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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2000 Jan-Feb;17(1):50-8.

Tizanidine in the management of spasticity and musculoskeletal complaints in the palliative care population.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Albany Medical College Hospital, New York, USA.


Spasticity and other muscle symptoms in the palliative care patient can contribute to suffering, significantly detracting from overall quality of life. Current therapy primarily includes use of centrally acting muscle relaxants, which are beneficial in treating some symptoms, but frequently have extensive side effects, such as sedation and muscle weakness. Tizanidine, a central alpha 2 adrenergic agonist, has been shown in clinical studies to be as effective as other commonly used antispastic agents, but without debilitating muscle weakness. Tizanidine can cause sedation, which is minimized by dose titration. When taken at night, patients report improvement in getting to sleep and little drowsiness or "hangover sensation" upon waking. Tizanidine is potentially helpful to many palliative care patients with chronic muscle pain and sleep disturbances.

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