Compare Flexeril vs. baclofen

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Flexeril
(cyclobenzaprine)

Lioresal
(baclofen)

Relaxes your muscles. Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is widely used to treat muscle spasms and is available as a generic, but it shouldn't be used long-term.Relaxes your muscles. Lioresal (baclofen) is a first choice treatment for muscle spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries, but it's not recommended for other types of muscle spasms.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.69Flexeril
Reviews for Flexeril
66%
of people (All ages) say Flexeril is worth it
37%
say it works well
14%
say it's a big hassle
1064 reviews
Have you used Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for baclofen
61%
+5% better vs. Flexeril
55%
-18% worse vs. Flexeril
15%
+1% better vs. Flexeril
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Flexerilbaclofen
  • Dry mouth 4%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Sleepiness 100%
  • Headache 17%
  • Dry throat 8%
  • Acne 6%
  • Disturbance in attention 6%
  • Drowsiness 18%
More Flexeril side effects »
  • Drowsiness 27%
More baclofen side effects »
How it works
Flexerilbaclofen
Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.Lioresal (baclofen) is a gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA) agonist. It's not clear how it works, but GABA is believed to help calm down nerves. Muscle spasms are thought to be started by overactive nerves.
Type of medication
Flexerilbaclofen
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Flexerilbaclofen
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
Flexerilbaclofen
Risk factors for serious side effects
Flexerilbaclofen
  • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)
  • Taking other medications for your mood
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Age over 65 years
  • Recent heart attack
Detailed Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) risks & warnings »
  • Stopping Lioresal (baclofen) too quickly
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
Detailed Lioresal (baclofen) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
Flexerilbaclofen
No alcohol related info.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
Pain
Flexerilbaclofen
  • Can relieve pain associated with muscle spasms.
No pain related info.
Sleep
Flexerilbaclofen
  • Taking Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) may make you feel dizzy or sleepy for the first few days. Avoid driving or other activities requiring concentration until you know how your body responds to the medication. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if these symptoms bother you.
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
Upsides and benefits
Flexerilbaclofen
  • Can relieve pain associated with muscle spasms.
  • Available as a generic medication.
  • Can be used by pregnant women, but talk to your doctor about it first.
  • A better option for seniors compared to other muscle relaxants since it has fewer side effects than other similar medicines.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) is available as a generic and is a relatively inexpensive medication.
Downsides and risks
Flexerilbaclofen
  • Can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
  • Not meant for long-term therapy.
  • Not recommended in elderly patients, people with glaucoma, or in people with heart conditions (like rhythm problems, heart failure, or recent heart attack).
  • Can make you have dry mouth.
  • Not effective for muscle spasms caused by brain or spinal injuries.
  • Except for specific muscle spasms caused by brain injury or multiple sclerosis, Lioresal (baclofen) is not a recommended medicine.
  • If you've been taking Lioresal (baclofen) regularly for a long time, you'll need to get off of it slowly.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you sleepy.
  • If you've had a stroke, Lioresal (baclofen) may not work as well, and you're more likely to experience side effects.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Flexerilbaclofen
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is not meant to be used long-term. It should be used for only 2 to 3 weeks maximum.
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) can cause dry mouth.
  • Take it roughly at the same time every day.
  • If you are using the capsules, you may swallow it whole or sprinkle contents on a tablespoon of applesauce and swallow immediately without chewing.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Lioresal (baclofen) suddenly without talking to your doctor if you've been on it for a long time. It can be dangerous. Your doctor will help you get off it slowly over time.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
Learn more
More about FlexerilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about baclofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it