Methocarbamol (brand name Robaxin) is a muscle relaxant that is prescribed to treat short-term pain, skeletal muscle spasms, and tension resulting from an injury or surgery.
People who take methocarbamol may also use the medication as part of a recovery program that involves physical therapy and rest. The medicine is a central nervous system depressant and provides relief by blocking the brain from receiving pain sensations from throughout the body.
Methocarbamol is available as a tablet through prescription only. It can be administered intravenously (IV) in clinical settings. Injecting the medication provides the most potent and immediate relief from the pain. A physician will prescribe the dosage based on a patient’s medical condition and response to treatment, according to WebMD. Healthline writes that the tablet comes in either a 500-milligram (mg) tablet or a 750-milligram tablet.
According to the health site, “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.”
Patients are advised to follow the doctor’s instructions for taking the medication daily. The medical site also advises that some patients will need to reduce their dose of methocarbamol after the first two or three days of pain treatment. This reduction should be made only under a doctor’s care.
Several side effects accompany the drug, including drowsiness and dizziness. People who use it are advised against operating motor vehicles or machinery, as this medication can leave them impaired. It is these effects that make some people mistake methocarbamol for a narcotic, according to Healthline.
Methocarbamol is not a controlled substance in the United States, and its potential for abuse and addiction are considered low. However, as with any substance, it can still be abused and used in ways not intended.
Methocarbamol: Can It Be Detected On A Drug Test?
Standard drug tests screen for traces of controlled substances with higher potential for abuse. This includes medications such as benzodiazepines, opioids, and other medications.
Muscle relaxers don’t fall into any of these drug classes, so a drug test likely won’t test for them. However, that does not mean that having it in one’s system won’t cause a problem. Having too much methocarbamol in your system can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness, and using this drug with other central nervous depressants, such as alcohol, is strongly discouraged. The medication is known to have interactions with other substances. Among them are:
- Narcotics (opioids)
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Sleep medications
- Anti-seizure medications
Pairing methocarbamol with any of these is dangerous. Drugs.com reports that the medication’s half-life is between one and two hours in healthy patients. The term “half-life” is the time it takes for the substance to be reduced by half in the bloodstream. The elimination time is typically longer for senior-aged adults and patients with illnesses involving the liver and the kidneys.
While methocarbamol isn’t addictive in the same sense as other drugs, people can develop dependence as a result of taking it in higher doses. People with a history of substance abuse are especially susceptible to abusing this medication.
If you are taking more methocarbamol than prescribed, or if you are taking it for recreational reasons, then you may want to consider if you have a substance use disorder that requires professional treatment at an addiction care facility. A recovery program at a licensed facility has helped many people leave their substance use behind for full-time sobriety.