Blog 12: TMD and Misinformation: Muscle Relaxants (drugs) will fix TMD

This is the fourth article in a series addressing misinformation regarding TMD/TMJ.

Muscle relaxants are frequently prescribed by medial and dental providers for patients with TMD.  The generic name for muscle relaxants is Cyclopenzaprine and the most common brand name is Flexaril.  The fist thing to know about muscle relaxants is that they do not relax muscles. Cyclopenzaprine is a Central Nervous system depressant and causes general sedation.  Isn’t it strange that this drug is classified as a muscle relaxant when it is actually a CNS depressant. I must admit that if you are under the influence of other CNS depressants like alcohol, opioids, or tricyclic anti-depressants your muscles will relax, but that is not a good reason to call alcohol or opioids muscle relaxants.  It’s really amazing what the pharmaceutical industry can get away with.

The next thing about Cyclopenzaprine you need to know is that this drug is very addictive.  I bet there is not one doctor in 100 that tells the patient after writing a prescription for Cyclopenzaprine that they need to be very careful because this drug is very addictive.  Cyclopenzaprines are only recommend to be used for short periods of time because of its highly addictive nature

And the number of other drugs that cause additive CNS effects when taken along with Cyclopenzaprine is very very long.

In addition, most patients compalin of one or more of the frequent side effects.  Most commonly I hear: “That durg made me feal weird” Of course it does, it’s a CNS depressant.

So why would a dentist or physician recommend Cyclopenzaprine for TMD.

The answer is simple.  Everyone, doctor and patient, is looking for a quick fix.

I’ll let the reader be the judge.  Do muscle relaxants fix TMD?  Does Cyclopenzadine decrease inflammation within the TMJ?  Is it reasonable to expect

Cyclopenzadine (muscle relaxants) to give any assistance with the symptoms of TMD?