Skeletal muscle relaxants

Sharon See, Regina Ginzburg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Health care providers prescribe skeletal muscle relaxants for a variety of indications. However, the comparative efficacy of these drugs is not well known. Skeletal muscle relaxants consist of both antispasticity and antispasmodic agents, a distinction prescribers often overlook. The antispasticity agents - baclofen, tizanidine, dantrolene, and diazepam - aid in improving muscle hypertonicity and involuntary jerks. Antispasmodic agents, such as cyclobenzaprine, are primarily used to treat musculoskeletal conditions. Much of the evidence from clinical trials regarding skeletal muscle relaxants is limited because of poor methodologic design, insensitive assessment methods, and small numbers of patients. Although trial results seem to support the use of these agents for their respective indications, efficacy data from comparator trials did not particularly favor one skeletal muscle relaxant over another. Therefore, the choice of a skeletal muscle relaxant should be based on its adverse-effect profile, tolerability and cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Antispasmodics
  • Antispasticity agents
  • Skeletal muscle relaxants


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