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tizanidine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking tizanidine (Zanaflex)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to tizanidine, or if you are also taking the antidepressant fluvoxamine (Luvox), or the antibiotic ciprofloxacin (Cipro).

Before using tizanidine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use tizanidine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether tizanidine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In older adults, tizanidine may take much longer to clear from the body. Follow your doctor's instructions about your specific dosage and medication schedule.

How should I take tizanidine (Zanaflex)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.

Take this medication with a full glass of water.

Tizanidine is a short-acting medication, and its effects will be most noticeable between 1 and 6 hours after you take it. This medication should be taken only for daily activities that require relief from muscle spasticity.

In most cases, you may take up to three doses in one day if needed. Allow 6 to 8 hours to pass between doses.

Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about taking this medication with or without food. Taking tizanidine tablets with food can increase the levels of tizanidine in your blood stream, but taking tizanidine capsules with food can decrease the levels.

Switching between tizanidine tablets and capsules, or changing the way you take it with regard to eating, can cause an increase in side effects or a decrease in therapeutic effect. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. After making any changes in how you take tizanidine, contact your doctor if you notice any change in how well the medicine works or if it causes increased side effects.

Do not take more than three doses (36 mg) in a 24-hour period. Too much of this medication can damage your liver.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your liver function will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

You may have withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, fast heart rate, tremors, anxiety, and increased spasticity when you stop using tizanidine after using it over a long period of time. Do not stop using this medication suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Store tizanidine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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