Skeletal muscle spasm and a review of muscle relaxants

J. C. De Lee, C. A. Rockwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Muscle spasm of local origin, while not life-threatening, can be extremely painful and disabling. Therapeutic intervention is advisable to help the patient return to normal activity as soon as possible. Since the discovery of mephenesin in 1946 clinicians have had available an increasing variety of skeletal muscle relaxants. A review of the recently published literature reveals that most of the drugs demonstrated superiority over placebo in controlled studies, but that many relied upon the undesirable side effect of sedation for their muscle relaxing properties. Cyclobenzaprine has been demonstrated to be repeatedly more effective than placebo and in several studies to be more effective than diazepam in treating muscle spasms of local origin. Data suggest that while drowsiness is the most common side effect of cyclobenzaprine administration, the effectiveness of the drug is independent of any sedative effect. The considerable recent literature supporting the safety and efficacy of cyclobenzaprine for acute muscle spasm of local origin indicates that this most recently introduced agent may represent a valuable addition to the available treatment modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Therapeutic Research - Clinical and Experimental
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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