Baclofen

Baclofen is used to help relax certain muscles in your body. It relieves the spasms, cramping, and tightness of muscles caused by medical problems such as multiple sclerosis or certain injuries to the spine. Baclofen does not cure these problems, but it may allow other treatment, such as physical therapy, to be more helpful in improving your condition.

Baclofen acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to produce its muscle relaxant effects. Its actions on the CNS may also cause some of the medicine’s side effects. Baclofen may also be used to relieve other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Baclofen is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
Once Baclofen has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, baclofen is used in certain patients with trigeminal neuralgia (severe burning or stabbing pain along the nerves in the face); also called tic douloureux.

Why is Baclofen prescribed?

Baclofen acts on the spinal cord nerves and decreases the number and severity of muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis or spinal cord diseases. It also relieves pain and improves muscle movement.

Baclofen is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should Baclofen be used?

Baclofen comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken three times a day at evenly spaced intervals. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take baclofen exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Baclofen must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt.

Continue to take baclofen even if you feel well. Do not stop taking baclofen without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken large doses for a long time. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dose gradually.

Baclofen Precautions

If you are taking more than 30 mg daily, do not stop taking Baclofen suddenly. Stopping high doses of Baclofen abruptly can cause convulsions, hallucinations, increases in muscle spasms or cramping, mental changes, or unusual nervousness or restlessness. Consult your physician about how to reduce the dosage gradually before stopping Baclofen completely.

Baclofen adds to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (such as antihistamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, prescription pain medications, seizure medications, other muscle relaxants), possibly causing drowsiness. Be sure that your physician knows if you are taking these or other medications.
Studies of birth defects with baclofen have not been done with humans. Studies in animals have shown that baclofen, when given in doses several times higher than the amount given to humans, increases the chance of hernias, incomplete or slow development of bones in the fetus, and lower birth weight.

Baclofen passes into the breast milk of nursing mothers but has not been reported to cause problems in nursing infants.

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