In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for tizanidine, trade name ZanaflexTM.

What it’s for & How to take

Tizanidine relaxes your muscles. This medication works by slowing down the messages between your brain and your muscles.

Tizanidine is used with rest and physical therapy to relax your muscles and relieve the pain caused by muscle injuries and muscle spasms.

Tizanidine is usually taken not more than 3 times daily, or as directed by your doctor. Your dose is based specifically on your condition and response to treatment. Do not take this medication more often than prescribed because the side effects can be dangerous.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

Tizanidine is usually used for not more than 3 weeks. If your condition is not improving within 3 weeks, contact your doctor to talk about it. There are some conditions where your doctor will have you take this medication on a regular basis.

This medication may cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped too quickly, especially if you have been taking it for more than 3 weeks. Your doctor may have you slowly decrease your dose over 1-2 weeks.

Warnings & Cautions

  • Tell your doctor if you have ever been told you have any heart rhythm problems. Rarely, tizanidine may cause your heart to beat fast and unsteady. If you feel any severe dizziness or feel like your heart is racing or beating too fast, get medical help right away.
  • The elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially the drowsiness and dizziness. The chances of loss of balance and falling are increased.
  • This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking tizanidine.
  • Infants born to mothers who are taking tizanidine are at risk. This medication should only be used during pregnancy when the benefit to the mother is greater than the risk to the unborn baby. Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this medication.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if tizanidine is safe for you to take.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any heart disease, difficulty urinating, liver or kidney disease, and any other medical condition you may have.
  • While taking tizanidine you may feel tired, dizzy, uncoordinated, have blurred vision, dry mouth and possibly constipated. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any difficulty or painful urination, abnormal heartbeat, yellowing of eyes or skin, persistent vomit, hallucinations or unusual thoughts or significant loss of coordination.
  • Call emergency 911 if you have a seizure or any symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing or swelling of your face, lips tongue or throat.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20