Hocus Pocus: What Muscle Relaxants Do and Don’t Do

Is there value to skeletal muscle relaxants? In this session, presenters will explore why pain related to muscle spasm occurs, the role of skeletal muscle relaxants in symptom control, and special considerations in management of these medications. Presenters will explore clinical scenarios that present unique challenges to a palliative care team, including cancer related pain, spasticity due to neurologic conditions, and chronic nonmalignant pain. Special populations at high risk for adverse events, including the elderly with comorbid addiction, will be highlighted. Clinical cases will demonstrate the potential benefit from skeletal muscle relaxants. We will also identify gaps in knowledge and discuss clinical situations where skeletal muscle relaxants have shown to be ineffective; evidence for their efficacy continues to be limited. There is potential value for muscle relaxants for improving non-opioid management. After this session participants will feel more confident evaluating the appropriateness of patients taking muscle relaxants as well as those who maybe good candidates to begin a muscle relaxant.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the pharmacokinetic profile of each class of anti-spasmodic medication 
  • Discuss pearls for selection and dosing of anti-spasmodic medications 
  • Choose an appropriate anti-spasmodic based on patient specific information

Additional Information

Tarsus Medical Education
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Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 0.60 AANP Pharmacology Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Jessica Geiger, PharmD, MS, BCPS, CPE

Clinical Pharmacist, Palliative Care

OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital

Columbus, OH

Justin Kullgren, PharmD, CPE

Clinical Pharmacist, Palliative Care

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

James Cancer Hospital

Columbus, OH

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 0.60 AANP Pharmacology Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
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