Muscle aches typically resolve independently; however, sufferers can take medicines, such as muscle relaxer pills, to help reduce symptoms. This blog overviews muscle pain, its management and treatment.   

Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, is most associated with strains and sprains. It frequently appears as redness at the injury site, tenderness, fever, and swelling. Discomfort due to muscle pain can vary from mild to severe, depending on the cause. Muscle pain may develop because of excitation of the muscle due to the overuse of the muscle and viral infections of trauma. Many different pain relief tablets are available to treat and relieve muscle pain.    

Prescription medications for muscle pain —H2 

A doctor might prescribe pain relief pills for people with pain and muscle spasms. This group of medications refers to pain relief medications that help eliminate pain, stiffness, and tightness by reducing contraction. According to research studies, the usage of muscle pain pills is increasing rapidly. While these drugs are beneficial for short-term usage, they may not be appropriate for everyone. Evidence also suggests that muscle relaxants can have adverse effects, and it is not advisable to use them long-term. Muscle relaxants are available in two classes: antispasmodics and antispastics.  

    1. Antispasmodics

      Antispasmodics are known to reduce the severity of muscle spasms by altering conduction in the central nervous system. Two types of antispasmodics include benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines restrict the activity of certain chemicals in the brain, while nonbenzodiazepines work on the spinal cord and brain. Examples of antispasmodics include carisoprodol, diazepam, metaxalone, and cyclobenzaprine. 

      Side effects associated with using antispasmodics typically involve headache, dizziness, and drowsiness. Possible side effects of cyclobenzaprine can include dry mouth, mucosal dryness, drowsiness, fast heartbeat, dilated pupils, confusion, hallucinations, confusion, hallucinations, dizziness, and changes to intestinal movements.    

      People who take medicines that affect serotonin should not take antispasmodics as they are at increased risk of serotonin syndrome. Some muscle pain relief pills can also be addictive, and people are advised only to use them for the short term.   

    2. Antispastics  
      This group of medicines acts on the muscle cells and spinal cord to improve muscle tightness and relieve spasms. These are believed to inhibit the transmission of neurons in the brain. Doctors usually prescribe antispastics for conditions that cause muscle spasms, such as cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. These drugs include tizanidine, baclofen, and dantrolene. General side effects of antispastics include muscle weakness and drowsiness. At the same time, common side effects of baclofen include vertigo, nausea, confusion, and muscle weakness.   

Off label us

In some cases, doctors may recommend medications that are not the first-line treatment for muscle pain but may relieve pain or spasms. These treatments include:   

    • Benzodiazepines 

The US food and drug administration approves benzodiazepines for insomnia, anxiety disorder, seizure disorder (epilepsy), and panic disorder. However, doctors usually prescribe them off-label to treat muscle pain. These medicines are effective at treating pain but may not help you get rid of spasms if used for a short period. These are believed to work by enhancing the effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter with sedative effects. This class of medications include confusion, drowsiness, and breathing difficulties.  

    • Gabapentin 

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant widely used to treat seizures, relieve nerve pain, and treat restless leg syndrome. It changes the electrical activity in the brain and affects neurotransmitters, which can alter how the body senses pain. Common side effects of Gabapentin may include headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.  

Over-the-counter products

    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)   

NSAIDs help treat or relieve pain by reducing inflammation. These drugs slow the secretion of prostaglandins, which the body produces after injury or illness. They also block cyclooxygenase activity (COX), which helps form prostaglandins. These drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Side effects of NSAIDs include dizziness, headache, drowsiness, and gastrointestinal problems.  

    • Acetaminophen 

Also called paracetamol, this medicine treats mild to moderate pain and fever. It is an analgesic (pain reliever) and an antipyretic (fever reducer). Paracetamol has a similar working mechanism as NSAIDs. People using acetaminophen for the long term are at an increased risk of serious liver damage. The medicine may cause skin reactions such as rash, blisters, redness, and the top layer of the skin coming away. 


Muscle pain or spasm is usually not a cause of concern and is typically resolved independently.   However, severe, or prolonged pain may indicate an underlying disorder and should be treated promptly. Optimal pain management involves a combination of non-opioid analgesics, including paracetamol and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, which are indicated for mild to moderate pain.  

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