Is Norflex a narcotic? 

Is Norflex a narcotic? 

No, Norflex (Orphenadrine) is not a narcotic analgesic or a controlled substance. This medication belongs to the class of anticholinergic drugs, which are used to relax your muscles. 

Norflex has been used for decades for the management and treatment of pain caused by muscle strains, spasms, or other muscle injuries. However, it is less commonly used now because of the availability of newer and more effective medications. 

If we talk about the chemical composition, Norflex does not resemble any of the controlled substances or narcotic painkillers, like Opioids. It does not induce euphoria and has little to no potential for addiction and abuse. 

However, every medication is dangerous if you take too much of it – Norflex not being an exception. If your doctor has prescribed Norflex, make sure you take it as properly as you can. 

Do not exceed the prescribed dose and don’t take it more often. If you’re concerned about any of the side effects, reach out to your healthcare provider. 

What is the basic difference between Norflex and narcotics?

Norflex and narcotics are two types of medications that have distinct differences in their mechanisms of action and effects. Norflex is a muscle relaxant that works by blocking certain nerve signals in the brain and spinal cord. It is commonly used to relieve muscle spasms and associated pain (1,2).

Norflex does not directly affect the central nervous system and does not possess the same potential for abuse or addiction as narcotics, which on the other hand, are powerful pain-relieving medications that bind to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord.

They are primarily used to manage moderate to severe pain, but they also carry a significant risk of addiction and dependence. Narcotics have a direct effect on the central nervous system, often producing a sense of euphoria and sedation along with pain relief (3).

Due to their potential for abuse and the associated risks, they are tightly regulated substances.

Can Norflex affect your health?

Norflex, although it is not a narcotic, can cause some side effects- which may become more severe if you take too much of the medication. Common side effects include (1):

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Headache
  • Nervousness or restlessness
  • Upset stomach or heartburn

Rare side effects may include:

  • Allergic reactions (rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness)
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Confusion or hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weight changes
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Changes in mood or behaviour
  • Loss of coordination or muscle control

These side effects can vary from person to person and not everyone experiences the above-mentioned side effects. However, if you do experience side effects, please report them to your healthcare provider. 

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Hunskaar S, Donnell D. Clinical and pharmacological review of the efficacy of orphenadrine and its combination with paracetamol in painful conditions. J Int Med Res. 1991 Mar-Apr;19(2):71-87. doi: 10.1177/030006059101900201. PMID: 1864455.


Teeple E Jr. Pharmacology and physiology of narcotics. Crit Care Clin. 1990 Apr;6(2):255-82. PMID: 2160852.