In this drug factsheet:
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Tizanidine belongs to a group of medications called muscle relaxants. Tizanidine is used to treat spasticity, a condition where muscles in your body spasm, cramp, or become tight due to medical problems such as multiple sclerosis or spine injury. Muscle relaxants work by blocking excess firing of the nerve cells that control muscle movement.
The benefits of tizanidine are related to its effects on the nervous system. The beneficial effects of tizanidine are noticeable within about one hour of taking the first dose.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this
with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
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How should I use this medication?
To reduce the risk of experiencing side effects, the recommended initial adult dose of tizanidine is 2 mg up to 3 times daily. The dose is then increased gradually in 2 mg to 4 mg steps until an effective dose is reached. The most common maintenance
dose is 8 mg taken up to 3 times daily (every 6 to 8 hours). Do not take more than 36 mg of tizanidine within a 24-hour period.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without talking to your doctor. Always take tinazidine exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Tizanidine can be taken with or without meals, however taking tizanidine with food may increase the side effects of this medication. Always take tizanidine the same way, either with food or on an empty stomach.
Stopping the medication suddenly may cause an increase in blood pressure, rapid heart rate and muscle spasms. Talk to your doctor to find a safe way to stop taking the medication.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose of this medicine take it as soon as possible, if you remember within an hour or so of the missed dose. If you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose
and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store tizanidine away from heat and direct light and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Zanaflex is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under tizanidine. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to tizanidine or any ingredients of this medication
- require muscle spasticity for balance and movement
- are taking certain medications, such as: