Methocarbamol (brand name Robaxin) is a muscle relaxant prescribed to treat musculoskeletal pain. It is commonly used along with physical therapy and rest. It is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that works by blocking the nerve impulses sent to the brain, thus, dulling pain and easing muscle tension.

The drug is in a class of chemicals called carbamates. These drugs originated from carbamic acid, which can be used for anything from insecticides to muscle relaxants.

Methocarbamol can only be obtained by prescription and has been used in the United States since 1957. It does not have nearly as many side effects as other medications in the CNS depressant category.

Common Side Effects of Methocarbamol

Most prescription drugs have some side effects, and methocarbamol is no exception. Not everyone will experience all of them, but some people may feel the side effects more strongly than others. Side effects may occur at the start of treatment and dissipate as time goes on as the body adjusts to it.

Below is a list of the most common side effects that methocarbamol users have reported:

  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation

Methocarbamol may cause some people to feel more serious side effects. If this happens, it is essential to contact your healthcare provider, who may adjust the dosage or prescribe something else.

More Severe Side Effects

  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the tongue
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever, chills
  • Slow heart rate
  • Belching
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach upset or pain
  • Trouble sleeping (Insomnia)
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Other Thoughts About Methocarbamol

Consumer Reports states that sometimes muscle relaxants can be beneficial for:

  • Someone who can’t take acetaminophen due to liver disease. However, if someone has liver disease, they should not take methocarbamol.
  • Someone with a history of bleeding ulcers or who has bleeding ulcers and cannot take ibuprofen or naproxen because it can exasperate them, or someone with heart problems or kidney problems.
  • The pain from the muscle spasm makes it difficult to sleep, so the sedation might be helpful to fall asleep.

Reviews from people who have taken methocarbamol are mixed about its usefulness. Some relay that it barely works by itself on muscle pain and discomfort, while others weigh in about its side effects. 

If some side effects, such as headaches, insomnia, or ulcers, become bothersome, contact the prescribing healthcare provider. The person may change the dosage or suggest a different medication to take or work with you to find the best treatment options.

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