Zanaflex tablets contain the active ingredient tizanidine, which is a type of medicine known as an alpha-2-adrenoceptor agonist. Tizanidine is used as a muscle relaxant, in conditions such as multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury or disease.
Tizanidine works by blocking the alpha-2-adrenoceptors in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The effect of this is to 'damp down' the nerve signals that are carried in the spinal cord to the muscles. This reduces the contraction and tension in the muscles.
In conditions where there is painful or disabling muscle spasm, tizanidine can help to reduce stiffness and enable people to undergo rehabilitation that increases their mobility.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
The following medicines may increase the level of tizanidine in the blood and so could increase the risk of side effects, the manufacturer recommends that these are not taken in combination with this medicine:
There may be an increased risk of abnormal heart beats if this medicine is taken in combination with any of the following medicines, and the manufacturer recommends that this medicine is used with caution in people taking any of these:
There may be an increased risk of a drop in blood pressure that makes you feel dizzy if this medicine is taken in combination with other medicines that can lower blood pressure, for example medicines to treat high blood pressure (antihypertensives). Tell your doctor if you feel dizzy after starting treatment with this medicine, as your doctor may need to adjust the dose of your blood pressure medicine.
There may be an increased risk of drowsiness and sedation if this medicine is taken with any of the following (which can also cause drowsiness):
Oral contraceptives may reduce the clearance of tizanidine from the body, thus increasing the amount in the blood. This increases the risk of side effects associated with tizanidine.
Tizanidine tablets are available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.