There are a few prescription drugs that have high abuse potentials and generally see the most misuse. Drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines are more highly regulated than other prescriptions. However, sometimes a drug that isn’t as highly regulated because of its lower abuse liability is abused as a recreational drug. In some cases, a drug can cause some euphoric or pleasurable effects when it’s used in very high doses. However, abusing even mild medication in high doses can be potentially life-threatening. One drug that may be abused in high amounts is tizanidine. Learn more about the consequences of tizanidine abuse.

What is Tizanidine?

Tizanidine is a prescription medication that’s used as a muscle relaxant. It is prescribed to people with injuries and diseases that cause muscle spasticity, which can involve muscle tension and spasms that can be painful. Spinal cord injuries and neurological problems like multiple sclerosis can cause symptoms that tizanidine may be able to treat.

Tizanidine works on the nervous system to slow down nerve impulses that cause muscle movement. In that way, it’s similar to central nervous system depressants like benzodiazepines. However, unlike depressants, it doesn’t interact with GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a natural chemical that facilitates sleep and relaxation.

Tizanidine is a useful medication for people with painful muscle spasms. It’s also an alternative to opioids as a viable pain reliever for people with neurological issues that affect the muscles. However, like most medications, it can cause adverse effects that are worse when the drug is abused.

Does Tizanidine Have High Abuse Potential?

Tizanidine isn’t a controlled substance in the United States in the same way other prescriptions are. It can only be purchased with a prescription, but it isn’t considered a scheduled drug with significant abuse potential.

Woman taking a light blue pillHowever, in high doses, the drug can potentially cause drowsiness, sedation, and mild euphoria. However, his doses may also cause unpleasant side effects like nervousness, weakness, heartburn, and chest pains.

Drugs of abuse tend to have potent, desirable effects that outweigh their adverse effects, at least during acute intoxication.

However, people that have limited access to other drugs of abuse may turn to less common drugs as a way to experiment.

Even though tizanidine is considered to have low abuse potential, it may still be used by people with limited choices.

What Happens if You Abuse Tizanidine?

Tizanidine isn’t as addictive as some other prescription medications like opioids and depressants. However, high doses or long-term use can cause dependence and addiction. High doses can also cause side effects like chest pain, fever, nausea, anxiety, pain, and drowsiness. It may also cause less common symptoms like an irregular heartbeat, itchy skin, kidney stones, and shortness of breath. When An overdose might cause slowed breathing, a slow heart rate, light-headedness, fainting, coma, or death. One study looked at tizanidine overdose and found that cases of overdose caused psychological symptoms, and heart-related symptoms, but it could be successfully treated with medical intervention. Overdose may be more dangerous when the drug is mixed with opioids or depressants like alcohol.

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