Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Zanaflex Alternatives

(Tizanidine)

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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 effective for long term spastic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and others.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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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Lioresal (Baclofen)
65%
14% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
61%
10% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
22%
1% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
Reviews for Valium (Diazepam)
69%
10% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
52%
19% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
16%
+5% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
Reviews for Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine)
66%
13% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
37%
34% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
14%
+7% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
Reviews for Soma (Carisoprodol)
59%
20% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
36%
35% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
10%
+11% vs. Zanaflex (Tizanidine)
Side effects
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma

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

FDA side effect reports for Zanaflex »

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

FDA side effect reports for baclofen »

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

More about Valium side effects »
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Fatigue 1%
More Flexeril side effects »
  • Drowsiness 11%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Hedache 3%
  • Any side effect 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 muscle relaxer. It works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.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
Muscle relaxer
Centrally-acting alpha agonist
Prescription only
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Available as
ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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 »
      Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
      Pregnancy category
      ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
      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
      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
      DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      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 using this.
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      • 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
      • 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.
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.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.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you're taking it with high blood pressure medications.
      • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-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.
      • Lioresal (Baclofen) is effective for treating muscle spasms, as well as being an effective muscle relaxant.
      • Can be used long term.
      • Relieves pain associated with muscle spasms.
      • A better option for seniors compared to other muscle relaxants since it has less side effects than the other meds.
      • 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.
      • If taking regularly, you shouldn't stop taking Lioresal (Baclofen) abruptly. You'll need to get off of it slowly.
      • Be careful if taking other drugs that affect your ability to stay awake, since Lioresal (Baclofen) can make you much more tired.
      • 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.
      • 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).
      • Can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
      • Not first line for treating muscle spasms.
      • Not meant for long term therapy.
      • Can cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
      • Can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      ZanaflexbaclofenValiumFlexerilSoma
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
      • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
      • Side effects are more prevalent in the elderly.
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      • Can cause dizziness and fatigue.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you're taking it with high blood pressure medications.
      • Can be taken as needed or 'around-the-clock'. Ask your doctor about what'll work best for you.
      • If taking regularly, you need to work with your doctor to get off the medication slowly (also called tapering) to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
      • Side effects are more prevalent in the elderly.
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      • 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.
      • Not to be used for long-term treatment.
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness.
      • Take the medication at the same time each day.
      • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
      • Not to be used for long-term treatment (2 to 3 weeks maximum)
      • Can cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness.
      • Take the medication at the same time each day.
      • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
      Learn more
      More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about baclofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      More about FlexerilSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      More about SomaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert