Rapid Rx Quiz: Muscle Relaxants

Mary L. Windle, PharmD


May 18, 2022

In a recent systematic review and meta-analysis, investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of nonbenzodiazepine antispasmodics in the treatment of low back pain by analyzing 31 randomized controlled trials. The trials compared muscle relaxants with usual care, placebo, or no treatment in adults with nonspecific low back pain. In the treatment of acute low back pain, low-certainty evidence indicated nonbenzodiazepine antispasmodics may reduce pain intensity at 2 weeks or less, but this reduction did not reach a clinically meaningful level.

The drugs had little to no effect on pain intensity at 3-13 weeks or on disability at any time point during follow-up; the team also found low-certainty and very-low-certainty evidence that nonbenzodiazepine antispasmodics might increase adverse event risk.

Learn more about low back pain and sciatica.


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