Is Methocarbamol a Narcotic? 11 FAQs About Dosage, Addiction, and More
What is methocarbamol?
Methocarbamol isn’t a narcotic. It’s a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasms, tension, and pain. It may be mistaken for a narcotic due to side effects like drowsiness and dizziness, which can feel like a drug “high.”
Read on to learn more about its uses, dosage, and side effects.
What is it used for?
Methocarbamol is used to relieve short-term (acute) pain and stiffness caused by injury. This includes strains, sprains, and fractures.
It may be prescribed alongside physical therapy or other forms of treatment.
Methocarbamol is sold in tablet form, including both generic and brand name (Robaxin) versions. It’s only available with a prescription.
In clinical settings, it may be administered through an intravenous (IV).
Is it used for animals?
Methocarbamol is also used to treat muscle injuries and inflammation in animals. It may also be useful for treating seizures and muscle spasms associated with the ingestion of a toxic substance in cats and dogs.
It’s only available through a prescription from a veterinarian.
Can it be used to treat opiate withdrawal?
Methocarbamol is considered a supplementary medication in the treatment of opioid or opiate withdrawal. It targets specific symptoms, such as muscle cramps and spasms.
It can be taken alongside Suboxone, a combination drug that’s effective in treating opioid addiction.
Some that taking methocarbamol or other ancillary medications doesn’t have an impact on treatment outcomes.
Also, although anecdotal reports exist, there isn’t any recent research investigating the effectiveness of using methocarbamol alone to treat opioid withdrawal.
What’s the typical dosage?
Methocarbamol dosage depends on a variety of factors. You should always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions when taking this medication.
Methocarbamol is available in 500- and 750-milligram (mg) tablets. For adults with muscle stiffness, the typical dosage is 1,500 mg, four times daily. That’s three 500 mg tablets four times per day or two 750 mg tablets four times per day.
Research assessing the effects of methocarbamol among children under 16 years is limited. If your child has been prescribed methocarbamol, follow the dosage instructions from your doctor.
Does it cause any side effects?
Some of the most common side effects of oral methocarbamol include:
- blurred vision
Some of these side effects are similar to those of certain narcotic pain drugs.
Does it interact with other medications?
Methocarbamol can interact with other substances in your system:
- It may limit the effectiveness of pyridostigmine bromide, a drug used to treat myasthenia gravis.
- Methocarbamol can also increase drowsiness and other sedative effects when taken with other CNS depressants. These include:
- prescription painkillers and narcotics
- cough and cold medication
- allergy medication (antihistamines)
- anti-anxiety drugs
- antiseizure drugs
- sleeping pills
- illicit substances
Make a list to share with your doctor or pharmacist of all the substances you take. Be sure to include over-the-counter and prescription medications as well as vitamins, supplements, and herbal products.
Are there any other risks or warnings?
Methocarbamol tablets contain inactive ingredients. You should always tell your healthcare provider about any allergies or other underlying conditions you have.
Medical conditions such as kidney or liver disease can affect how methocarbamol is metabolized. As mentioned, Methocarbamol may limit the effectiveness of medication taken for myasthenia gravis.
Methocarbamol can cause side effects that make it dangerous to drive or operate machinery, especially when combined with alcohol or marijuana.
Older adults might be more sensitive to the side effects of methocarbamol.
You shouldn’t take methocarbamol if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
It’s not known if methocarbamol affects human breast milk. Tests indicate it’s present in animal milk, so be cautious and discuss with a doctor before breastfeeding.
Is it addictive?
Methocarbamol isn’t addictive when used according to a doctor’s instructions. At higher doses, it has increased potential for abuse, especially among people who have a history of narcotic abuse.
However, methocarbamol doesn’t have the same properties as a narcotic:
- It doesn’t relieve generalized pain.
- It doesn’t produce a sense of euphoria or a “high.”
Higher doses also carry an increased risk of undesirable side effects, including drowsiness and dizziness. Given these characteristics, it has a relatively low potential for abuse.
Is overdose possible?
It’s possible to overdose on methocarbamol. Reports suggest overdose is more likely when methocarbamol is used alongside alcohol or other sedative drugs.
Signs of overdose include:
- severe drowsiness
- severe dizziness
- loss of consciousness
- difficulty breathing
- shaking on one side of the body
The bottom line
Methocarbamol isn’t a narcotic, although some of its effects are similar to those of narcotics. Unlike narcotics, methocarbamol isn’t addictive.
You should speak to a doctor or other healthcare provider if you experience unusual or severe side effects while taking methocarbamol.
If you use methocarbamol recreationally, let your doctor know. This allows them to monitor your overall health and help prevent serious side effects or drug interactions.
acetaminophen and hydrocodone
What is the most important information I should know about acetaminophen and hydrocodone?
MISUSE OF OPIOID MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
Taking opioid medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Fatal side effects can occur if you use opioid medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.
What is acetaminophen and hydrocodone?
Acetaminophen and hydrocodone is a combination medicine used to relieve moderate to severe pain.
Acetaminophen and hydrocodone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking acetaminophen and hydrocodone?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to acetaminophen or hydrocodone, or if you have:
- severe asthma or breathing problems; or
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- breathing problems, sleep apnea;
- liver disease;
- a drug or alcohol addiction;
- kidney disease;
- a head injury or seizures;
- urination problems; or
- problems with your thyroid, pancreas, or gallbladder.
If you use opioid medicine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on opioids may need medical treatment for several weeks.
Do not breastfeed. This medicine can pass into breast milk and cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby.
How should I take acetaminophen and hydrocodone?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. An overdose can damage your liver or cause death. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.
Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medicine in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away acetaminophen and hydrocodone is against the law.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
If you need surgery or medical tests, tell the doctor ahead of time that you are using this medicine.
You should not stop using this medicine suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.
Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush the unused medicine down the toilet.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since this medicine is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of acetaminophen and hydrocodone can be fatal.
The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
Overdose can also cause severe muscle weakness, pinpoint pupils, very slow breathing, extreme drowsiness, or coma.
What should I avoid while taking acetaminophen and hydrocodone?
Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine that may contain acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP). Taking certain medications together can lead to a fatal overdose.
What other drugs will affect acetaminophen and hydrocodone?
You may have breathing problems or withdrawal symptoms if you start or stop taking certain other medicines. Tell your doctor if you also use an antibiotic, antifungal medication, heart or blood pressure medication, seizure medication, or medicine to treat HIV or hepatitis C.
Opioid medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:
- cold or allergy medicines, bronchodilator asthma/COPD medication, or a diuretic ("water pill");
- medicines for motion sickness, irritable bowel syndrome, or overactive bladder;
- other narcotic medications --opioid pain medicine or prescription cough medicine;
- a sedative like Valium --diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Xanax, Klonopin, Versed, and others;
- drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing --a sleeping pill, muscle relaxer, medicine to treat mood disorders or mental illness;
- drugs that affect serotonin levels in your body --a stimulant, or medicine for depression, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or nausea and vomiting.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect acetaminophen and hydrocodone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about acetaminophen and hydrocodone.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
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