Methocarbamol is a prescription medication that’s used as a muscle relaxant. It’s often useful for people that have uncomfortable muscle spasms because of an injury or neurological problem. Most prescription drugs come with some potential side effects, which is why it’s important to monitor your reaction to the drug and inform your doctor of any persistent or severe issues.
However, some drugs can put specific people at risk, while the majority of those who take it will tolerate it well. Methocarbamol may have some effects on your blood pressure. People that already struggle with blood pressure related issues may experience serious side effects when taking the medication. Learn more about methocarbamol and its effects on your cardiovascular system.
What Is Methocarbamol?
Methocarbamol is in a class of drugs called carbamates, and it’s used for its ability to ease muscle tension and pain related to muscle spasms. The drug is prescribed and sold under the brand name Robaxin in the United States. It was first approved for medical use in the 1950s to be used as a short-term pain reliever for musculoskeletal pain.
Methocarbamol works by slowing down the central nervous system. In cases where your nervous system sends excessive signals to your muscles to tighten or contract, the drug can ease pain and tension. In many cases, methocarbamol is used alongside physical therapy to ease the pain that would otherwise make therapy unbearable.
The drug offers a viable pain relief alternative to opioids when it comes to specific types of pain. Opioids are generally more likely to cause chemical dependence and substance use issues than methocarbamol. They also cause uncomfortable side effects like constipation and nausea. However, methocarbamol has its own side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, stomach aches, tachycardia, and changes in blood pressure.
How Methocarbamol Affects Blood Pressure
Methocarbamol is relatively safe and well-tolerated. However, it can cause hypotension in some cases. Hypotension is blood pressure that is lower than what is safe or normal. Drops in blood pressure can lead to dizziness, fainting, dehydration, blurred vision, nausea, fatigue, and depression.
Some drugs that affect the central nervous system can also affect its automatic functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. These effects are usually mild, but in people who are sensitive to the drug, it can be more severe. Severe symptoms may also occur with high doses.
It may be especially dangerous to take methocarbamol if you’re already taking medication for blood pressure like Lisinopril. The medications may interact to decrease your blood pressure to a dangerous degree. The contraindication is considered moderate, which means the drugs may interact, but it’s unlikely to cause severe reactions in most people. Still, it’s important to ask your doctor about mixing medications before you start a new one.
Methocarbamol and other muscle relaxants can also cause a specific type of hypotension called orthostatic hypotension, which causes lightheadedness when you stand from sitting or lying down. This is usually a mild symptom, but it can lead to fainting and injury.