An individual who needs muscle relaxants to control pain resulting from muscle spasms must ask his doctor for a recommendation and a prescription. Muscle relaxants are sedative medications that can cause serious side effects, according to WebMD.
Muscle relaxants work by depressing the central nervous system, WebMD notes. They're typically prescribed for limited periods of time because they can be addictive.
Common muscle relaxants include carisporodol, cyclobenzaprine and diazepam, Spine-Health explains. Diazepam is a depressant that can also cause sleep disturbance, so it may be contraindicated in patients suffering from depression due to chronic pain. The risk of addiction to carisoprodol increases if it's used with other drugs or with alcohol. In addition to the risk of dependence, patients who take muscle relaxants may experience dizziness, sleepiness, dry mouth and difficulty urinating, WebMD explains.