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What are the Effects of Mixing Flexeril and Alcohol?

In 2011, more than 52,000 admissions to hospital emergency rooms involved muscle relaxants, and cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) accounted for 11,000 of those. Of the 52,000 emergency room admissions, 18% involved the combination of Flexeril and alcohol.1

Flexeril is an antispasmodic drug used to treat muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pain. It is a central nervous system depressant and acts centrally within the brain to achieve skeletal muscle relaxing effects. Some common side effects of Flexeril include blurred vision, drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches. Flexeril is considered to be a high-risk medication for individuals over the age of 65 due to an increased chance of injury from falls. Combining Flexeril with alcohol should also be avoided since this mixture can result in a sensation similar to opioids.2

Alcohol is the most widely abused substance in the United States.3 The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 15.2% of people who begin drinking by the age of 14 will go on to develop a substance use disorder later in life.4 Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that slows brain functioning and impedes motor coordination.5

The dangers of mixing Flexeril and alcohol are outlined below. If you or someone you know frequently mixes these substances, it may be time to seek professional help. Please call our 24-hour hotline at if you need information about treatment for addiction to Flexeril or alcohol for yourself or for a loved one.

What are the Side Effects of Taking Flexeril with Alcohol?

Drug interactions and warnings issued with Flexeril state that the drug “may enhance the effects of alcohol.”6 It would be unwise to misinterpret this statement as an endorsement to use this dangerous combination.

The side effects of combining these two substances include:

  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Slowed mental processing.
  • Decreased motor coordination.

Given that both substances are central nervous system depressants, mixing the two substances has the potential to greatly exacerbate these and other symptoms and lead to a higher incidence of accidents. Although alcohol misuse is much more likely to cause physiological dependence than Flexeril, using the two substances together increases the likelihood that dependence may occur.5

Treatment for Addiction to Flexeril and Alcohol

Flexeril is an effective pharmacological treatment for muscle spasms and pain, but it can cause adverse side effects when mixed with alcohol. If you or a loved one has been prescribed Flexeril but are no longer using it as prescribed or are combining it with alcohol, it may be time to seek help. A number of treatment approaches are available to help treat Flexeril and alcohol addiction.

Detox Treatment

Detox treatment facilities help you through the acute withdrawal symptoms that may occur when you stop taking Flexeril and/or alcohol. Interventions may include medication therapy, group therapy, individual therapy, and recreational therapy.

Every detox center is different, so it is important to speak to someone who can refer you to the facility that best meets your treatment needs. It is especially important to be forthcoming about the extent of your alcohol abuse because the associated withdrawal syndrome can be severe if not life threatening.

Inpatient/Residential Rehab and Intensive Outpatient Programs

Remaining abstinent from substances that the body has become physiologically dependent upon can be difficult without support.

Triggers in an addicted person’s immediate environment can easily lead to relapse without the proper coping skills. Inpatient rehab or an intensive outpatient program can help a person addicted to alcohol smoothly navigate this transitional phase, which is critical to long-term sobriety.

Consider a longer-term detox and treatment facility if a professional has told you that your alcohol misuse is severe, or if you’ve relapsed several times in the past. The most common treatment is 28 days at an inpatient or residential rehab facility.

Residential treatment facilities typically offer comprehensive care including individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, nutrition classes, a healthy and balanced diet, assistance with lifestyle changes, and both exercise and relaxation classes. Some facilities also include step-down levels of care to include a partial hospitalization program or an intensive outpatient program. The costs and locations of these facilities vary greatly, so speak with someone who can help you make a decision that is within your budget and that best suits your treatment needs.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is often the primary focus of inpatient rehab or an intensive outpatient program for treatment of polysubstance use like Flexeril and alcohol, but some programs offer weekly family sessions and individual sessions as needed.

Many inpatient rehab centers offer a full day of group therapy sessions in a setting in which medications can also be administered and monitored. Outpatient treatments vary in length but often consist of a half-day group therapy program in which any necessary medications are managed by an outside healthcare provider.

Some addiction treatment programs are substance-specific or mental-health specific, while others focus on dual-diagnosis treatment, which is when a mental health condition and substance use disorder co-exist. Each addiction treatment facility is different, so a person seeking treatment for Flexeril and alcohol addiction should ask to be referred to the right facility for the best chance at sustained recovery.

Verification of Benefits

Please call our 24-hour hotline listed above if you need information about treatment for addiction to Flexeril or alcohol for yourself or for a loved one.

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