While Flexeril is not as commonly abused as drugs like heroin, cocaine, and oxycodone, it is still a drug that people might use recreationally. This means that someone could build up a tolerance and experience withdrawal if they stop taking it.
Variations occur due to a range of factors, but in general, Flexeril stays in a person’s system for between four to five days on average. It is not usually tested for in standard drug tests.
The Facts About Flexeril
Flexeril is the brand name for cyclobenzaprine. It is a prescription medication used to relax the muscles to lessen pain and spasms.
It works by blocking pain sensations that travel to the brain, according to RxList. It does this because it indirectly influences the motor neurons in a person’s spinal cord and brain, according to information reviewed by Grant Hughes, M.D. This drug is also similar to tricyclic antidepressants when looking at its chemical structure.
Someone might abuse this drug to get its relaxing or sedating effects. Some people also say they have experienced a euphoric high similar to what opioids cause. This medication is typically not recommended for people of senior age or people who are younger than age 15.
How Long Flexeril Remains In The Body
If a person is planning to go to a detox facility or needs to take a drug test, they will need to know how long it takes for Flexeril to exit the body. The timeline is not an exact science. Many factors, such as the ones listed below, can play a role:
- The person’s metabolic rate
- How much Flexeril they have taken
- How they used Flexeril (snorting, oral ingestion, or other methods of consumption)
- How much body fat the person has
- The health of the person’s liver and kidneys
- How much the person weighs
- If the person drank alcohol or used other drugs with the Flexeril
- The person’s age
The standard drug test panel used at hospitals and by employers will not show Flexeril. If someone is tested for this drug, their employer or doctor will have to order a separate test that only looks for this drug.
This drug might not show in a urine test. If it does, it could be detectable for an average of five to 13 days. How long it is detectable depends on when the person last used the drug and the doses they took several days leading up to their last dose.
If a doctor or employer wants to look for Flexeril using a blood sample, it is possible to be detectable for up to 10 days. However, in most cases, it is only detectable in the blood for two to four hours after the last dose.
It is possible for this drug to be detectable in a hair sample for up to three days after the last dose of Flexeril. It is uncommon for hair testing to be done to look for this drug.
In most cases, doctors or employers will not use a saliva test for this drug. In fact, there is almost no information about testing with saliva or how long it might be detectable via this method.
When Flexeril is used exactly as prescribed, the person might not experience withdrawal, and they may experience no issues with having this muscle relaxer in their body. When someone is using this drug recreationally, professional help may be needed to stop use.
The half-life of Flexeril is long, lasting about 18 hours. The range is eight to 37 hours, and this is for the immediate-release forms of the drug. The half-life of the extended-release type of this drug is about 32 to 33 hours.
With a 37-hour half-life, it would take about 8.5 days for this drug to be eliminated from the body completely. The average is four to five days.
Side Effects Of Flexeril
When someone takes Flexeril, side effects are possible. These can occur with proper use, but they tend to be more common and more severe when a person is abusing the drug.
Common potential side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Upset stomach
Some side effects are less common. However, the risk of experiencing these usually increases, the longer someone takes this drug. These side effects are also more likely when someone is taking high doses of Flexeril.
Rarer side effects include:
- Nervousness or excitement
- Twitching muscles
- Pounding heartbeat
- Abnormal taste in the mouth or changes in how things taste
- Uncharacteristic fatigue
- Gas or bloating
- Intense stomach cramping or pain
- Frequent urination
- Hand or feet pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling
- Speaking problems
- Sleeping problems
- Abnormal muscle weakness
Timeline For Detoxing From Flexeril
Due to the long half-life of this drug, it could take a few days before someone starts to notice withdrawal symptoms. Not all people will experience withdrawal with this drug. Those who used high doses, used it long term, and people who quit use abruptly are at a higher risk of withdrawal symptoms.
When withdrawal occurs, these symptoms are possible:
Exactly how long withdrawal takes will vary depending on the person. It may take longer for people who were using other drugs along with Flexeril, such as other central nervous system depressants.
Since this drug is chemically similar to tricyclic antidepressants, it is also possible to experience the withdrawal effects that occur with this class of drugs. Side effects may include the following:
- Irritability, agitation, or anxiety
- Chills, muscle aches, and other flu-like symptoms
There is no exact timeframe for how long the symptoms of withdrawal last. For some people, the unpleasant effects only continue for a few days. For other people, it is possible to experience the effects of withdrawal for up to a few weeks.
It is a good idea to go to a detox facility when it is time to withdraw from the medication. This will allow the person to get medical supervision as they go through the detox phase for Flexeril.
In addition to keeping the person more comfortable, medical detox reduces the chances of relapse if the person is tempted to use Flexeril again to alleviate the effects of withdrawal.
Risk Of Overdose
Once someone detoxes from Flexeril, it is imperative that they avoid using this drug. If they go back to the dose they were using before detox; it will put them at risk of an overdose.
Keep an eye out for these symptoms of overdose:
- Irregular or fast heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
- Trouble moving or speaking
- Feeling agitated
Flexeril was approved in 1977 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a means of treating muscle spasms. The medication was not intended to be used for long-term stints, and prescribing guidelines showed that the drug must be used with rest and physical therapy. For someone to use Flexeril, they must possess a prescription for the medication.
In the event someone uses the medication without a prescription, it is considered to be a form of abuse. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) suggests that Flexeril is not habit-forming. However, there are anecdotal reports of those who use the medicine, indicating that it’s addictive. The majority of Flexeril abuse occurs when it is used in conjunction with other central nervous system depressants to intensify the effects.