Compare Flexeril vs. Zanaflex

Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) and Zanaflex (Tizanidine) are muscle relaxers that help calm down muscle spasms. Flexeril may make you feel dizzy or sleepy for the first few days, and shouldn’t be used long-term. Zanaflex isn’t a first-choice muscle relaxing medication because other drugs better and have fewer side effects.

Flexeril
(cyclobenzaprine)

Zanaflex
(tizanidine)

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. Zanaflex (Tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms. Try other options before using this.
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Best available price for 90 (4mg) tablets of tizanidine
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 Zanaflex
81%
-15% worse vs. Flexeril
73%
-36% worse vs. Flexeril
19%
+5% better vs. Flexeril
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
FlexerilZanaflex
  • 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 »

We haven’t found good data for Zanaflex side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Zanaflex »
How it works
FlexerilZanaflex
Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.Zanaflex (Tizanidine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.
Type of medication
FlexerilZanaflex
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
FlexerilZanaflex
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
FlexerilZanaflex
Risk factors for serious side effects
FlexerilZanaflex
  • 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 »
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
Detailed Zanaflex (tizanidine) 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
FlexerilZanaflex
No alcohol related info.
  • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
Food
FlexerilZanaflex
No food related info.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
  • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
Pain
FlexerilZanaflex
  • Can relieve pain associated with muscle spasms.
No pain related info.
Sleep
FlexerilZanaflex
  • 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.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
  • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
Upsides and benefits
FlexerilZanaflex
  • 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.
  • Relieves muscle spasms well.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
  • Available as a generic.
  • Available in a tablet or capsule form. It also comes in a capsule that can be opened and sprinkled in applesauce for people that can't swallow pills.
Downsides and risks
FlexerilZanaflex
  • 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.
  • This isn't a first-choice muscle relaxing medication. Other drugs work better and have fewer side effects.
  • Zanaflex (Tizanidine) can lower blood pressure, so be careful if you are already on a blood pressure medication.
  • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
  • Elderly individuals have more side effects when taking Zanaflex (Tizanidine).
  • Can't stop taking this abruptly if you use it regularly.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
FlexerilZanaflex
  • 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.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
  • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
  • Side effects are more prevalent in the elderly.
  • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
Learn more
More about FlexerilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it