Compare Zanaflex vs. Neurontin

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

Zanaflex
(tizanidine)

Neurontin
(Gabapentin)

Relaxes your muscles. Zanaflex (tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasticity. Try other options before using this.Treats tingling and burning nerve pain. Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that's now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
6Zanaflex
Reviews for Zanaflex
81%
of people (All ages) say Zanaflex is worth it
73%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Neurontin
57%
+24% better vs. Zanaflex
40%
+33% better vs. Zanaflex
19%
Same vs. Zanaflex
620 reviews
Have you used Neurontin (Gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZanaflexNeurontin
  • Vomiting 3%
  • Speech disorder 3%
  • Blurred vision 2%
  • Urinary frequency 1%
  • Flu syndrome 1%
  • Involuntary muscle movement 3%
  • Nervousness 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Hay fever 1%
  • Constipation 3%
More Zanaflex side effects »
  • Flatulence 1%
  • Thinking abnormal 2%
  • Amblyopia 2%
  • Accidental injury 2%
  • Constipation 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Ataxia 3%
More Neurontin side effects »
How it works
ZanaflexNeurontin
Zanaflex (tizanidine) is an alpha2-adrenergic agonist that works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasticity.Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an antiepileptic and nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Type of medication
ZanaflexNeurontin
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
ZanaflexNeurontin
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
ZanaflexNeurontin
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZanaflexNeurontin
  • Taking maximum doses of Zanaflex (tizanidine)
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Currently on blood pressure control medications
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
Detailed Zanaflex (tizanidine) risks & warnings »
  • Children ages 3 to 12
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
Detailed Neurontin (Gabapentin) 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.

Food
ZanaflexNeurontin
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
  • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
Pain
ZanaflexNeurontin
No pain related info.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
Sleep
ZanaflexNeurontin
  • Taking Zanaflex (tizanidine) can make you feel sleepy and dizzy, especially if you're taking other medications that can also make you feel sleepy, or if you're taking recreational drugs or drinking too much alcohol. Avoid driving or doing other tasks that require concentration until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
Upsides and benefits
ZanaflexNeurontin
  • Relieves muscle spasticity.
  • 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.
  • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
  • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
Downsides and risks
ZanaflexNeurontin
  • This isn't a first-choice muscle relaxing medication. Other drugs work better and have fewer side effects.
  • Takes over an hour to kick in and only lasts 3 to 6 hours.
  • 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).
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
  • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ZanaflexNeurontin
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
  • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
  • The tablets are not the same as the capsules. This could mean differences in how your body reacts to it, or how it works for you.
  • If you have been on Zanaflex (tizanidine) for a long period of time, you should not stop this abruptly. This can result in rebound high blood pressure, muscle spasticity or fast heart beat. Talk to your doctor about how to slowly lower your dose.
  • Side effects are common, but usually manageable.
  • Don't drive while taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Neurontin and generic forms of Gabapentin have the same ingredients as Gralise and Horizant, but are dosed differently. Make sure you know which form you're taking since they are used for different purposes.
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
  • Stop taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) slowly over at least one week to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
Learn more
More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NeurontinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Neurontin (Gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it