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Baclofen vs. Cyclobenzaprine—Which Sleep Medication Is Right for You?

Baclofen vs. Cyclobenzaprine—Which Sleep Medication Is Right for You?

In a world filled with worries, finding restful sleep can become a daunting task. Life’s daily challenges sometimes turn into anxious thoughts that keep you up at night, preventing you from getting the rest you need. The consequences of sleeplessness can be far-reaching, affecting both your physical and mental well-being.

While natural remedies offer a helping hand, prescription sleep medications provide a swifter and potentially more effective solution. Among the numerous options, medications like baclofen and cyclobenzaprine stand out. When used correctly, they have the power to provide the rejuvenating rest you need to face the day ahead.

This baclofen vs. cyclobenzaprine comparison will shed light on the unique attributes of each medication, helping you make an informed choice on your journey to restful sleep.

Baclofen vs. Cyclobenzaprine—Overview

Baclofen and cyclobenzaprine are both skeletal muscle relaxants, serving as valuable tools in the management of various musculoskeletal conditions. Skeletal muscle relaxants work by influencing the central nervous system or by directly affecting muscle fibers to reduce muscle tension and spasming. There are two classes of relaxants to choose from:




These muscle relaxants primarily target the central nervous system to reduce muscle spasticity by influencing nerve impulses. Baclofen belongs to this category, as it acts as a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor agonist, binding to GABA receptors in the spinal cord. GABA functions by reducing the stimulation of neurons, acting as a calming agent in the nervous system that helps you feel more relaxed and reduces muscle spasms


In contrast, antispasmodic muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine exert their primary action in the brainstem, where they inhibit specific nerve impulses. This inhibition reduces muscle tone, alleviating skeletal muscle spasms and the associated discomfort. Cyclobenzaprine primarily focuses on skeletal muscles, making it a suitable choice for those experiencing acute musculoskeletal conditions characterized by muscle spasms

Both cyclobenzaprine and baclofen have sedative effects, which may be helpful if you're struggling with insomnia. Their ability to relax muscles and induce a state of drowsiness can promote better sleep quality if you’re experiencing sleep disturbances due to muscle tension.

Cyclobenzaprine vs. Baclofen—Key Facts

Learn key facts about cyclobenzaprine and baclofen in the following table:




Drug class

Skeletal muscle relaxant

Skeletal muscle relaxant

FDA classification

Not a controlled drug

Not a controlled drug





5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, and 20 mg

5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, and 30 mg

Dosage forms available

Intrathecal solution and oral liquid/tablet

Oral capsule/tablet

Suitable for children



Suitable for pregnant women

Category C (risk can’t be ruled out)

Category B (no proven risk in pregnancy)

Side effects



Baclofen vs. Cyclobenzaprine—Dosage and Administration

When it comes to the dosage and administration of baclofen and cyclobenzaprine, it's crucial to understand the recommendations for proper use so you can ensure effective treatment.

You can take baclofen orally, but it can also be administered through a surgically inserted spinal cord pump. The latter option is considered if you experience adverse effects or don’t respond to oral administration. Because baclofen has a relatively short half-life (the time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body), it needs to be administered every 2–6 hours for optimal effectiveness. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine the right dosage for your specific case. Here are the available doses for baclofen:

  1. 5 mg
  2. 10 mg
  3. 15 mg
  4. 20 mg

Meanwhile, you can take cyclobenzaprine orally, either as an immediate-release capsule that has a faster onset or as an extended-release capsule that takes longer to take effect. The immediate-release capsules usually come in doses ranging from 5 to 10 mg, while the extended-release capsules range in dosage from 15 to 30 mg. However, your daily dose shouldn’t exceed 30 mg to avoid adverse effects. Current clinical studies suggest that lower doses (5 mg) are often the most effective. Doctors usually recommend cyclobenzaprine for short-term use, as current research doesn’t support prolonged use of this medication. The dosages available for cyclobenzaprine are:

  1. 5 mg
  2. 10 mg
  3. 15 mg
  4. 30 mg

Cyclobenzaprine vs. Baclofen—Potential Side Effects

Source: 100 files

When considering the use of baclofen or cyclobenzaprine, it’s essential to be aware of the potential side effects associated with these medications. Both medications can cause similar side effects, such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness when standing up suddenly
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • More frequent urination
  • Sweating
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

These effects can impact the patient’s ability to perform tasks that require alertness, like driving or operating heavy machinery. Always follow your doctor’s instructions on the use of these medications to minimize the risk of side effects and ensure a successful treatment.

Baclofen vs. Cyclobenzaprine—Who Should and Shouldn’t Use It

Source: Jamie Street

Determining whether baclofen or cyclobenzaprine is the right choice for you depends on specific factors related to your medical history and any preexisting conditions.

Baclofen and cyclobenzaprine are suitable for:

  • People with muscle spasms and spasticity due to spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other neurological conditions
  • Individuals experiencing insomnia
  • Patients with pain due to muscle spasms or nerve damage

You shouldn’t use baclofen or cyclobenzaprine if:

  • You have heart problems, such as heart failure, arrhythmias, or coronary artery disease
  • You have a known history of allergic reactions to baclofen or cyclobenzaprine, or any of their components
  • You’re pregnant, as the safety of cyclobenzaprine and baclofen during pregnancy isn’t well-researched, and their use may carry potential risks to the developing fetus. Pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider to explore alternative treatment options
  • You’re breastfeeding, as both medications can pass into breast milk and potentially affect the nursing infant. The impact on infants isn’t fully understood, and healthcare providers can offer guidance on suitable alternatives for breastfeeding mothers

Combining baclofen or cyclobenzaprine with alcohol or other substances that depress the central nervous system can intensify sedation, so it’s best to skip drinks when planning on taking these medications.

Can You Take Baclofen and Cyclobenzaprine Together?

Generally, it’s not recommended that you take baclofen and cyclobenzaprine together. Both medications are muscle relaxants, and taking them together can increase the risk of excessive drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, and other side effects.

Source: Andrea Piacquadio

Taking cyclobenzaprine and baclofen together should only be done under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional. Your doctor should assess your medical condition, consider the potential benefits and risks of combining these medications, and determine the appropriate dosage and treatment plan if they deem you should use them together.

Which Is Better, Baclofen or Cyclobenzaprine?

Both cyclobenzaprine and baclofen have sedative properties, which may be beneficial if you’re experiencing sleep disturbances. Baclofen’s influence on the central nervous system helps relax muscles, potentially leading to improved sleep if your insomnia is caused by muscle-related issues. Cyclobenzaprine is a faster-acting muscle relaxant than baclofen and is also known for inducing drowsiness.

However, when deciding which of these medications to use for sleep, you should make your choice in consultation with a sleep specialist. They can assess your condition and recommend the most appropriate medication, dosage, and treatment duration to address your sleep issues effectively. However, while sleep specialists can offer valuable recommendations for resolving sleep problems, the scarcity of these experts poses a significant challenge.

With fewer than 1% of healthcare providers specializing in sleep, securing an appointment with a sleep doctor can be a time-consuming process, sometimes taking months. The good news is that you now have a convenient solution at your fingertips—thanks to Kick, you can connect with a sleep specialist within a few hours. Developed by a Stanford sleep specialist, Kick’s innovative sleep program is tailored to your specific sleep concerns, current health condition, and comprehensive medical history.

Kick—Trusted Solution for Sleep Problems

Kick is a performance medicine clinic that offers a unique approach to improving your sleep quality and overall well-being. Our user-friendly platform offers a seamless way to access expert guidance and personalized solutions online, helping you achieve restorative sleep without the lengthy wait times often associated with traditional in-person appointments.

Once you join our program, our sleep doctor will create a custom treatment plan for you and prescribe two trial medications tailored to your specific case, ensuring that your treatment is personalized and effective.

Kick provides an extensive range of off-label sleep medications, including those that are less commonly found, such as:

  1. Trazodone
  2. Hydroxyzine
  3. Cyclobenzaprine
  4. Ramelteon
  5. Gabapentin
  6. Doxepin (coming soon)

We understand that finding the right solution can be challenging, which is why we offer expert supervision throughout your treatment. If the initial treatment doesn’t work for you, our doctors will promptly make adjustments. Making sure you have the support you need throughout your journey to better sleep, Kick’s sleep experts also offer valuable insights and tips on healthy sleep practices.

Our convenient delivery system allows you to pick up your prescribed drugs at your local pharmacy or have them delivered to your home address, ensuring easy access to your treatment. What’s more, if Kick’s program isn’t the right fit for you, your consultations won’t be billed thanks to our Doctor Guarantee policy.

How Kick Works

Source: Vladislav Muslakov

To experience Kick and discover the secret behind its remarkable Trustpilot rating and reviews, follow these four simple steps:

  1. Start your brief sleep visit by going to this page
  2. Fill in the required information, including your medical history and relevant information about your condition
  3. Choose between the mail-order pharmacy option and local pharmacy pickup
  4. Provide your shipping address and payment information

Don’t let sleep issues stand in the way of your enhanced life quality—kickstart your journey to restful sleep with Kick today!

Featured image source: cottonbro studio