Tizanidine hydrochloride (Zanaflex®) is a drug that is used to treat spasticity. It belongs to a group of medications known as alpha-2 adrenergic agonists, and it works by affecting the brain and spinal cord, rather than directly affecting the muscles. It is available by prescription only and comes in the form of tablets and capsules. Before taking it, tell your healthcare provider about your current medications and any other medical conditions you may have.
Because each dosage lasts between three and six hours, the drug does not provide around-the clock relief. However, it can be helpful for certain daily activities when spasticity control is most important. Tizanidine hydrochloride is taken on an as-needed basis, up to three times a day.
Taking the capsules with food decreases the peak level of medication in the bloodstream, but the opposite is true with the tablets (food increases the peak level of medication). Thus, it is important to take tizanidine consistently in the same way: either with or without food.
(Click Tizanidine for more information on how this product works, to learn more about the drug's uses and effects, and to find out what side effects have been reported with tizanidine hydrochloride.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed October 15, 2009.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
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