Muscle relaxant drugs are primarily used in conjunction with general anesthetics to achieve muscle relaxation during surgical interventions. However, they are also being used in the treatment of muscle spasm and spastic neurological conditions secondary to multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome etc. Muscle relaxants can be used in alleviating acute pain in muscle spasm, tension headache etc. Spasticity arises from conditions affecting brain and spinal cord, and lasts for a long time. However, muscle relaxant drugs only provide symptomatic treatment and do not cure the underlying disease or disorder. Loss of muscle tone associated with old age, due to loss of fibrous tissue and reduced vascular network in the skin makes old age population the biggest target group for the use of skeletal muscle relaxant drugs. Moreover, geriatric population is highly prone to the musculoskeletal disorders including Carpal Tunnel syndrome, ligament sprain etc. Muscle relaxant drugs are commercially being used from 1940s, and since 1995, 10 new muscle relaxant drugs have been introduced in a market including vecuronium, Atracurium etc. Some of the commonly used brands of skeletal muscle relaxant drugs include Gablofen (baclofen injection), Lioresal Intrathecal (baclofen), Soma (Carisoprodol), Lorzone (Chlorzoxazone), Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine), Dantrium (Dantrolene), Skelaxin (Metaxalone) and others. According to the Medicaid reported data, carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine and metaxalone comprised 45% of overall prescription for lower back pain in the U.S. in 2015.
Muscle Relaxant Drugs Market: Drivers and Restraints
Global market for muscle relaxant drugs is primarily driven by increasing incidence of lower back pain, surge in number of surgical procedures and expanding geriatric population. Low back pain has been ranked among the top 5 causes of physician visits in the U.S. In 2007, The American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians published a guideline for the treatment of low back pain in which skeletal muscle relaxants are recommended as a second line therapy for low back pain. Moreover, changing prescription practices may alter the growth rate of muscle relaxant drugs market. For instance, even though muscle relaxants drugs are not recommended as a first line of therapy 35% of patients suffering from non-specific lower back pain are prescribed with muscle relaxants in the U.S. However, severe side effects related to muscle relaxant drugs such as habituation and respiratory arrest will restrict the growth of global muscle relaxant drugs market.
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Muscle Relaxant Drugs Market: Segmentation
The global muscle relaxant drugs market has been segmented on the basis of product type, formulation, retail sales channel, and geography.
Based on product type, the global muscle relaxant drugs market is divided into following:
- Peripherally Acting Muscle Relaxants
- Neuromuscular Blocking Agents (e.g. Tubocurarine,
- Direct Acting Muscle Relaxants (e.g. Dandroline, )
- Facial Aesthetic Relaxants (e.g. Botulinum toxin A)
- Centrally Acting Muscle Relaxants (e.g. Carisoprodol, Chlorzoxazone etc.)
Based on formulation, the global muscle relaxant drugs market is divided into following:
- Solid Oral Formulations
- Injectable Formulations
Based on retail sales channels, the global muscle relaxant drugs market is segmented as below:
- Hospital Pharmacy
- Online sales
- Retail Pharmacy
- Drug Stores
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Muscle Relaxant Drugs Market: Overview
The global market for muscle relaxant drugs is expected to gain traction during the forecast period due to increasing aging population and availability of generic drugs. Centrally acting muscle relaxant drugs segment is expected to hold the largest share in the global muscle relaxant drugs market due to increasing number of prescriptions. However, facial aesthetic relaxants segment is expected to witness highest growth rate due to increasing number of facial and cosmetic surgeries and changing perception of beauty all over the world. Increasing usage of neuromuscular blocking agents during general surgeries would drive the growth of global market for muscle relaxant drugs
Muscle Relaxant Drugs Market: Regional Wise Outlook
Geographically, the global muscle relaxant drugs market is classified into regions viz. North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, Japan, Middle East and Africa. North America will continue to hold largest share in the global muscle relaxant drugs market due to rising number of ANDA applications being filed by the key players. Europe is expected to hold second largest share in global market for muscle relaxant drugs market. However, APAC is expected to witness highest growth rate due to expansion activities by the key players in the regionand launch of generic muscle relaxant drug formulations.
Muscle Relaxant Drugs Market: Key Players
Some of the market players operating in global muscle relaxant drugs market are Abbott Laboratories, Mallinckrodt plc., Medtronic Neuromodulation (Medtronic Inc.), Vertical Pharmaceuticals LLC, Johnson & Johnson, Par Sterile Products, LLC., Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., SteriMax Inc. and others. Companies are facing patent cliff as majority of the muscle relaxant drugs have lost the patent exclusivity. However, generic players such as Upsher Smith Laboratories, Inc., Orient Pharma Co., Ltd. and others are introducing generic versions of these drugs in the global muscle relaxant drugs market.