Zanaflex Alternatives

(tizanidine)

Alternatives

Compare Zanaflex (tizanidine) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Zanaflex (tizanidine) or used for similar purposes.

Zanaflex
(tizanidine)

baclofen

Valium
(Diazepam)

Flexeril
(cyclobenzaprine)

Soma
(carisoprodol)

Relaxes your muscles. Zanaflex (tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasticity. Try other options before using this.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.Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.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. Soma (carisoprodol) is used for muscle spasms and muscle pain but it's not considered a first-choice treatment and not meant for long-term therapy.
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 baclofen
61%
+20% better vs. Zanaflex
55%
+18% better vs. Zanaflex
15%
-4% worse vs. Zanaflex
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Valium
70%
+11% better vs. Zanaflex
53%
+20% better vs. Zanaflex
15%
-4% worse vs. Zanaflex
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (Diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Flexeril
66%
+15% better vs. Zanaflex
37%
+36% better vs. Zanaflex
14%
-5% worse vs. Zanaflex
1064 reviews
Have you used Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Soma
61%
+20% better vs. Zanaflex
39%
+34% better vs. Zanaflex
9%
-10% worse vs. Zanaflex
220 reviews
Have you used Soma (carisoprodol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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 »
  • Drowsiness 27%
More baclofen side effects »

The Valium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Valium side effects »
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Dry mouth 4%
  • Sleepiness 2%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Blurry vision 3%
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Change in taste 6%
  • Rapid heartbeat 6%
More Flexeril side effects »
  • Headache 3%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Drowsiness 7%
More Soma side effects »
How it works
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
Zanaflex (tizanidine) is an alpha2-adrenergic agonist that works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasticity.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.Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.Soma (carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxant. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms.
Type of medication
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Valium (Diazepam) risks & warnings »
  • 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 »
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Elderly
  • Prior history of drug abuse
Detailed Soma (carisoprodol) 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.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
No alcohol related info.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
No alcohol related info.
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
Food
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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.
No food related info.No food related info.No food related info.No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
  • Can relieve pain associated with muscle spasms.
No pain related info.
Sleep
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • 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.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
  • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
  • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
  • 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.
  • Patients treated with Soma (carisoprodol) experienced improvement in function.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in two different strengths.
Downsides and risks
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
  • 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.
  • Not first choice for treating muscle spasms or muscle pain, because it can cause dependence.
  • Can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
  • Not meant for long-term therapy, because it hasn't been shown to be effective after taking it for a short period.
  • Can cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
  • Helpful with muscle spasms.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • 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.
  • Take the medication at the same time each day.
  • Soma (carisoprodol) is not meant to be used long-term. It should be used for only 2 to 3 weeks maximum.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness.
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
  • Soma (carisoprodol) can cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
Learn more
More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about baclofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (Diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about FlexerilSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about SomaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Soma (carisoprodol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it