As the sun sets and the world quiets down, our bodies crave restful sleep. For more than a third of adults in the U.S., this natural process can be a struggle, affecting their productivity the following day and causing headaches and muscle pain. If you’re among those grappling with sleep issues, you may need to consult your doctor to fix them.
After consulting your healthcare provider, they may prescribe cyclobenzaprine—a muscle relaxant—to help you get some rest. Even though effective, the main question is whether this drug is safe when combined with other commonly used medications like ibuprofen.
We’ll present what you should know about the potential interaction between cyclobenzaprine and ibuprofen and how to combine them safely.
How Cyclobenzaprine Works—An Overview
Cyclobenzaprine reduces muscle hyperactivity in the nerve fibers connected to the skeletal muscle. The drug has a similar structure to tricyclic antidepressants, which typically block certain nerve impulses or pain signals sent to the brain. Due to the similarity, cyclobenzaprine has anticholinergic properties and may cause sedation, dizziness, and drowsiness, which are crucial in inducing sleep.
The medication comes in tablet and capsule forms. The tablets are available in the following doses:
- 5 mg
- 7.5 mg
- 10 mg
The capsules (extended-release) are available in the following doses:
- 15 mg
- 30 mg
When taken for sleeplessness, cyclobenzaprine kicks in within 30–60 minutes, so you should take it 1–2 hours before bed. You should also allocate at least seven hours of sleep to ensure the drug’s effects subside before waking up. Otherwise, you may experience drowsiness the next day.
The drug has a low risk of addiction, but you should follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid developing psychological dependence.
Common Side Effects of Cyclobenzaprine
The common side effects of cyclobenzaprine are:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
These adverse reactions are unlikely to occur when patients take this medicine as prescribed, and even if they do, they are relatively easy to manage. Severe but rare side effects include:
- Severe drowsiness
- Breathing difficulties
- Irregular heartbeat
Patients who experience these or other unusual changes should seek immediate medical attention.
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How Ibuprofen Works—An Overview
Ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), works by stopping the production of prostaglandins—hormone-like substances responsible for several bodily functions, such as pain and inflammation. By regulating these compounds, ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and pain.
The medication comes in tablet, capsule, and suspension form and is available in the following doses:
Ibuprofen kicks in within 20–30 minutes of intake and has a half-life of 1.8–2 hours, so your body eliminates it in 9–10 hours.
Common Side Effects of Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen carries the risk of side effects, which can be exacerbated when taken together with other drugs. Some of them are:
- Stomach pain
- Restless sleep
- Thirst and sweating
Patients who experience these adverse reactions should inform their doctor, who will determine whether to adjust the dosage or use different medications.
Can You Take Cyclobenzaprine With Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen and cyclobenzaprine can be taken together. Still, you should consult your healthcare provider before combining the medications because even though the potential for interaction is low, it cannot be ruled out.
You should watch out for adverse reactions when using these medications together. Follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid overdosing. Some of the symptoms of overdosing on cyclobenzaprine and ibuprofen are:
- Dry skin
- Increased or irregular heart rate
- Breathing difficulties
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Agitation or confusion
Patients who experience these symptoms or other unexplained physical or mood changes should contact their healthcare providers immediately.
Cyclobenzaprine for Sleep—Does Ibuprofen Affect Its Effectiveness?
Ibuprofen typically doesn’t interfere with cyclobenzaprine’s efficiency in treating sleep issues. However, each case is different, so you should consult your doctor before combining cyclobenzaprine with other widely used medicines like ibuprofen. Insomnia is a complex condition with numerous potential causes and requires a well-thought-through approach regarding medication and lifestyle changes.
You should see a sleep specialist to get the best treatment. With only 1% of doctors specializing in sleep medicine, that can entail a long, grueling wait.
The good news is that telemedicine platforms allow you to consult a sleep expert from the comfort of your home almost instantly. One such platform is Kick, an online performance medicine clinic with a groundbreaking sleep program.
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Kick—Celebrate Your Mornings
Kick’s sleep program entails a holistic approach to each individual depending on their lifestyle, health, and medical history. Designed and led by Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a Stanford sleep specialist, the program offers treatment grounded in the latest research, combining cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) best practices and gentle yet effective sleep medicines like cyclobenzaprine.
Convenience is one of the key features of Kick’s program—you can avoid time-consuming doctor visits and receive two trial medications carefully chosen by our sleep expert. Your doctor will monitor your progress weekly and adjust the treatment depending on the results.
Our specialist will also offer tips on healthy sleep practices to help you have restful nights as soon as possible.
The effectiveness of Kick’s approach to tackling sleep issues is evidenced by the numerous positive reviews on Trustpilot from previous customers:
“Really easy to sign up and get started. I'm already seeing tremendous benefits in my job performance.”
How To Join Kick
To benefit from Kick’s innovative sleep program, follow these steps:
- Visit the signup page and begin your 15-minute sleep visit
- Fill out the intake form informing us of your health history and sleep issues
- Add your delivery address and payment details
Our expert will review the information within 24 hours and prescribe two trial medications that will be delivered to your doorstep or local pharmacy. If they decide Kick isn’t the best solution in your case, you won’t pay for the initial consultation, as per our Doctor Guarantee.
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How Does Cyclobenzaprine Interact With Other Drugs
Besides ibuprofen, cyclobenzaprine may interact with other medications, so check out the table below for more details:
This list isn’t exhaustive. You should consult your healthcare provider to ensure the medications you’re taking are safe, effective, and have low potential for interaction.
How Does Cyclobenzaprine Interact With Other Substances?
Cyclobenzaprine can have potential interactions with commonly consumed substances like alcohol, caffeine, and marijuana. Check out the details in the following sections.
Can You Mix Cyclobenzaprine With Alcohol?
You shouldn’t mix cyclobenzaprine with alcohol. It can contribute to the medication’s anticholinergic effects, such as:
- Poor motor coordination
- Impaired judgment
If you must drink, you should wait at least 24 hours after taking your last dose to reduce the risk of adverse reactions.
Can You Take Cyclobenzaprine With Marijuana
You should avoid combining cyclobenzaprine with marijuana. THC is psychoactive and can lower anxiety and induce sleep in some users.
Still, cyclobenzaprine and marijuana can contribute to each other’s side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. If you’re taking marijuana regularly, you should inform your healthcare provider before using the medication.
Can You Vape While Taking Cyclobenzaprine?
You should avoid vaping while taking cyclobenzaprine. While no interaction has been found between the drug and nicotine, it can’t be ruled out.
Nicotine, the active ingredient in vape pens, can cause increased heart rate, feelings of heightened alertness, or other stimulant effects. When used with this medicine, the substance could potentially counteract the sedative effects of cyclobenzaprine, making the medication less effective.
Both substances can cause dry mouth, and combining them could exacerbate this effect. Vaping can also cause throat irritation and coughing, which could be uncomfortable if you’re experiencing dry mouth from cyclobenzaprine.
Does Caffeine Affect Cyclobenzaprine?
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The potential for interaction between caffeine and cyclobenzaprine is low but can’t be ruled out. Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause increased heart rate and heightened alertness.
When used together, caffeine could potentially counteract cyclobenzaprine’s sedative effects, making the medication less effective.
High caffeine intake can lead to restlessness and insomnia, which would be counterproductive if you’re taking cyclobenzaprine to help with sleep or muscle relaxation.
You should consult your healthcare provider for specific guidance on taking cyclobenzaprine with foods and drinks containing caffeine, such as:
- Energy drinks
- Certain medications and dietary supplements
Can You Take Cyclobenzaprine With CBD Oil?
You should avoid taking cyclobenzaprine with CBD oil. Cyclobenzaprine has a moderate interaction with cannabidiol, and combining the two can contribute to side effects, such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
People over 65 may experience impaired judgment and poor motor coordination, increasing the risk of accidental falls and injury.
Cannabidiol inhibits the activity of cytochrome P450—liver enzymes that break down toxins and medications in our bodies. It can slow down the absorption of cyclobenzaprine, increasing the risks of side effects.
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