Baclofen is used as a skeletal muscle relaxant. The drug was developed for the treatment of spasticity in patients, and is also used to treat severe muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries.
In addition to muscle relaxation, Baclofen can provide a mild analgesic effect, which also alleviates discomfort in patients suffering from muscle spasms. However, this drug is rarely used as an alternative to pain killers, since its analgesic action comes slowly.
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- Brand Name: Baclofen;
- Active Ingredient: Baclofen;
- Manufacturer: Polpharma, Sigma-Aldrich, Supelco.
Baclofen and its active ingredient
Baclofen is a muscle relaxant, the active ingredient of which is a derivative of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This organic compound is the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter of the human central nervous system (CNS). Thanks to this, Baclofen reduces the increased muscle tone caused by damage to the spinal cord.
The benefits of using Baclofen are related with the ability to reduce painful flexor spasms and spontaneous muscle contractions, which improves patient mobility and reduces dependence on the help of other people, improves rehabilitation.
Indications for use
Baclofen tablets are approved for the treatment of reversible spasticity, specifically for the relief of body flexor spasms, spontaneous convulsions, associated pain, general effects of spinal cord injuries, and multiple sclerosis.
The drug is used for trigeminal neuralgia, gastroesophageal reflux disease and hiccups, as well as:
- tumors of the spinal cord;
- disease of motor neurons;
- transverse myelitis;
- traumatic partial dissection of the spinal cord.
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Treatment regimens and dosages
At the beginning of treatment, it is recommended to take the lowest dose of the drug, which provides an adequate therapeutic response. If you are taking the maximum recommended dose, but do not feel the result of treatment, you should consult your doctor and reconsider your treatment regimen. It may be necessary to change the dosage, or switch to other drugs with a similar effect.
Treatment should be started with one dose of Baclofen 15 mg per day, preferably with multiple doses. If a gradually increasing drug dose is prescribed, it should be adjusted according to the individual needs of the patient.
- Baclofen 5 mg three times a day, for three days;
- Baclofen 10 mg three times a day, for three days;
- Baclofen 15 mg three times a day, for three days;
- Baclofen 25 mg three times a day, for three days.
If necessary, the dose can be gradually increased, but the maximum daily dose should not exceed 100 mg.
Taking the medication only at night to counter painful flexor spasm also helps, and a single dose taken about an hour before specific tasks such as washing, dressing, shaving, physical therapy often improves body mobility.
Elderly patients of 65 years and older
Elderly patients may be more susceptible to side effects in the early stages of Baclofen use. So, at the beginning of treatment, you should use minimum doses gradually selecting the dosage of the drug depending on the physiological response, under the close supervision of a doctor.
Children and teenagers
Baclofen tablets are contraindicated for children with the weight of less than 33 kg! Usually, treatment is started with the lowest dosage of 0.3 mg per kilogram of the child weight divided into 3-4 doses per day. Then the dosage is gradually increased until it becomes sufficient for the child.
The total daily dose for children should not exceed:
- 40 mg/day for children under 8 years of age;
- 60 mg/day for children over 8 years of age.
Recommendations for use
Take this drug with a small amount of liquid before or after meals. It is recommended to take the medicine with milk to reduce stomach irritation. Avoid increasing the dose or taking it more often than your doctor has told you.
The drug withdrawal should always be gradual. Decrease the dose consistently over a period of about 1–2 weeks, except in cases of overdose or severe side effects.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember about it. If it's time to take the next dose of the drug, then take it and skip the missed one, and then return to the usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once to make up for the missed one.
It is necessary to carefully observe the dosage of the drug, especially for the elderly patients, until their condition stabilizes. Taking a very high dose or increasing the dose too fast can cause side effects in people of all ages.
- Baclofen should be used with extreme caution in obese patients with high blood pressure;
- Baclofen should be used with caution in patients with cerebral circulatory disorders, respiratory or hepatic impairment;
- It is contraindicated to take Baclofen for patients with hypersensitivity to the drug or any component of its composition;
- With caution, the drug is prescribed for patients with urinary retention or respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal disorders.
Because of the risk of sedative effect, you should refrain from driving a car or running other dangerous mechanisms, as well as from activities that may be dangerous because of reduced alertness. In addition, the action of Baclofen on the central nervous system may be increased by the use of alcohol and other drugs that depress CNS.
Use of Baclofen during pregnancy
During pregnancy, especially in the first three months, the drug should be used only if absolutely necessary. The benefits of treatment for the mother should be carefully weighed against the possible risks to the baby.
When breastfeeding, Baclofen does not cause any side effects due to the low level of the drug in breast milk. However, infants should be monitored for signs of sedation.
Possible side effects
Side effects manifest mainly at the beginning of treatment, when the dose is increased too quickly, when using high doses, or in elderly patients. They are often of temporary nature and can be reduced or removed by dosage reduction.
Possible side effects:
- Severe dizziness or fainting, clouded consciousness;
- Change in urination frequency;
- The appearance or worsening of psychiatric disorders, mood swings, or behavioral changes;
- Signs of an allergic reaction, labored respiration, unusual hoarseness, swelling in the face or throat.
Sudden drug withdrawal may cause convulsions and hallucinations. In case of abrupt withdrawal of Baclofen, especially after long-term use, symptoms of anxiety and clouded consciousness, psychotic disorders, mania or paranoia, seizures and a temporary increase in spasticity may manifest.
It is recommended to gradually reduce the drug dose.
Baclofen: interaction with other drugs
When taken with Baclofen for treatment of Parkinson's disease, manifestations of clouded consciousness, hallucinations, nausea and agitation are possible. Simultaneous use worsens the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, as well.
Drugs that cause depression of the central nervous system
When taken with muscle relaxants, with synthetic opiates or alcohol, a strong sedative effect may manifest.
The risks of respiratory depression and a sharp drop in blood pressure also increase.
When taken with antidepressants, the action of Baclofen can increase, which leads to a decrease in muscle tone.
Store Baclofen tablets in a dry place at room temperature. Store all medicines out of the reach of children and pets.
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I am 65, I have back pains and earlier I often woke up because of this. For the last half a year I have taken three doses of 10 mg per day. A good medicine. Back pains are gone, I sleep soundly and stopped using sleeping drugs.
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It is the only drug that helps with severe painful cramps. I still use it in small doses. I take no more than 2 pills per day. And I did not get addicted to it. Sometimes I have a nausea, but it’s nothing compared to my pain.
It seems Baclofen managed to set me on the path to sober life. I couldn’t do without a booze for more than 30 days in the last three years. And when I started drinking, no one and nothing could stop me. I did my best and tried a lot of methods. Baclofen 75 mg per day laid the foundation for recovery. I've been sober for 90 days.
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I am 43, and I was tormented by pain and insomnia. Baclofen 20 mg before bed became a salvation for me. I can sleep through the night with no pain and muscle cramps and live a more productive life. I 100 % recommend this drug!
I have neck and back pains and intractable muscle spasms related with fibromyalgia. My doctor was reluctant to prescribe Baclofen as then I was 73, but we decided to try it. I have never had any problems with this medicine. Recently, I reduced the dose to 30 mg, and I had no withdrawal syndrome or noticeable side effects.
This was a serious road accident. I had the thigh, hand and fingers fractured. Also, I had a serious nerve damage, ligament and tendon rupture. For 3 years I have most likely tried all muscle relaxants such as Carisoprodol, Tizanidine and Cyclobenzaprine. And I felt like a guinea pig. All people are different, but Baclofen is better for me, it really improves the quality of my life. The drug stops not only muscle cramps, it also 100% helps stop pain.
I have a serious trauma with pain and uncontrolled twitching. Sometimes pain is so strong that I cannot sleep. Thank God, I found Baclofen. For today, it is the most effective drug (with dosage of 20 mg three times a day) for my severe chronic muscle cramps. Muscle coordination improved. This helps me better use my hands and legs.
Four years ago, I had a road accident. My car rolled over and I had a spinal trauma. I used several muscle relaxants. Baclofen is the only drug that stops pain and uncontrolled cramps of calf muscles.
The drug had an effect when I began to take it.
It is the third time that I buy Baclofen online and I will continue to do so. It is the only drug that stops pain, reduces muscle spasticity and discomfort.
I took 30 mg a day for back spasms and muscle tension and felt no improvement. But the dose of 20 mg three times a day helped me. I have no terrible pain and it is easier for me to move. I can walk in the park again, moving from bench to bench, and I carry the pills with me. Putting on my shoes takes just 10 minutes, and not half an hour as it used to be before.
I have taken Baclofen 75 mg for about a year. I reduced its use for nearly a month without too much trouble. I had no reactions to cessation. For me, it was almost a perfect variant, side effects manifested only at the beginning of treatment.
Car accident and spinal cord injury resulted in lower back stiffness. I was prescribed Baclofen. Now I am at the first stage of treatment. The results were almost at once. The muscle stiffness disappeared, and it became easier for me to move.
It has no side effects and reduces pain perfectly. I will order Baclofen again.
I’ve used Baclofen for the last two months. I got better control of shooting pain caused by nerve pinch. I experienced some side effects: difficulty in breathing and fatigue. But my doctor said the dosage should not be changed yet. I’m glad to be less tormented by excruciating pain.
I take 25 mg 3 times a day to reduce spasticity. The drug works well, it helps me walk. Pills too often cause drowsiness and I get tired. But anyway, it does help.
Hello everyone. I don’t have cramps every day, but only during periods of nervous tension. Doc prescribed me Baclofen as a muscle relaxant, and it worked! I need it only from time to time. It works fast, in about 30 minutes. Now I can have a normal life without spasms, for me the drug brought a huge relief.
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Hello, all those who has spinal stenosis. Today I was in a great mood. About an hour after taking Baclofen I could move freely. I have excess weight and I’m prepping for surgery next month. I take Baclofen for the first time. I have no side effects and I hope that there will be no side effects.
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Baclofen is great for me. I take a pill from time to time, when I have pain in the back. But the amazing thing is that I feel like I can stop drinking. I take breaks for a week and I don’t feel any urge. Previously, I drank every day or every other day for fun, or to ease the pain. One day I noticed that the urge to drink almost does not appear. A friend said it was because of the pills. I laughed, then I looked it up on the Google. It turns out that Baclofen has such “side effect”. So, I have a chance to go over to sober life.
I have a long list of problems related with cramps and pains. In the past, my doctor prescribed me a lot of drugs, including addictive ones. Now I use only one drug and this is Baclofen. And I have less chance to become addicted to it. It is better than the last treatment, it reduced my pain from 8 to 3.
I am at the stage of stopping Baclofen intake, I hope this experience will remain in the past. Looking back, I can say that almost all the time I felt increased anxiety and some brain fog. But Baclofen helped me get rid of my despair, I somehow managed to survive these days after back surgery. As a whole, I had positive experience.
I cannot say that Baclofen is a miracle drug, for me it is not so. I am sleepy and sluggish like a sloth especially in the evening, but at night I sleep soundly and do not wake up. The advantage of Baclofen is that it is better than Diazepam. Side effects are tolerable.