Muscle Relaxants in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Published Online: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Follow Pharmacy_Times:
Pain management is important for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Despite the scarce information available about the efficacy of muscle relaxants in treating RA patients, they are generally accepted as adjuvant therapy for managing chronic musculoskeletal pain.

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of muscle relaxants in this patient population, researchers conducted a metaanalysis of 6 trials including 126 patients. Their results were published online on January 18, 2012, in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The muscle relaxants studied were short- and longacting benzodiazepines and a non-benzodiazepine.

The 6 trials included in the meta-analysis compared the effect of muscle relaxants with placebo over a period of up to 2 weeks. Overall, these trials did not show evidence of a beneficial effect of using muscle relaxants in terms of pain intensity, quality of life, or function. In addition, 2 of the 3 trials that lasted longer than 24 hours showed an increased rate of adverse events such as drowsiness and dizziness associated with muscle relaxants.

As a result of this metaanalysis, the authors conclude that benzodiazepines do not appear to provide a benefit as muscle relaxants for patients with RA over 24 hours or 1 week. The non-benzodiazepine studied also did not appear to reduce pain in RA patients over a 2-week treatment period. This suggests that muscle relaxants used as adjunct therapy in RA may not be as beneficial to patients as has been thought.

To read more articles in this watch, click:
Self-Management Demonstrated in Migraine Patients
Management of Pain Possible for Childhood Vaccinations


Related Articles
Mylan Inc. announced the U.S. launch of its Celecoxib Capsules, 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg, one of the first available generic versions of Pfizer's Celebrex® Capsules, which is indicated for the relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, and for the management of acute pain in adults.
Eli Lilly and Company and Incyte Corporation’s study of the investigational medicine baricitinib met its primary endpoint of improved American College of Rheumatology scores, ACR20, after 12 weeks of treatment for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, according to a press release.
A study from Bristol-Myers Squibb shows a combination of abatacept and methotrexate could help slow the disease progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
Current risk assessment strategies for reducing fractures related to osteoporosis among women fail to accurately predict who will experience major osteoporotic injuries.
Latest Issues
$auto_registration$