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Which Muscle Relaxer is the Strongest: Top Tier Pain Relief

speciality medications

January 2, 2024
Muscle relaxers

Muscle relaxers (or muscle relaxants, as you’ll sometimes see them called) are an important part of modern pain management. When people experience muscle-related discomfort, which can happen with certain disorders, after some types of surgeries, or even if you have an athletic lifestyle, it’s essential to have a way to find quick relief.

If you’re in need of strong prescription muscle relaxers, you might often find yourself asking a key question:

Which muscle relaxer is the strongest?

Today, we’ll pit three popular muscle relaxers against each other: Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) vs. Zanaflex (tizanidine HCl), and Lioresal (baclofen). Wondering which of these medications is best for you? We’ve got answers—read on.

What’s the Strongest Muscle Relaxer? Let’s Understand the Best Muscle Relaxers, First

To understand which of these muscle relaxers best fits you and your goals, it’s a good idea to understand the context of these medications in a little more detail. We’ll start with the basics.

What Are Muscle Relaxants?

Muscle relaxants or relaxers are a type of medication that helps reduce muscle pain by alleviating spasms and stiffness (as well as some other types of discomfort).

Typically, doctors prescribe prescription-strength muscle relaxers to people who are managing injuries related to their muscles—for example, if you pull a major muscle in your leg. Sometimes, people who have chronic conditions, such as cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis, can benefit from these drugs as well.

Muscle relaxers work by interacting with your central nervous system. They can do so directly or indirectly—it depends on how each specific drug works. Regardless of the exact mechanism they use, muscle relaxers should soothe muscle tension. You should feel relaxed after taking them.

The result? With muscle relaxers, patients have a reliable way to manage their pain and boost their quality of life.

Types of Muscle Relaxants

If you or a loved one require high-quality muscle relaxers, you have a few options to consider.

There are two general types of muscle relaxers: antispastic, and antispasmodic.

  • Antispastic relaxants are, as they sound, muscle relaxer medications that doctors use to address muscle spasticity. (Muscle spasticity can be defined as a condition that comes with involuntary muscle stiffness and, sometimes, spasms.) Often, this is very helpful when pulling together a treatment plan for conditions like cerebral palsy.
  • Antispasmodic relaxants target muscle spasms—often, those that arise from specific types of musculoskeletal conditions.

Flexeril, Zanaflex, and Lioresal are antispasmodic muscle relaxers. Each of them treats muscle spasms in unique yet effective ways, and, if any of them works for you, they should be able to help you work toward a more comfortable, active life.

But which one should you and your doctor select as a part of your treatment?

Let’s Start the Search for the Strongest Muscle Relaxer

Remember, first, that your doctor is your best resource for determining the best muscle relaxant for your care. They’ll be able to understand the nuances of your individual goals and symptoms, whether a medication is okay for you given your other treatments, and more.

That said, here is some helpful information that can help you go to your doctor's appointment with data in hand.

Helpful Criteria for Determining Muscle Relaxer Strength

When you’re looking for the strongest muscle relaxer, what are you hoping to find?

Some factors you might consider when weighing the pros and cons of various medications may include:

  • Effectiveness, or how well it relieves pain
  • Duration of action, or how quickly it works and how long it lasts
  • Side effects, or the unwanted symptoms that your muscle relaxer causes while reducing your muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain.

With these factors in mind, let’s take a quick look at three popular muscle relaxers.

An In-Depth Look at Top Muscle Relaxers

Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine)

Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a drug that is often prescribed to give patients short-term relief from muscle spasms that come with acute or severe musculoskeletal conditions. Usually, doctors will recommend that patients take Flexeril in combination with physical therapy or rest for optimal effect.

Flexeril does come with some side effects. While they may vary from patient to patient, effects to look out for may include dry mouth, dizziness, and drowsiness.

Since Flexeril is strong and can help with acute conditions, it may not be a first-line choice for many patients—but, if you need strength, it can be a good option.

How Much Does Flexeril Cost?

Through, you can buy 100 pills of generic Flexeril for about $28.00.

Zanaflex (Tizanidine HCl)

Zanaflex (tizanidine HCl) is a muscle relaxer that works by inhibiting the nerve messaging system that triggers muscle spasms. If you or a loved one is managing a condition where spasms cause significant impairment, then Zanaflex may be a medication to consider.

Why? One reason is relatively straightforward: Zanaflex works pretty quickly, which means that if you need help now, Zanaflex may be able to deliver.

It’s not without its share of side effects. Zanaflex may cause tiredness, dry mouth, and weakness. For some people, depending on the amount of muscle relaxation they require, Zanaflex may need to be dosed more frequently to provide the relief needed.

How Much Does Zanaflex Cost?

Through, you can buy 120 pills of Zanaflex for about $110.00 and far less for the generic.

Lioresal (Baclofen)

Lioresal (baclofen) is a muscle relaxer that is very commonly prescribed for neurological conditions that cause spasms, like multiple sclerosis.

When taken safely and appropriately, it can reduce the frequency and severity of muscle spasms, which can result in a big boost in patient quality of life.

The side effects of Lioresal include weakness, confusion, and drowsiness, though—so it’s important to balance these side effects to achieve optimal comfortability and function. As far as muscle relaxer strength goes, Lioresal is often selected because it balances its strength with a more manageable set of side effects.

How Much Does Lioresal Cost?

Through, you can buy 100 tablets of Lioresal for about $55.00 with a much greater savings for the generic.

Muscle relaxers

Comparing the Top Muscle Relaxer Contenders

Now that we’ve presented you with the basic information about each of these drugs, which one should you consider discussing with your doctor?

Let’s take a quick look at the way these drugs compare in the three categories we identified.

  1. In terms of efficacy, Lioresal may be the most versatile and effective use—and, since it has a considerable dosage range, you may be able to adapt it for several levels of muscle pain or condition severity.
  2. In terms of duration of relief, Zanaflex may offer the most controllable duration of relief, as it kicks in relatively quickly but can last for several hours after dosing.
  3. In terms of safety, it’s hard to make an official call because the safety of each medication depends on your symptoms, your goals, and the other medications you may be taking.

The choice of the best or strongest muscle relaxer should depend on your specific needs. Your doctor will be able to help you determine which muscle relaxer will help you accomplish your goals and avoid overly-steep side effects.

Which is the Strongest Muscle Relaxer? FAQ

Here are a few of the most common questions asked about strong muscle relaxers.

What makes a muscle relaxer strong?

The strength of a muscle relaxer depends on a few factors, such as how quickly and effectively the medication relieves spasms, how long it works, and its balance between efficacy and unwanted side effects.

Are stronger muscle relaxers more effective?

Sometimes, patients who are experiencing severe muscle pain need stronger muscle relaxers. These patients should work closely with their doctors to balance their need for effective pain relief with their other symptoms and health considerations.

Otherwise, the efficacy of a specific muscle relaxer depends less on how objectively strong it is, and more on what you need from your treatment.

Can I use over-the-counter muscle relaxers if I have chronic pain?

You can use OTC muscle relaxers if you have chronic mild pain. If you decide to use this strategy, pay attention to your body and what it’s telling you. Being in significant pain after you’ve medicated with OTC solutions may mean you’re in need of a prescription option.

What are the most common side effects of the strongest muscle relaxers?

The most common side effects of muscle relaxer medications include dizziness, dry mouth, and drowsiness. However, this varies based on the specific medication, as well as your dosage, your symptoms, and any other medications you may be taking.

Is it safe to take muscle relaxers for long-term treatment?

If you have a chronic muscle disorder that is giving you permanent pain, you may need long-term treatment. Muscle relaxers can be an option that you and your doctor explore.

If you do decide to opt for longer-term treatment with muscle relaxers, you and your doctor will work together, monitor your use and your symptoms, and make sure it’s working for you as long as you’re taking it.

Are there natural alternatives to strong muscle relaxers?

There may be. For some patients, natural alternatives to strong muscle relaxers may include acupuncture, physical therapy, or even certain herbal supplements. In some cases, you may be able to complement or replace your use of medication with these aids.

These solutions may not work for everyone, though, and some types of herbal supplements may interact with drugs you’re already taking, so it’s a good idea to discuss these alternatives with your doctor.

How quickly will my strong muscle relaxers work?

Usually, strong muscle relaxers will start working in about 30-60 minutes. Your experience may vary. If the medication you’re taking doesn’t provide quick enough relief, talk to your doctor to explore your other options.

Can I combine muscle relaxers with other pain medication?

Since some types of pain medication may interact with each other, provide a compound effect, or even unwanted side effects, it’s a good idea to combine muscle relaxers with pain medication only under medical supervision.

What should I do if a muscle relaxer doesn’t work for me?

If the muscle relaxer you’re using isn’t as effective as you need it to be, talk to your doctor to see if other treatments or a dosage adjustment would work well for you.

Muscle relaxers

Which Muscle Relaxer is Right for You? (And Where Can You Buy It Affordably?)

If you’ve figured out which muscle relaxer is a good choice for your condition, your next step might, unfortunately, be equally tough: Where can you buy that muscle relaxer as affordably and easily as possible?

In the United States, many medications, including brand muscle relaxers, can be shockingly expensive. For a variety of reasons, such as the lack of government price capping and the prevalence of direct-to-consumer marketing, pharmaceutical companies can price their drugs as high as they want.

This leaves millions of Americans with chronic conditions between a rock and a hard place, as they’re forced to figure out if they can treat their symptoms without impacting their financial health.

Buying high-quality brand-name medications from safe Canadian pharmacy and international drugs websites can provide the financial and stress savings you seek. Through, you can buy authentic medications for significantly less than you can in a typical brick-and-mortar pharmacy—and you can ship your medications directly to your front door.

We understand that buying medications online can feel odd and overwhelming. You might have a hard time trusting that your medications will be safe. That’s why we have meticulous quality control processes, a team of friendly customer service representatives who are more than ready to answer any question and address any concerns you may have, and certification from CIPA or the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. This hard-to-get certification indicates that we provide quality service, authentic medications, and an excellent online purchasing experience for our customers.

You don’t have to take our word for it, though. Check out our hundreds of thousands of satisfied online pharmacy customer reviews to learn more about what we offer.

Interested in learning more, or ready to place your order? Contact our customer service team, browse our neatly organized online “aisles,” or call 1-866-539-5330. We look forward to supporting you as you pursue your required treatment.

The information provided on the website is intended to facilitate awareness about healthcare products and medical conditions generally but it is not a substitute for professional medical attention or advice. You should always speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking any prescription or non-prescription drug.
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