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Methocarbamol (Robaxin) Abuse And Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment Options

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

April 2, 2019

Methocarbamol (Robaxin) has a low risk for addiction, but has the potential for abuse among people with a history of substance misuse. Those who abuse Robaxin may need addiction treatment to overcome their drug abuse.

Methocarbamol (Robaxin) is a pain-relieving drug with low risk for addiction. When taken as prescribed, it can relieve short-term pain caused by injury and be helpful alongside physical therapy.

Although Robaxin has a low risk for addiction, people with a history of substance abuse may be more likely to misuse Robaxin by taking higher or more frequent doses than prescribed. Mixing methocarbamol with other substances, including alcohol and other addictive drugs, can also enhance some side effects and pose potential harm.

What Is Methocarbamol (Robaxin)?

Methocarbamol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant used to treat muscle stiffness and short-term pain caused by muscle injuries. It may be commonly used alongside physical therapy to treat sprains, strains, and similar pains due to injury.

The brand name form of methocarbamol, Robaxin, is marketed as an oral tablet for prescription use only. Some people make mistake Robaxin for a narcotic due to its similar ability to relieve pain. However, unlike narcotics, Robaxin is not meant to be used for treating generalized pain.

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Robaxin has a different chemical makeup than opioid narcotics, and has a much lower risk for addiction. The most significant risk factor for abusing methocarbamol is a history of abusing other substances.

People who misuse Robaxin by taking higher doses than prescribed or for unprescribed uses may show certain signs and symptoms of their drug abuse. Those who are unable or unwilling to stop their use of the drug may need treatment to help them overcome their Robaxin abuse.

Is Methocarbamol (Robaxin) Dangerous?

Robaxin is not known to pose any serious health risks when used as directed. Some side effects of methocarbamol, including nausea and headache, can be uncomfortable, but are not likely to pose serious danger in moderate doses.

Robaxin may have interactions with certain medications. The most common side effect of mixing Robaxin with other central nervous system depressants is increased drowsiness or fatigue.

Drugs that can have a negative interaction with Robaxin include:

  • anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines)
  • cold and cough medicines
  • allergy medications (antihistamines)
  • sleeping pills
  • anesthetics
  • marijuana

It is also recommended that people who are taking Robaxin refrain from drinking alcohol while taking the medication. Alcohol is also a depressant, and may cause enhanced sedative effects when mixed with Robaxin.

Is Methocarbamol Addictive?

Methocarbamol has a very low risk for addiction when it is taken as prescribed. Unlike pain-relieving narcotics, Robaxin is made up of non-habit forming ingredients.

Those who take methocarbamol are also unlikely to experience any sort of drug-related high that can often makes prescription drugs like opioids so addictive.

While most people are able to take Robaxin without a problem, people with a history of substance abuse may be at greater risk for abusing it. This can lead to abuse of other substances, and may put a person at risk for overdose.

Methocarbamol (Robaxin) Abuse

When taken as prescribed, methocarbamol does not pose a serious risk for abuse or addiction. Some people who take the drug, however, may take larger or more frequent doses than directed. This is a sign of drug misuse, and may lead to adverse side effects and risk overdose.

In moderate amounts, Robaxin can provide relief for short-term (acute) pain or stiffness due to muscle injury. When methocarbamol is misused and taken in excessive or multiple doses, those who take too much of the drug may experience dysphoric effects. This may include feelings of unease or general dissatisfaction with life.

Methocarbamol abuse is more common among people who abuse other substances or have a previous history of drug abuse. People may also mistake Robaxin for a narcotic, and take large doses of it in an effort to achieve a drug high.

Signs Of Robaxin Abuse

People who are concerned about a loved one’s use of Robaxin can look out for certain signs of misuse, including behaviors that are often seen with abuse of other substances.

Signs of Robaxin abuse can include:

  • running out of the prescription faster than expected
  • stealing tablets from other friends or family taking Robaxin
  • hiding pills in pockets or drawers
  • taking the medication when it is no longer needed

Taking large doses of Robaxin may cause enhanced drug effects, leading to extreme drowsiness, dizziness, and stomach pain.

People who abuse Robaxin may also experience depression. This is due to the dysphoria experienced with higher doses. Those with substance abuse problems can often withdraw from others as their problem worsens, and may neglect personal hygiene and grooming.

Can You Overdose On Methocarbamol?

Methocarbamol abuse increases the risk for overdose, and can occur when someone takes larger quantities of the drug than prescribed.

If you or a loved one has overdosed on Robaxin, contact medical assistance for emergency help. While fatal overdose is rare, serious side effects may occur.

Symptoms of methocarbamol overdose include:

  • extreme drowsiness
  • severe dizziness
  • sweating
  • vomiting
  • loss of consciousness

In rare cases, severe overdose can result in coma, respiratory depression, or seizures. The risk of experiencing serious effects of overdose is increased when Robaxin is mixed with alcohol or other drugs.

Getting Treatment For Methocarbamol Abuse

Despite its low potential for addiction, people with a history of substance abuse can be at greater risk than the general population for abusing methocarbamol. Substance abuse is a serious disease that may require entering inpatient treatment for comprehensive care.

Inpatient rehab programs provide a safe and supervised environment for people with substance abuse problems to recover from their drug problem. Treatments such as therapy and support groups within inpatient programs can be effective in treating all aspects of a person’s addiction. This includes the mental and emotional sides of substance abuse, which can harm a person’s wellbeing and quality of life.

The type of treatment needed for methocarbamol abuse may vary based on severity of the problem and other personal needs. Talking to your doctor or a treatment specialist can help you determine what treatment options may be best for you.

If you or a loved one are struggling with Robaxin abuse, you deserve to seek help. Contact us for more information about methocarbamol abuse and treatment today.

National Institutes of Health: MedlinePlus - Methocarbamol

National Library of Medicine: Toxicology Data Network - METHOCARBAMOL

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