Flexeril is used as a muscle relaxing agent in the treatment of different spastic muscular disorders. Its primary component is cyclobenzaprine and this drug is widely prescribed for it safe and efficacious use.
Muscle disorders can occur in pregnant women and in those who are breastfeeding. Obviously, in such cases, there is a concern about the use of any drug and Flexeril is no exception. In this article, we shall briefly review the safety of using Flexeril in pregnant women and in those who are breastfeeding their babies.
Flexeril in pregnancy
The US FDA has given Flexeril a category B warning with regards to its use in pregnancy. This means that Flexeril should only be prescribed in pregnant women when the benefit of the drug clearly outweighs any risks. If patients are required to take Flexeril and are not yet pregnant, they will be advised to take appropriate oral contraceptive medication till the course has concluded.
As such, there does not appear to be any significant data that has suggested that using Flexeril in pregnancy can cause problems with the baby. Nonetheless, the lack of data is sufficient enough to warrant avoiding the drug during pregnancy unless it is absolutely required.
Flexeril and breastfeeding
A detailed review of the available evidence linking Flexeril use and breastfeeding reveals close to nothing. There does not appear to be any published scientific evidence that reports what the levels of Flexeril is in breast milk when the drug is taken by the mother. Furthermore, there does not appear to be any published papers that discuss what the levels of Flexeril would be in the infant who is breastfed by the mother taking the drug.
Despite the considerable lack of evidence, doctors very rarely prescribed Flexeril for pregnant women and those were breastfeeding their babies. This is because the absence of sufficient evidence to support its use would probably mean that taking the drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding periods may be potentially harmful.
In addition, there is a possibility that patients who are pregnant may get withdrawal symptoms if they take Flexeril for prolonged periods of time. This can be harmful not only to the mother but also to the growing fetus.
Flexeril is a useful drug in the management of skeletal muscle spasmodic disorders. Its use in pregnant women and in breastfeeding mothers has not been adequately studied. However, given the long-term effects that the drug can have on patients who take the drug for prolonged periods of time, it is ideally avoided and must only be taken up on advice of a registered health care practitioner.