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Precautions and Warnings With Tizanidine

If you have been on tizanidine for a while, you should not stop taking it suddenly. People who should avoid the drug include those who are allergic to any of the ingredients and people who are taking Cipro or Luvox. Before starting tizanidine, warnings and precautions that apply to your specific situation should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Prior to taking tizanidine hydrochloride (Zanaflex®), talk to your healthcare provider if you have:
 
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, hepatitis, or cirrhosis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Tizanidine

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking tizanidine include the following:
 
  • Because of the way tizanidine works, it can lower blood pressure and heart rate. This can be a problem for some people, especially those who already have low blood pressure or a slow heart rate.
     
  • Be sure to arise slowly from a sitting or lying-down position, as this minimizes the chance of dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting due to low blood pressure.
     
  • Occasionally, tizanidine can cause liver damage. Your healthcare provider should monitor your liver function periodically (using a simple blood test) while you are taking this medication.
     
  • Because this medicine can cause liver damage and because it is broken down by the liver, tizanidine should generally be avoided by people who have liver disease.
     
  • Because the kidneys clear tizanidine from the body, this medication may not be a good choice for people with kidney disease.
     
  • If you have been taking this medication for a while, especially at high doses, you should not stop taking it suddenly, as this may cause high blood pressure, a fast heart rate, and worsened spasticity.
     
  • Tizanidine can cause hallucinations or other psychotic problems, such as delusions or paranoia. Make sure to tell your healthcare provider right away if you think you might be experiencing such problems.
     
  • Tizanidine commonly causes drowsiness and dizziness, which may interfere with your ability to drive, operate heavy machinery, or focus mentally.
     
  • Tizanidine can potentially interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Tizanidine).
     
  • This is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk with your healthcare provider before taking this medication when pregnant (see Tizanidine and Pregnancy).
     
  • It is unknown if tizanidine passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Tizanidine and Breastfeeding).
     
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