Unfortunately, those struggling with chronic pain understand that various underlying issues accompany it. In some cases, however, strains and injuries may lead to muscle tightness that makes the process of recovering difficult. In such cases, conventional pain relievers may not treat the direct source of pain. Muscle relaxants may ease tension and pain that causes any discomfort, but can muscle relaxants like methocarbamol cause you to develop a substance use disorder like opioids?
What Is Methocarbamol?
Methocarbamol is a drug used in medicines that treat musculoskeletal pain. The medication is typically used in conjunction with physical therapy and other pain relievers by relaxing muscles that have been injured. The drug is considered a muscle relaxant in a class of chemicals known as carbamates. These drugs were derived from carbamic acid, and they can be used for anything from insecticides to muscle relaxants.
Methocarbamol has been used since 1957 in the United States, and it is available for purchase with a prescription only. It does not have nearly as many adverse effects as other medications used to slow down the nervous system, but it will cause flushing, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, and fever. As your muscles start to relax, it may cause a loss of motor control as well.
Does Methocarbamol Have High Abuse Potential?
It’s no secret that opioid pain relievers have a high potential for abuse, which quickly leads to dependence and addiction if abused. The United States classifies opioids as a Schedule II Controlled Substance, which means it is accepted for some medicinal use but has a high potential to be abused.
Methocarbamol is not considered a controlled substance, but it does require a prescription from a doctor to purchase. It is believed to have some potential for abuse like the benzodiazepine lorazepam; however, this potential is low.
There is one study, however, that measured the potential effects of methocarbamol and compared it to other drugs. The research found the effects were consistent with low abuse potentials. They did learn, however, there are more desirable side effects than the placebo, and it caused sedation. It only produced minimal motor and cognitive impairment when compared to benzodiazepines. Although some of these effects are attractive to a recreational user, it’s not a drug that is commonly abused.
What Happens If You Abuse Methocarbamol?
Those who consume high doses of this type of drug to achieve some pleasure may experience side effects instead of intoxication. Reports of methocarbamol abuse discuss experiencing the feeling of dysphoria, which is when you experience unease or dissatisfaction. Other drugs that may cause these feelings include psychedelics and dissociative drugs.
Dysphoria is accompanied by feelings of anxiety and depression. Other side effects of abuse may include ataxia, sedation, vomiting, or changes in heart rate. When you take extreme doses of the drug, you could experience tachycardia, which can be dangerous and sometimes fatal. If you experience any of the side effects we’ve listed above, you must contact a medical professional immediately.