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Curr Med Res Opin. 2009 May;25(5):1179-96. doi: 10.1185/03007990902851753 .

Cyclobenzaprine ER for muscle spasm associated with low back and neck pain: two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of identical design.

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Atlantic Health, Overlook Hospital, Summit, NJ 07901, USA.



To evaluate efficacy and tolerability of once-daily cyclobenzaprine extended release (CER) 15- and 30-mg capsules in patients with muscle spasm associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions.


Two identically designed, randomized, double-blind, placebo- and active-controlled, parallel-group studies in patients aged 18-75 years with muscle spasm associated with neck or back pain. Patients received CER 15 or 30 mg once daily, cyclobenzaprine immediate release (CIR) 10 mg three times daily, or placebo for 14 days. Primary efficacy measures were patient's rating of medication helpfulness and physician's clinical global assessment of response to therapy at day 4. Secondary measures were patient's rating of medication helpfulness and physician's clinical global assessment of response (days 8 and 14), relief from local pain, global impression of change, restriction in activities of daily living, restriction of movement, daytime drowsiness, quality of nighttime sleep (days 4, 8, and 14), and quality of life (days 8 and 14).


A total of 156/254 randomized patients in study 1 and 174/250 in study 2 completed 14 days of treatment. Significant improvements in patient's rating of medication helpfulness were reported with CER versus placebo (CER 30 mg, study 1, p = 0.007; CER 15 mg, study 2, p = 0.018) at day 4. Significant improvements with CER 30 mg versus placebo were also seen at day 4 in study 1 for patient-rated global impression of change (p = 0.008), relief of local pain (p = 0.004), and restriction of movement (p = 0.002). Neither study reported differences between study groups on the physician's clinical global assessment. Improvements with CER were comparable to that of CIR. In both studies, daytime drowsiness was reported more frequently in active treatment groups than in the placebo group; however, reports of drowsiness decreased over time in all groups. In general, daytime drowsiness was reported more frequently in CIR groups than in CER groups. More adverse events were reported in the active treatment groups versus placebo and were similar in the CER and CIR groups, except somnolence, which occurred more frequently with CIR.


Once-daily CER 15 mg (study 2) and CER 30 mg (study 1) were effective in treating muscle spasm associated with painful musculoskeletal conditions after 4 days of treatment. Differences between CER and placebo groups did not reach statistical significance on all efficacy measures, and the protocols were not powered to detect differences between active treatment arms. CER was generally safe and well tolerated, with low rates of somnolence.

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