Zanaflex (tizanidine) from Acorda Therapeutics is a short-acting drug used to manage spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. It blocks nerve impulses (pain sensations) that are sent to the brain. Because of its temporary effect, treatment with tizanidine should be reserved for moments when spasticity relief is most important.
Its mechanism of action leads to spasticity reduction by blocking nerve impulses through pre-synaptic inhibition of motor neurons — without reducing muscle strength.
Tizanidine tablets or capsules should be taken by mouth with an initial dosage of 2 mg three times a day. For maintenance, a 2 to 4 mg increase may be prescribed at each dose until satisfactory reduction of muscle spasms is achieved — up to a maximum dose of 36 mg per day.
Most common side effects may include dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, asthenia, or infection.
Significant interactions can occur with tizanidine and other medicines, nutritional supplements, and certain herbal products. Patients should confer with their healthcare provider to ensure safe use.
Zanaflex is available as a generic medicine. The generic is sold at lower prices than the brand name product.
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