More common in the US muscle relaxants can be used to treat certain types of diagnosed pain. They can be used as needed and will usually provide rapid relief that lasts for a few hours. They are more commonly used to treat back and neck pain and the most common drug for Fibromyalgia seems to be Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride (Flexeril)

A list of Muscle Relaxants from the US

Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride (Flexeril)
Orphenadrine (Norflex)
Methocaband (Robaxin)
Metaxalone (Skelaxin)
Canisoprodol (Soma)
Tizanidine (Zanaflex)

In the UK these drugs are not commonly used at all and are certainly not licensed for Fibromyalgia. Some of these drugs are only prescribed for patients with Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Spinal Injury or Disease.


Benzodiazepines are tightly controlled in the UK and they are not as frequently available as they are in some other countries. They are generally used for short term medical problems as they can be highly addictive and a patient taking them is at a high risk of withdrawal symptoms when they stop. They can also be used to treat insomnia or anxiety and you may be familiar with medicines like Diazepam and Lorazepam being prescribed.

My experiences

I have used a few Benzodiazepines with differing success. I once had a very bad reaction to the Anti-Sickness drug Metoclopramide and I required Sedation using Diazepam, it was very very useful and I am very grateful to the Doctor that treated me using this drug. Diazepam is probably one of the widest used of these drugs and it is one of the drugs carried by doctors in parts of the world where medication is difficult to obtain.

I have also been prescribed another Benzodiazepine to try as an aid to my sleeping problems. My sleep was very erratic at the time and because of this all of the other symptoms got steadily worse. Unfortunately although the drug aided my sleep I woke not just unrefreshed as usual but I felt like I had been awake for says. It seemed to stop a certain level of sleep that I needed and after a few weeks I had to stop taking them (with medical advice) as I felt as if I had not slept for the whole of that time.

It is important to note that no two experiences are the same between individuals and what may work with one may not with another. Out of the two I recently used I found one very useful and the other the opposite. Therefore I would only advise that, like with opioids, they are given under close monitoring, by a doctor you trust as these can be highly addictive drugs and can cause problems when they are stopped.