Also Known As: Orphenadrine, Norflex, Mephenamin, Dissipal, Banflex, Flexon, Biorphen, Brocasipal, Dolan, Norgesic
Orphenadrine (sold under the brand names: Norflex, Mephenamin, Dissipal, Banflex, Flexon, Biorphen, Brocasipal, Dolan, Norgesic and others) is an anticholinergic drug of the ethanolamine antihistamine class with prominent CNS and peripheral actions used to treat painful muscle spasms, other similar conditions, as well as the treatment of some aspects of Parkinson's Disease. It is closely related to diphenhydramine. Therefore, it is related to other drugs used for Parkinson's like benztropine and trihexyphenidyl, and it is also structurally related to nefopam, which is a centrally-acting yet non-opioid analgesic. The combination of anticholinergic effects and CNS penetration make orphenadrine useful for pain of all etiologies, including pain from: radiculopathy, muscle pain, headaches, and many other types. Some patients report that it feels like orphenadrine and similar drugs help both NSAIDs and opioids find the pain. Orphenadrine has approximately 58% of the anticholinergic potency of atropine at equivalent doses.
Orphenadrine is most often used against pain and muscle spasm of various etiologies including lumbago, sciatica, and injury. It is quite useful against allergic symptoms and other histamine-related effects, such as those from hay fever, other allergies, and histamine release from many opioid analgesics. Where available for prescription compounding, orphenadrine can also be prepared for topical administration and works slightly better than diphenhydramine for this purpose.
The orphenadrine salt used for Parkinsonism is the hydrochloride, whereas the muscle relaxant tablet are the citrate. The manufacturers' descriptions of orphenadrine indicate that the salts are not interchangeable; one reason may be that the citrate can be irritating when injected.
Euphoria is an effect reported by many patients and orphenadrine has been investigated for use against depression, as first reported in June 1958 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.