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Muscle relaxants




Why a muscle relaxant?

by Malek Ben Mansour


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Controversy over the use of muscle relaxants


A debate since the dawn of time

The use of muscle relaxants is a subject of much debate in the medical field. Muscle relaxants are drugs used to reduce muscle tension and are often prescribed to treat conditions such as muscle spasms, spasticity or certain musculoskeletal pains. However, their use is not without controversy. Here's an overview of the main points of controversy and possible justifications for their use.

Controversy over the use of muscle relaxants

  1. Efficiency and safety:

    • Variable effectiveness: Some studies have shown that muscle relaxants are not always more effective than placebo treatments or other types of medication for certain conditions.

    • Side effects: Muscle relaxants can cause significant side effects, including drowsiness, fatigue, muscle weakness and effects on the central nervous system. These effects may limit their use, especially in patients who need to remain active and alert.

  2. Dependency risk :

    • Potential for dependence: Some muscle relaxants, particularly benzodiazepines, have the potential for dependence and abuse. This poses a particular problem for patients who may become dependent on these drugs to relieve pain or anxiety.

  3. Treatment protocol :

    • Long-term use: There are concerns about the long-term use of muscle relaxants, as they are often prescribed for prolonged periods without clear evidence of long-term efficacy.

    • Alternative treatments: Some healthcare professionals advocate the use of alternative therapies, such as physiotherapy, exercise, or non-pharmacological treatments, which may be safer and just as effective for some patients.

Justifications for the use of muscle relaxants

  1. Effective symptom relief :

    • Reducing muscle spasms: For some patients, muscle relaxants can provide rapid and effective relief from painful muscle spasms, which can improve quality of life.

    • Improved mobility: By reducing muscle tension, these drugs can help improve mobility and physical function, particularly in patients suffering from conditions such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.

  2. Additional treatment:

    • Combination with other treatments: Muscle relaxants can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as painkillers or physiotherapy, to provide more complete overall relief of symptoms.

  3. Short-term use :

    • Acute pain management: For patients with acute musculoskeletal pain, short-term use of muscle relaxants may be warranted to control pain and enable faster recovery.

  4. Personalised treatment :

    • Adaptation to individual needs: Some patients may respond particularly well to muscle relaxants compared to other types of treatment, which justifies a personalised approach based on the needs and reactions of each individual.


Our advice:

In patients undergoing personalised treatment, and depending on the dosage proposed for the preparation prescribed, a single dose taken in the evening before going to bed would be ideal in order to avoid the most frequent side effects, and would improve the quality of sleep with a clear reduction in contractions.


In conclusion, although the use of muscle relaxants is controversial due to their side effects and potential for dependence, they can nevertheless offer significant benefits for some patients when used appropriately and under strict medical supervision. Careful assessment of the risks and benefits, and personalisation of treatment, are essential to optimise their use in clinical practice.

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