What is Baclofen?

Baclofen is the generic name for Lioresal, Lioresal Intrathecal, and Gablofen.  It is a muscle relaxer and an antispastic agent. Baclofen is used in the treatment of  muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, including spasm, pain, and stiffness.

Important Information about Bacolfen

Bacolfen may impair your reaction time and thinking. It is important not to take Bacolfen when you are required to be alter such as when driving or operating heavy machinery. Drinking alcohol while taking Bacolfen will only increase these effects.

Patients taking Bacolfen for a prolonged period of time may develop a dependency to this medication. When abruptly stopping the use of Bacolfen you may experience symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and include; convulsions (seizures), hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there), increase in muscle spasm, cramping, or tightness, mood or mental changes, as well as unusual nervousness or restlessness. To prevent withdrawal do not stop Bacoflen without speaking to your Doctor for dose reduction.

Baclofen Side Effects

Along with the desired effects to Baclofen  there are often side effects associated with this medication. Most commonly patients will experience side ffects including; confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness, drowsiness, nausea, and unusual weakness (especially muscle weakness). Other side effects to Baclofen can be more severe and require medical attention, these often include;

  • Bloody or dark urine
  • chest pain
  • fainting
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
  • mental depression or other mood changes
  • ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • skin rash or itching

Patients taking Baclofen are at risk of developing a tolerance to the medication, requiring increased doses to acheive the desired effects. This often results in a dependency to Baclofen and withdrawal syndrome. These symptoms of withdrawal often include;

  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
  • increase in muscle spasm, cramping, or tightness
  • mood or mental changes
  • unusual nervousness or restlessness

Baclofen Use

Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and an antispastic agent that is used in the treatment of  muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, including spasm, pain, and stiffness.

Just as many other muscle relaxer medications, Baclofen is often misused by both patients and those using the medication illegally. The intentional misuse of Baclofen produces extreme relaxation for the user, when taken in combination with alcohol these effects are increased and can often produce a state of euphoria.

Prolonged use of Baclofen often results in a tolerance, dependency and withdrawal syndrome.

Baclofen Dosage and Directions

 

Usual Adult Dose for:

  • Muscle Spasm – The average inital dose is 5mg orally 3 times a day for 3 days, then 10 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 days, then 15 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 days, then 20 mg orally 3 times a day. The average maintenance dose is 40-80 mg/day. 80 mg/day doses should be administered in 4 divided doses.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia – The average inital dose is 5mg orally 3 times a day for 3 days, then 10 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 days, then 15 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 days, then 20 mg orally 3 times a day. The average maintenance dose is 40-80 mg/day. 80 mg/day doses should be administered in 4 divided doses.
  • Hiccups – The average inital dose is 5mg orally 3 times a day for 3 days, then 10 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 days, then 15 mg orally 3 times a day for 3 days, then 20 mg orally 3 times a day. The average maintenance dose is 40-80 mg/day. 80 mg/day doses should be administered in 4 divided doses.
  • Cerebral Spasticity – First dose (test dose) is usually 50 mcg (in a volume of 1 mL) injected into the intrathecal space by barbotage over at least 1 minute. Patient should be monitored for 4-8 hours for positive response. Dose can be increased by 25mcg every 24 hours until positive response is seen. Patients have been maintained on daily doses of 12-1500 mcg. Most patients require 300-800 mcg/day.