What is Norflex?

Norflex is a skeletal muscle relaxant with pain relieving properties prescribed to relieve pain and stiffness caused by injury to your muscles.1,2 The active ingredient in Norflex is orphenadrine citrate.

Norflex is available as slow-release tablets. Each tablet contains 100 mg of orphenadrine citrate.1 Norflex is a prescription medicine 1, which means that you need a prescription from your doctor to obtain Norflex from your local pharmacy.

When is Norflex prescribed?

Norflex is indicated for the relief of stiffness and pain resulting from muscle spasms caused by a wide range of conditions such as sprains, strains, local muscle injury, prolapsed intervertebral disc, lumbago, fibrositis, non-articular rheumatism, acute torticollis, surgery, fractures, anxiety and tension.1 It has also been shown to be effective for the treatment of tension headache and persistent hiccoughs.1

Your doctor may have prescribed Norflex for another purpose. Please ask your doctor if you are unsure about why Norflex has been prescribed for you.2

How often and for how long may Norflex be used?

Norflex slow release tablets are usually taken twice daily; one tablet in the morning and one tablet in the evening.1 If you forget to take a dose and remember within an hour or so of the missed dose, take it right away. If you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose and take the next dose when you would normally. Do not take a double dose.2 Always take Norflex exactly as prescribed by your doctor. In some cases, especially if you are elderly, your doctor may reduce your dose.1

Norflex is usually prescribed short-term to relieve painful muscular spasms.3 Should your doctor prescribe Norflex for longer periods, tests may be done from time to time to monitor your blood, urine and liver function.1

Who can use Norflex?

Norflex may be prescribed to adults and children from the age of 12 years.1 Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicine, including any that you can buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health-food shop. This is important, as some medicines may interfere with each other.2 Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes, if you have heart problems, or if you have any kidney or liver problems.2

Do not take Norflex if you have had an allergic reaction to the active ingredient, orphenadrine citrate, or if you have any of the following: 1,2

  • Glaucoma (high pressure in the eye)
  • Intestinal blockage, stomach ulcer or oesophageal disease
  • Enlarged prostate or bladder obstruction
  • Myasthenia gravis (a condition in which the muscles become weak and tire easily)

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. Your doctor can discuss the risks and benefits involved with you.2

Norflex use frequently asked questions


Orphenadrine citrate, the active ingredient in Norflex slow release tablets, gets to work 1 hour after taking the tablet, and keeps on working for 12 to 24 hours.4 In some cases, your doctor may prescribe Norflex with a pain reliever such as paracetamol for additional pain relief or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for additional anti-inflammatory action.4,5


Norflex is available at your local pharmacy. It is important to note though that you need a doctor’s prescription for Norflex.1 If in doubt, contact your local pharmacy to find out if they have Norflex in stock.


The safe use of Norflex has not been established with respect to its effect on foetal development. It is therefore recommended that Norflex should only be used in women of childbearing potential and particularly during early pregnancy when your doctor determines that the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.1
Orphenadrine citrate, the active ingredient of Norflex, is excreted in breast milk. It is therefore recommended not to use Norflex while breast-feeding.1

DISCLAIMER: This editorial has been brought to you by Radiant Health. Content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide or replace medical or other professional advice. For more information, speak to your Healthcare Professional. NZ-2023-03-0004. TAPS NP19164.

  • 1. Norflex™ Data sheet, December 2018
  • 2. Norflex™ Orphenadrine citrate 100 mg tablets. Consumer Medicine Information [online] [cited 27 February 2023]; Available from: https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/Consumers/cmi/n/Norflex.pdf.
  • 3. Health Navigator New Zealand. Orphenadrine [online] [cited 27 February 2023]; Available from: https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/medicines/o/orphenadrine/.
  • 4. Waldman HJ. Centrally Acting Skeletal Muscle Relaxants and Associated Drugs. J Pain Symptom Manage 1994;9:434-441.
  • 5. Beebe FA, Barkin RL, Barkin S. A Clinical and Pharmacologic Review of Skeletal Muscle Relaxants for Musculoskeletal Conditions. Am J Ther 2005;12:151-171.