Compare Skelaxin vs. Norflex

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

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Relaxes your muscles.

Skelaxin (metaxalone) is used for muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pain with mixed results.

Relaxes your muscles.

Norflex (orphenadrine) can be used for relaxing muscle spasms and it also can relieve pain.

Upsides
  • Can be used for muscle spasms and muscle pain if other medications have not worked.
  • Available as generic.
  • Slightly less sedation and side effects compared to other muscle relaxants.
  • More effective than placebo for treatment of muscle spasms and nonspecific musculoskeletal pain in the short term.
  • Extended release pills last 12 hours.
  • Available as generic.
Downsides
  • Effects don't last that long. You need to take Skelaxin (metaxalone) up to 3-4 times daily.
  • Several studies showed mixed results when Skelaxin (metaxalone) was compared with a sugar pill for treatment of muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pain.
  • Can make you very drowsy or sleepy
  • Even though a generic is available, it is still fairly expensive.
  • Not a first choice treatment for muscle spasms.
  • Norflex (orphenadrine) can make you sleepy or drowsy.
  • At higher doses, Norflex (orphenadrine) can make you confused or hallucinate.
  • Dry mouth and difficulty urinating can happen at higher doses.
  • Pills cannot be crushed and must be swallowed whole.
  • Can't be used in people with glaucoma, certain types of bowel obstruction or peptic ulcers, prostatic hypertrophy, certain urinary problems, cardio-spasm (megaesophagus) and myasthenia gravis.
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Used for
  • Musculoskeletal pain
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Pill
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Skelaxin (metaxalone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Norflex (orphenadrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Sleepiness and dizziness
    • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
    • Recreational drug use
    • Excessive alcohol use
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking antidepressants
    • Higher than recommended doses of Skelaxin (metaxalone)
  • Liver damage
    • History of liver disease
  • Liver or Kidney problems
    • History of liver disease
    • History of kidney disease
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Sleepiness and dizziness
    • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
    • Recreational drug use
    • Excessive alcohol use
  • Abuse, dependence and withdrawal
    • Prior history of drug abuse
  • Heart problems
    • History of fast or irregular heartbeat
    • History of heart failure or other heart problems
See more detailed risks and warnings