My Neuro is trying me on Tizanidine (Zanaflex) for my muscle cramps. He also prescribed physical therapy to help me build up my leg and core muscles again. This med is a short life drug meant to temporarily relieve the spasticity of Multiple Sclerosis patients. So, like every other drug he has tried for me, this is another off label drug. There are no meds that are designed to treat Mitochondrial Myopathy. So he prescribes meds created for other diseases and disorders that involve muscle spasms or seizures.
I’ve only had a few doses so far, but I can tell it takes about an hour to take effect and works for maybe 5 or 6 hours. Of course he has me on the lowest possible dose right now, with the prescription providing for three times a day if I need it. I’ve used it the last two nights to help me get to sleep. That’s when the cramps are the worst, because my mind is not occupied with anything else to distract me from the pain.
Yesterday was my first time to go to PT since I went last year after my cervical fusion surgery. It’s the first time I’ve had therapy for my legs in many years. And I’m the first client with Mitochondrial Myopathy this physical therapist has ever worked with. She found out very quickly just how weak I’ve gotten. I don’t think she was prepared for how easily I fatigue to the point of jerking and twitching. So she plans on alternating working on my core and leg strength to keep me from losing control of my muscles so quickly.
I have been trying to exercise here at the house more and more each day, but I am obviously still very weak. I’m much better than I was after trying to use Clonazepam. But I’m not self disciplined enough to make myself exercise as much as I need to. It’s just too easy to sit, since I don’t notice the cramps as much when I’m busy on the computer. So I am confident that having someone make me work harder than I want to is going to be good for me.
And I can only hope that the Tizanidine helps with the muscle spasms. Time will tell.