Saturday, September 28, 2013

Muscle Relaxers and Alcohol

Muscle relaxers are oral drugs that are generally prescribed for the treatment of back pain arising from muscle cramps and spasms. Muscle injuries that occur as a consequence of an accident are also treated with these medications. Taking it with a glass of water is the most preferred way of consuming these medicines. However, some people ask is it safe to take muscle relaxants with other liquids like alcoholic beverages. It is observed that muscle relaxers and alcohol do not go well together as revealed in various studies.

Be it an muscle relaxer or alcoholic drinks, both act as nervous system suppressants. As our muscle movement is dependent on proper functioning of the nervous system, one experiences restricted muscle activity after taking this medicine or alcohol. However, this limited motion helps to treat back pain resulting from muscle spasms and strain.

Muscle Relaxers and Liquor
Alcoholic beverages like beer and wine are extremely popular all over the world for their unique taste. In fact many of these alcoholic drinks are beneficial to health when taken in moderation. However, this does not hold true when it is taken along with muscle relaxers. Replacing water with alcohol for swallowing the drug can be dangerous. Mixing powdered form of muscle relaxants with an alcoholic drink is absolutely not safe. Interactions of alcohol with these drugs can produce some severe side effects. The combination of muscle relaxers and alcohol can affect health in the long run.

Experts also point out that effectiveness of these muscle relaxants for back pain may significantly reduce when taken along with alcohol. Thus, the purpose of consuming these muscle relaxers is defeated if they are mixed with alcoholic drinks. Also, keep in mind that both muscle relaxers and alcohol are sedatives and therefore cause drowsiness. However, when muscle relaxers and wine or other alcoholic drinks are taken at the same time, it can further elevate the feeling of drowsiness.

However, a recent survey points out that a large percentage of people are aware of the ill effects of mixing muscle relaxers with alcohol, many are ignorant about the hazards of taking the drug after consuming alcohol. People are of the opinion that taking muscle relaxers and alcohol simultaneously is harmful, whereas alcohol consumption followed by a dose of muscle relaxers after a gap of 10-15 minutes is safe. However, this is not true. The negative effects will still be noticed no matter whether you take the drug before or after alcohol intake. So doctors advise that after consuming alcohol, a time period of at least two hours is necessary before taking the medicine. This will prevent drug interactions and keep side effects at bay.

Muscle Relaxers Side Effects
Muscle relaxers are effective medications to relieve moderate to excruciating pain associated with muscle injuries. However, like any other pharmaceutical medicine, muscle relaxers also produce side effects, but they usually are not a cause for concern. Patients put on muscle relaxers may suffer from the following side effects:
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
The aforementioned side effects may worsen if muscle relaxers and alcohol are taken together. Overall, people taking muscle relaxers, should either stay away from alcohol or ensure that whatever time they choose to drink alcoholic beverages does not coincide to that of drug dosage. To be on the safer side, complete abstinence from alcohol when put on oral muscle relaxers, is recommended.

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