Prescription onlyClass: Musculoskeletal

Zanaflex Alternatives

(tizanidine)

Prescription onlyClass: Musculoskeletal
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Compare Zanaflex (tizanidine) to alternatives

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

Zanaflex
(tizanidine)

Lioresal
(baclofen)

Valium
(diazepam)

Flexeril
(cyclobenzaprine)

Soma
(carisoprodol)

Relaxes your muscles. Zanaflex (Tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms. 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 widely used to treat muscle spasms and is available as a generic, but it's not considered a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms. It's also not meant for long-term therapy.
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Best available price for 90 (4mg) tablets of tizanidine
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
6Zanaflex
Reviews for Zanaflex (tizanidine)
81%
of people (All ages) say Zanaflex (tizanidine) 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 Lioresal (baclofen)
61%
-20% worse vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
55%
-18% worse vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
15%
+4% better vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Valium (diazepam)
70%
-11% worse vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
53%
-20% worse vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
15%
+4% better vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)
66%
-15% worse vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
37%
-36% worse vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
14%
+5% better vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
1064 reviews
Have you used Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Soma (carisoprodol)
61%
-20% worse vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
39%
-34% worse vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
9%
+10% better vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine)
220 reviews
Have you used Soma (carisoprodol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma

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

FDA side effect reports for Zanaflex »
  • 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 »
  • Dry mouth 4%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Nausea 2%
  • Drowsiness 100%
  • Headache nos 17%
  • Dry throat 8%
  • Acne nos 6%
  • Disturbance in attention 6%
More Flexeril side effects »
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Hedache 3%
  • Central nervous system reactions 2%
More Soma side effects »
How it works
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
Zanaflex (Tizanidine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the nervous system to 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.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 only
Prescription only
Prescription only
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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 »
  • 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) 14 days before starting
  • Taking other medications for your mood
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Age over 65
  • Taking tramadol
Detailed Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Prior history of drug abuse
  • Prior history of overdoses of drugs of abuse, recreational drugs or alcohol
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 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.

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

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
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
  • 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.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
Food
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
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.
  • Can cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
Sleep
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
  • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
  • 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 memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • 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.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in two different strengths, although the smaller strength is only available as brand name and thus more expensive.
Downsides and risks
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • 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.
  • 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 recent heart issues (like rhythm problems, heart failure, or heart attack).
  • Not first line for treating muscle spasms.
  • Can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
  • Not meant for long term therapy.
  • Can cause dependence and 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, and sleepiness.
  • Take the medication at the same time each day.
  • Not to be used for long-term treatment (2 to 3 weeks maximum)
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
  • 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