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Flexeril Withdrawal & Detox

Flexeril withdrawal is uncommon and generally mild, involving symptoms like nausea and headaches. Tapering doses under medical guidance is recommended to minimize discomfort. For those abusing Flexeril, addiction treatment is crucial to prevent relapse and ensure long-term recovery.

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Flexeril withdrawal doesn’t appear to be very common, and the detox process should be pretty straightforward. As long as you talk to a medical professional and taper your doses rather than suddenly stopping, withdrawal is very unlikely. 

Even if you just suddenly stop taking your medication, there aren’t many reports of serious adverse outcomes. However, it’s always best to talk to a doctor first before changing how you take any medication. If you’ve been abusing Flexeril, addiction treatment is needed to guard against the risk of relapse and to lay the groundwork of a better future.

What Is Flexeril Withdrawal?

Flexeril withdrawal is a set of unpleasant symptoms that may result from suddenly stopping or sharply reducing your intake of Flexeril after a lengthy period of using it, even if you have only used it as prescribed. 

A 2001 FDA report noted such withdrawal symptoms haven’t been reported for this drug. However, that same report also noted it shares enough chemical similarities to tricyclic drugs that can cause withdrawal that doctors should consider this when prescribing the medication.

What Causes Withdrawal From Flexeril?

It’s important to again note that there seems to be few, if any, reports of Flexeril withdrawal. 

Withdrawal occurs when a person becomes physically dependent on a drug. While this doesn’t occur with every drug, some drugs cause chemical changes to slowly occur in the brain as they’re being used. 

Eventually, the brain has undergone enough chemical changes in an attempt to compensate for the effects of the drug that a person develops physical dependence on the drug. This means that their brain has changed in such a way to essentially treat the presence of the drug as its standard state and the absence of the drug as abnormal.

This adaptation isn’t permanent. If it occurs, a person will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the medication they’ve become dependent on, as the brain is forced to slowly adapt back to viewing its sober state as its default. In the case of Flexeril withdrawal, this is unlikely to be life-threatening, but it could still be uncomfortable.

Withdrawal can generally be avoided with medication tapering, discussed more later.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Flexeril Withdrawal?

Flexeril withdrawal isn’t common, so no symptoms that occur as a result of Flexeril dependence are common. While it’s mostly theoretical due to a lack of evidence-based reports on the subject, the withdrawal symptoms most likely to occur are nausea, headache, and a general feeling of being unwell (malaise). 

Experiencing these symptoms doesn’t mean a person is addicted to Flexeril. If you stop taking Flexeril and experience these symptoms, report them to your doctor. If they are intense or last a while, seek immediate medical attention.  

Factors That Affect the Intensity of Withdrawal Symptoms

Flexeril withdrawal is expected to follow the general rules of withdrawal from any drug.  As a general rule, the longer a person takes a medication that can cause dependence and the more of that medication they take when they do take it, the more intense withdrawal is.

Additionally, one of the biggest factors in how intense withdrawal symptoms might be has to do with how suddenly the person stops taking their medication. The most intense withdrawal symptoms occur when a person stops taking a medication completely, going from a standard dose to nothing. Withdrawal symptoms are usually much less intense if a person slowly reduces their dose of medication until they eventually aren’t taking any over a period of weeks or even months.

Most doctors would recommend this tapered approach to stopping use.

How Long Does Withdrawal Last?

It’s not known how long Flexeril withdrawal generally lasts, again due to a shortage of data on the subject. Somewhat better understood is tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) withdrawal, and Flexeril shares many chemical similarities with this type of medication. 

Withdrawal from TCAs can last up to six to eight weeks, with generally mild withdrawal symptoms. 

To complicate matters further, Flexeril is often used in combination with other medications, which can also affect withdrawal symptoms. For example, if a person is taking Flexeril and an antidepressant medication, the withdrawal symptoms from both medications may interact and intensify.

Your doctor and treatment team will consider all medications and substances you’ve been taking. They can give you an idea of the withdrawal timeline you can expect based on everything in your system, your physical health, and other factors.

A Comprehensive Approach to Withdrawal & Recovery

The abrupt cessation of Flexeril may result in withdrawal symptoms, so taking things slow and tapering your doses with the guidance of a professional is the best way to go about ending use of Flexeril. 

Because withdrawal seems to be rare and fairly mild if it does occur, the detox process won’t generally need to be a major concern for those on Flexeril. Talking with a medical professional about the best way to stop taking a medication is just generally good practice. This can help prevent adverse outcomes, but the chance of them occurring with Flexeril withdrawal is not high.

If you’ve been abusing Flexeril or any other substance, treatment is needed. Otherwise, it’s likely you will return to substance abuse in the future even if you are able to successfully stop in the short term.

Updated November 21, 2023
Resources
  1. Long-Term Use of Muscle Relaxants Has Skyrocketed Since 2005. (June 2020). University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
  2. Flexeril. (2001). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  3. Deprescribing Guide for Tricyclic Antidepressants. (October 2018). NSW.
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