First Study: Tizanidine Medication Appears to Reduce Abnormal Excessive Muscle Tone
Categories: Violence-Related Traumatic Brain Injury
Does orally delivered tizanidine medication reduce abnormal excessive muscle tone (“spasticity”) caused by injury to the brain?
Past Studies demonstrate that the medication tizanidine hydrochloride (Zanaflex) is effective for reducing spasticity for persons with spinal cord syndromes and multiple sclerosis. “Spasticity” is a term used to describe a condition that causes muscles to be stiff and resist stretch. As a result of injury to the brain, those muscles that become spastic are unable to “relax” or “stretch out.” Because of this, persons with spasticity may not be able to straighten out or bend their arm or leg joints, even if they have the strength to do the task. For instance, the muscles necessary to straighten the arm may actually be working, but if the muscles that bend the arm are spastic, they can be so powerful that individuals cannot overcome the force generated by the spastic muscles and are unable to strengthen their arms. When spasticity limits a person’s body movements, it can decrease functional abilities and also can lead to medical problems such as pain, sleep disturbances, and skin conditions. Spasticity can be
Oral dose anti-spasticity medications tend to disperse throughout the body and, because of this, are appropriate for treating overall body spasticity, rather than spasticity that is located in one place. Oral dose anti-spasticity medication use among persons with traumatic brain injuries has been limited because of potential negative side effects
Tizanidine can be taken in an oral dose and is fairly affordable. Other spasticity treatment medications can require surgery or repeated injections. Although other medications for treating spasticity experienced by persons with brain injuries have been evaluated, the safety and efficacy of oral Tizanidine had not been studied.
This Study is the first of its kind using Tizanidine (Zanaflex) to treat spasticity in the arms and legs of persons with traumatic brain injuries and stroke. Tizanidine is one of the
Who May Be Affected By These Findings
Persons with brain injury and upper and lower limb spasticity, their families and caregivers, healthcare providers, and researchers
There was a 41%
In this study, tizanidine appeared to be effective in decreasing spasticity associated with traumatic brain injury and stroke. More research is needed to determine dosage to minimize side effects and long-term risks, long-term benefits, and appropriate accompanying therapeutic interventions.
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Find This Study
Meythaler, J. M.; Guin-Renfroe, S.; Johnson, A.; & Brunner, R. M. (2001). Prospective Assessment of Tizanidine for Spasticity due to acquired brain injury. Archives of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, (82), 1155-1162.