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Metaxalone Abuse and Addiction

What Is Metaxalone?

Metaxalone is a type of muscle relaxant used to help those with acute low back pain, those who have suffered low back injuries, and those with illnesses that cause debilitating physical pain. These drugs work by inhibiting the transmission of spasmodic messages across the neuromuscular junction in the spinal cord and by reducing the level of excitement in muscle cells through CNS depression.

Doctors will prescribe relaxants like metaxalone to manage painful musculoskeletal conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, strains, sprains, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, cerebral palsy, and bursitis. 

The brand name for metaxalone oral is Skelaxin. This quick-acting medication comes as a 400 mg or 800 mg tablet, with the typical adult dose at 800 mg 3 to 4 times a day. If needed, you may cut the Skelaxin metaxalone tablet in half or crush it, and it can be taken with food (fed conditions) or without food (fasting conditions).

Metaxalone Effects

Side effects of taking metaxalone include:

  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Constant sedation
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing
  • Decreased blood pressure

Metaxalone is a centrally acting schedule IV drug, meaning it is not a controlled substance that can be provided by a licensed doctor or pharmacist because of its potential for abuse and addiction. In fact, no centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxant drug has been approved by the FDA for long-term use even when taken at the recommended dose.

These drugs result in many visits to emergency departments and even deaths, especially when mixed with other drugs, even common tricyclic antidepressants (causing serotonin syndrome). It works by depressing the central nervous system, and the sedating effects can cause dangerously depressed breathing and slow heart rate. If you are taking metaxalone and are wondering whether you can take other prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications like a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it is best to call your doctor or poison control to ensure no negative drug interactions will take place. Using a pill identifier and an interaction checker like drugs A-Z is also a good idea. Muscle relaxers should never be mixed with recreational drugs or alcohol. It is important to tell your doctor every substance you are using before starting metaxalone (Skelaxin).

Signs of Metaxalone Abuse and Addiction

Common signs of being addicted to muscle relaxants like metaxalone include:

  • Spending a large amount of time planning how to get more metaxalone
  • Taking the medication when it is no longer needed or using it more often than prescribed
  • Faking injuries or back pain to obtain prescriptions
  • Lie about losing your prescription or other excuses for why you have gone through it so quickly
  • Being unable to stop taking the drug even when you want to
  • Feeling withdrawal symptoms after a missed dose or when you try to cut back
  • Continuing to abuse the drug even when the issues are pointed out to you

Metaxalone Withdrawal Symptoms

Common withdrawal symptoms for people addicted to metaxalone are:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Irritability
  • General discomfort
  • Drowsiness

Hallucinations, seizures, and other adverse effects may occur in the case of serious addiction.

Long Term Side Effects of Metaxalone Abuse

Taking metaxalone Skelaxin can cause renal or hepatic issues affecting kidney and liver function, causing hemolytic anemia, jaundice, painful urination, and other dangerous effects, especially if used with alcohol or other drugs. It can also cause blood pressure to change if taken with certain high-fat foods, resulting in fainting, extreme drowsiness and dizziness, and memory problems.

Metaxalone Addiction Treatment

At The Detox Center LA, we offer inpatient medical detox and rehab programs to help you stop taking Skelaxin (metaxalone) safely without experiencing adverse withdrawal symptoms. Our personalized and comprehensive treatment plans involve medical detox protocols combined with behavioral therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, psychoeducation, case management, holistic treatments, mental health care, family sessions, and experiential outings. We also provide connections to our partners offering intensive outpatient care and other outpatient rehab programs for addiction and abuse. Aftercare, recovery, life-skills training, and other treatments help you break away from old habits and gain the recovery and relapse-prevention tools you need to live a sober life long-term. Contact our team today to learn more about our solution-based, trauma-informed approach to healing.