10.2.2 Skeletal muscle relaxants

Baclofen and dantrolene are used to relieve chronic muscle spasm and spasticity but may reveal or aggravate underlying weakness. They are not used for minor injuries.

Diazepam may improve spasticity at anxiolytic doses (see 4.1 Hypnotics and anxiolytics) but it also causes sedation and occasionally extensor hypotonus.

Please also refer to the NICE guideline CG186 for advice in the management of multiple sclerosis in adults (October 2014)

Baclofen
  • Tablets 10mg (£1.55 = 84 tablets)
  • Oral solution 5mg/5ml (£3.22 = 300ml)

Indications

  • Chronic severe spasticity resulting from disorders such as multiple sclerosis or traumatic partial section of spinal cord

Dose

  • Initially 5mg 3 times daily, gradually increased; usual maintenance dose up to 60mg daily in divided doses (maximum 100mg daily)
Dantrolene
  • Capsules 25mg, 100mg (£43.07 = 100mg x 100 capsules)

Indications

  • Chronic severe spasticity of voluntary muscle

Dose

  • Initially 25mg daily, may be increased at weekly intervals to maximum 100mg 4 times daily; usual dose 75mg 3 times daily
Tizanidine
  • Tablets 2mg, 4mg (£36.31 = 4mg x 120)

Indications

  • Spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury or disease

Dose

  • Initially 2mg daily as a single dose increased according to response at intervals of at least 3–4 days in steps of 2mg daily (and given in divided doses) usually up to 24mg daily in 3–4 divided doses; maximum 36mg daily
Cannabis extract
Sativex®

(Cannabidiol and dronabinol)

  • Oromucosal spray containing 2.5mg/2.7mg per dose (£300.00 = 3 vials, 270 doses)

Indications

  • Moderate to severe spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (defined as scoring 4 or more on a 0 to 10 patient-reported numeric rating scale) when other pharmacological treatments for spasticity are not effective

Dose

  • Titrated according to response (refer to SPC for details). Maximum dose = 12 sprays a day

Notes

  1. Treatment must be initiated and supervised by a physician with specialist expertise in treating spasticity due to multiple sclerosis
  2. To continue treatment patients must achieve at least a 20% reduction in spasticity-related symptoms (on a 0-10 patient reported numeric rating scale) following a 4-week trial during which the company provides Sativex according to its pay-for-responders scheme (to be supplied from secondary care)
  3. Manufacturer recommends effective contraception throughout treatment and for 3 months after stopping in both men and women. Patients on hormonal contraceptives should use an additional alternative, non-hormonal/reliable barrier method of birth control during Sativex therapy
  4. The routine commissioning of Sativex is accepted in Devon for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis only when specific criteria are met (see Commissioning Policy for more details)
Last updated: 13-08-2020

 

Home > Formulary > Chapters > 10. Musculoskeletal & joint diseases > 10.2 Drugs used in neuromuscular disorders > 10.2.2 Skeletal muscle relaxants

 

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