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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Reviews & ratings
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4.682646212847555Flexeril
Reviews for Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine)
66%
of people say Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) is worth it
37%
say it works well
14%
say it's a big hassle

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
FlexerilZanaflex
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Fatigue 1%
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
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Muscle relaxer
Centrally-acting alpha agonist
Prescription only
Available as
FlexerilZanaflex
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
FlexerilZanaflex
Risk factors for serious side effects
FlexerilZanaflex
  • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) 14 days before starting
  • Taking other medications for your mood
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Age over 65
  • Taking tramadol
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 category
      FlexerilZanaflex
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

      Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
      • Taking Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) may make you feel dizzy or sleepy for the first few days, especially if you drink a lot of alcohol or take recreational drugs. Your body should adjust to this, however, 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.
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.
      • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      FlexerilZanaflex
      • Can relieve pain associated with muscle spasms.
      • Available as a generic medication.
      • Can be used by pregnant women.
      • 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 recent heart issues (like rhythm problems, heart failure, or heart attack).
      • 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
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness.
      • Take the medication at the same time each day.
      • Not to be used for long-term treatment.
      • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
      • 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
      More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert