What is methocarbamol? Learn about this medication used to treat muscle spasms and its possible side effects.

What is methocarbamol? Learn about this medication used to treat muscle spasms and its possible side effects.

Methocarbamol is a medication that belongs to the class of drugs called muscle relaxants. It is often prescribed to relieve muscle spasms and discomfort associated with musculoskeletal conditions such as strains, sprains, and injuries. The exact mechanism of action of methocarbamol is not known, but it is believed that it acts by depressing the central nervous system and inhibiting the nerve impulses or signals that cause muscle spasms.

Formulation and administration

Methocarbamol is available in both oral and injectable forms, providing flexibility in its administration. Oral methocarbamol is usually administered in tablet form, while the injectable form is administered intravenously or intramuscularly. The dosage and frequency of administration of methocarbamol are determined based on the severity of the condition being treated and the patient’s individual response to the medication. It is essential to follow the specific instructions provided by your prescribing healthcare professional to ensure safe and effective use of methocarbamol.

Important considerations

Do not exceed the dose of methocarbamol recommended by your doctor.

It is important to note that methocarbamol should not be used as a substitute for rest, physical therapy or other treatments recommended by your healthcare professional. It should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for musculoskeletal conditions. Although methocarbamol is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. These may include drowsiness, dizziness, vertigo and gastrointestinal disorders. If you experience any unusual or serious side effects while taking methocarbamol, it is crucial that you contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.

Understanding Methocarbamol: A Comprehensive Guide

Mechanism of action:

Methocarbamol works by depressing the central nervous system, helping to relieve muscle spasms and relax tense muscles. Its mechanism of action is not exactly known, but it is believed that it acts by inhibiting the nerve impulse signals that cause muscle contractions. This muscle relaxation effect is thought to occur through the brain stem and spinal cord.

  • Methocarbamol is rapidly absorbed after oral administration.
  • It reaches maximum plasma concentrations in 1 or 2 hours.
  • The drug is metabolized in the liver and is mainly eliminated by urine.
  • Metocarbamol elimination semivide is approximately 1 to 2 hours

Important note: Metocarbamol should be used together with rest, physiotherapy and other measures to relieve musculoskeletal pain. It is not suitable for prolonged use and should not be used as a substitute for adequate rest and physiotherapy.


Metocarbamol is mainly used as a complementary treatment of acute musculoskeletal conditions associated with pain and muscle spasms. It is frequently prescribed in cases of back pain, neck pain and muscle distensions. By relieving muscle spasms, metocarbamol can help improve mobility and reduce pain associated with these conditions.

  1. Acute musculoskeletal conditions
  2. Back pains
  3. Cervical Dolores
  4. Muscle distensions

Posology and administration:

Age Posology
Adults Oral route: 1 to 2 tablets (500 mg at 750 mg) four times a day
Children (under 16) Oral route: The dose should be determined by a healthcare professional depending on the weight and the state of the child

What is Methocarbamol and How Does it Work?

Unlike other muscle relaxants, metocarbamol does not act directly on the muscles, but is directed to the nervous system to produce its therapeutic effects. This makes it an effective option to treat pain and muscle discomfort in various musculoskeletal conditions.

Key points:

  • Metocarbamol is a muscle relaxant of central action.
  • It is usually prescribed to relieve muscle pain and stiffness.
  • Metocarbamol acts by depressing the central nervous system to reduce muscle activity and promote relaxation.
  • It does not act directly on the muscles.

The exact way in which metocarbamol produces its pharmacological effects is not totally elucidated. However, the studies suggest that it acts potentially as the sedative and depressor of the central nervous system. It is postulated that metocarbamol can enhance the neurotransmitter inhibitor Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which causes a decrease in the nerve signals involved in muscle contractions. The final result is muscle relaxation and pain relief.

To better understand the potential benefits and possible side effects of metocarbamol, it is important to consult a healthcare professional. This can provide personalized advice and guidance based on the medical history and the specific state of health of each person.


  • Metocarbamol can exert its effects by enhancing the neurotransmitter inhibitor GABA in the brain.
  • Consult a healthcare professional to obtain personalized advice on the use of metocarbamol.
Advantages Considerations
– Effectively relieves pain and muscle stiffness – Possible side effects may include dizziness, drowsiness and nausea
– Does not act directly on the muscles – You can interact with other medications, so it is important to inform the health professional about all current medications
– It can be used in various musculoskeletal conditions – It is not recommended for people with a history of kidney or hepatic disease

The Medical Uses of Methocarbamol

One of the main medical uses of Metocarbamol is the treatment of muscle spasms, which can be caused by various factors, such as muscle distensions, sprains and injuries. Metocarbamol acts by depressing the central nervous system, thus reducing muscle activity and relieving muscle spasms. It is usually prescribed to people who recover from traumatic injuries or undergo rehabilitation after surgical intervention.

In clinical practice, metocarbamol is most frequently prescribed for the following medical conditions:

  1. Acute musculoskeletal conditions: Metocarbamol is effective in providing shor t-term relief of acute muscle pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as low back pain, cervical distension and muscle spasms.
  2. Chronic musculoskeletal conditions: This medicine can also be used to treat chronic musculoskeletal disorders such as fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome, which are characterized by lon g-term pain and muscle sensitivity.
  3. Postoperative pain and muscle stiffness: Metocarbamol is often prescribed as part of the postoperative treatment plan to reduce pain, muscle stiffness and discomfort after surgical procedures.

It is important to keep in mind that metocarbamol should always be used according to the indications of a healthcare professional, since it can cause drowsiness and reduce the ability to perform certain tasks. In addition, this medicine may not be adequate for people with certain medical conditions or who are taking specific medication. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting treatment with metocarbamol.

Common metocarbamol brands Generic names of Methocarbamol
Robaxin Metocarbamol

Potential Side Effects of Methocarbamol

One of the possible side effects of metocarbamol is drowsiness or dizziness. This can affect your ability to perform tasks that need to be alert, such as driving or handling heavy machinery. If you experience these symptoms, it is recommended to avoid such activities until you know how the medication affects you. In addition, alcohol and some other medications can enhance the sedative effects of metocarbamol, so it is advisable to avoid alcohol and consult your doctor about any other medication you are taking.

Another possible side effect of metocarbamol are gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea, vomiting and stomach malaise. Although these symptoms are usually mild and temporary, it is important that you inform your doctor if they persist or aggravate. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you adjust the dose or change to an alternative medication.

  • The most frequent side effects of metocarbamol are:
  • Sleepiness or dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort: nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort
  • The less frequent side effects include:
  1. Allergic reactions
  2. Cutaneous or itching eruption
  3. Fever
  4. Blurry vision
  5. Low blood pressure

Note: These are not all possible side effects of metocarbamol. If you want to know the complete list of side effects, see the medical and doctor’s leaflet.

Gravity Common Secondary Effects of Metocarbamol Less frequent side effects of metocarbamol
Mild Sleepiness or dizziness Allergic reactions
Of mild to moderate Gastrointestinal discomfort: nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort Cutaneous or itching eruption
Moderate to severe N/A Fever
Serious N/A Blurred vision, low blood pressure

It is important to remember that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some people may experience side effects not mentioned here. If you have any questions or questions about the possible side effects of metocarbamol, it is best to consult your doctor.

Dosage and Administration Guidelines for Methocarbamol

1. Dosage

The metocarbamol dose can vary according to the person and the specific condition that is being treated. It is important to follow the doctor’s instructions or the medication label. The typical oral dose for adults is

  • For spasms and minor to moderate muscle pains: 1 to 2 tablets (500 mg at 1000 mg) every 4 to 6 hours, up to a maximum of 8 tablets (4000 mg) a day.
  • For intense muscle spasms and pains: 2 tablets (1000 mg) every 4 to 6 hours, up to a maximum of 8 tablets (4000 mg) per day.

It is important not to exceed the recommended daily dose without the orientation of a healthcare professional.

2. Administration

Metocarbamol is usually taken orally, with or without food. It is recommended to swallow whole tablets without crushing, chewing them or breaking them. If you have difficulty swallowing tablets, you can consult your doctor to obtain alternative dosage shapes, such as liquid formulation if available.

Note: Metocarbamol should only be used for shor t-term relief of muscle spasms and pain. If the symptoms persist or get worse, consult your doctor.

If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if the time of the next dose is approaching, take the forgotten dose and continue with the regular dosage. Do not double the dose to compensate for the omitted.

It is important to follow the dosing guidelines and metocarbamol administration to ensure maximum benefit and minimize the risk of possible side effects. If you have any questions or questions about the use of this medicine, talk to your doctor to guide you.

Drug Interactions and Precautions with Methocarbamol

Drug interactions:

  • Metocarbamol can interact with central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioids. These interactions can produce an increase in sedation and drowsiness.
  • The combination of metocarbamol with other muscle relaxants or medications that have muscle relaxing effects can enhance muscle relaxing effects, causing excessive drowsiness and weakness.
  • It is important to note that metocarbamol can have an additive effect when used with medications that cause dizziness or drowsiness, such as antihistamines, tranquilizers and certain antidepressants.

Note: Patients should inform their medical care providers about all the medications they are currently taking, including prescriptions, free sale and herbal supplements, to ensure adequate control and minimize the risk of drug interactions.


  1. Patients with a history of allergic reactions to metocarbamol or any of its components should avoid use.
  2. People with deterioration of renal or hepatic function should use metocarbamol with caution, since the drug is widely metabolized in the liver and is excreted by the kidneys.
  3. Metocarbamol can cause dizziness and drowsiness. Patients should avoid activities that require mental acuity, such as driving or driving machinery, until they know how the medication affects them.
  4. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should consult their doctor before using methocarbamol, as limited information is available on its safety during these periods.
Interaction Effect
Alcohol Increased sedation and drowsiness
Benzodiazepines and opiates Increased sedation and drowsiness
Other muscle relaxants Enhance muscle relaxing effects
Medications that cause dizziness or drowsiness Additive effect

Frequently Asked Questions about Methocarbamol

1. What is the mechanism of action of methocarbamol?

Methocarbamol works by depressing the central nervous system, helping to relieve muscle spasms and associated pain. It acts as a sedative and inhibits the brain nerve impulses responsible for muscle contractions. This mechanism of action allows the muscles to relax, providing relief from discomfort.

2. How should methocarbamol be taken?

Methocarbamol is usually taken by mouth, with or without food. The usual recommended dose for adults is 1, 500 to 2, 000 mg per day, divided into several doses. However, the specific dosage and frequency may vary depending on the individual’s condition and the instructions of the healthcare professional. It is important to follow the prescribed dose and not exceed the recommended limits to avoid possible adverse effects.

Note: Methocarbamol may cause drowsiness or dizziness, so it is advisable to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery, until you know how the medication affects you.

3. What are the possible side effects of methocarbamol?

Like any medication, methocarbamol can cause side effects in some people. The most common side effects are drowsiness, dizziness, headache and nausea. These side effects are usually temporary and disappear as the body adapts to the medication. However, if any serious or persistent side effects occur, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Common Secondary Effects of Metocarbamol
Common side effects Frequency
Drowsiness Common
Dizziness Common
Headache Common
Nausea Common

If you have any concerns or questions about the use of methocarbamol, it is best to consult your doctor. They will be able to provide you with personalized information and advice based on your health status and medical history.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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