines:
Like most benzodiazepines, diazepam is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of:
- Generalized anxiety disorder.
- Social anxiety disorder.
- Panic disorder.
- Sedation before surgeries.
- Muscle relaxation.
Other off-label uses:
- Bipolar disorder.
- Managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
But, is diazepam a muscle relaxant?
First, let’s define muscle spasms.
A muscle spasm is a sudden and involuntary movement in one or more of the body’s muscles.
We can call it a muscle cramp or twitch.
The main cause of muscle spasms is stress, fatigue, overuse, or aggressive exercising.
Muscle spasms are common in any part of the body, but they mainly tend to affect:
- Muscles around the rib cage (intercostal muscles).
Who is more subjected to muscle spasms?
- Athletes who don’t have enough warming up time before exercising or those who exercise in very hot weather.
Also, drinking an insufficient amount of water before exercising increases the chance of muscle spasms due to dehydration.
- Elderly people.
- People suffering from obesity.
- Pregnant women.
- Patients with thyroid gland problems.
Muscle spasm is usually not a dangerous condition. However, it could be a warning sign for an underlying neurological health condition such as multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, liver cirrhosis, problems with metabolism, circulation, or nerves.
Symptoms of muscle spasms:
Most muscle spasms are not painful, but in some cases, they can cause pain.
Patients feel that muscles are jumping or moving on their own.
In some cases, the patient may feel that the whole muscle is cramped and can’t move, this feeling usually happens in the legs.
This cramping sensation passes within several minutes but the pain may last for some time.
If the muscle spasm is due to a certain neurological health condition the patient will experience some symptoms including:
- Head, neck, or back pain.
- Muscle weakness.
- Pins-and-needles sensation.
- Double vision.
- Slow movement.
- Sleep problems.
Is diazepam a muscle relaxant? Yes, and here is the way of treatment:
Usually, muscle spasm relives on its own without any treatment.
Dehydration-related muscle cramps are easily cured by drinking plenty of water.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help by reducing inflammation and pain.
- Pickle juice:
Drinking pickle juice relieves the cramping muscle within 30 to 35 seconds.
This occurs by restoring the electrolyte balance.
Vitamin B12 and magnesium help in preventing muscle spasms.
Is diazepam a muscle relaxant? Yes, but take care of using it with these:
- Sleeping pills.
- CNS depressant drugs such as opioids.
Is diazepam a muscle relaxant? Yes, but make sure you tell your doctor if you have any of these health conditions:
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Breathing problems (respiratory depression).
- Mental health problems.
- Seizures or even a history of seizures.
- Narrow-angle glaucoma or uncontrolled open-angle glaucoma.
- Severe liver diseases.
- Myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness).
- Sleep apnea (a temporary stop of breathing during sleep).
- Kidney diseases.
Is diazepam a muscle relaxant? Yes, but you should be aware of the possible side effects:
- Unsteady walk.
- Problems with muscle control and coordination.
- Black stool.
- Blurred vision.
- Decrease in frequency of urination.
- Dark urine.
- Delusions and hallucinations.
- Fast heartbeats.
- Lack of breathing.
- Dry mouth.
- Loss of interest in sex.
- Amnesia (difficulty in remembering things).
- Feeling over-excited or aggressive.
Is diazepam a muscle relaxant? Yes, but it should not be used with:
- Antipsychotics (drugs used to treat mental health conditions).
- Antidepressants (drugs used to treat depression).
- Anticonvulsants (to treat epilepsy).
- Antihistamines (such as chlorphenamine).
- Pain killers (as codeine or morphine).
- Antifungal medicines (such as fluconazole).
- Antacids (proton pump inhibitors: medicines that reduce stomach acids as omeprazole or esomeprazole).
- Other muscle relaxants such as baclofen.
- Medicines used to reduce the adverse effects of alcohol withdrawal such as disulfiram.
- Some drugs for bacterial infection as rifampicin.
Some recommended tips that may help with painful cramps:
- Stop any activity that can cause cramps,for example: running.
- Gently massage the cramping muscle.
- Gently stretch the cramping muscle.
- Try a heating pad to relax the muscles.
Is diazepam a muscle relaxant?
Yes, but diazepam is used only for short-term treatments, it’s not recommended to be used for more than 4 weeks due to the fear of occurrence of drug dependence or tolerance.
If you think you are suffering from muscle spasms, diazepam would be a good choice as a muscle relaxant.