baclofen (Oral route)Pronunciation
Commonly used brand name(s)
- Lioresal Double Strength
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Suspension
Therapeutic Class: Skeletal Muscle Relaxant, Centrally Acting
Chemical Class: Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (class)
Uses For 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.
Before Using baclofen
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For baclofen, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to baclofen or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Studies on baclofen have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of baclofen in children with use in other age groups.
Side effects such as hallucinations, confusion or mental depression, other mood or mental changes, and severe drowsiness may be especially likely to occur in elderly patients, who are usually more sensitive than younger adults to the effects of baclofen.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking baclofen, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using baclofen with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Sodium Oxybate
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of baclofen. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus—Baclofen may raise blood sugar levels
- Epilepsy or
- Kidney disease or
- Mental or emotional problems or
- Stroke or other brain disease—The chance of side effects may be increased
Proper Use of baclofen
The dose of baclofen will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of baclofen. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For muscle relaxation:
- Adults and teenagers—At first, the dose is 5 milligrams (mg) three times a day. Then, each dose may be increased by 5 mg every three days until the desired response is reached. No more than 80 mg should be taken within a twenty-four-hour period.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For muscle relaxation:
If you miss a dose of baclofen, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions While Using baclofen
Do not suddenly stop taking baclofen. Unwanted effects may occur if the medicine is stopped suddenly. Check with your doctor for the best way to reduce gradually the amount you are taking before stopping completely.
baclofen will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system, possibly causing drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; other muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using baclofen.
baclofen may cause drowsiness, dizziness, vision problems, or clumsiness or unsteadiness in some people. Make sure you know how you react to baclofen before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert, well-coordinated, and able to see well.
For diabetic patients:
- baclofen may cause your blood sugar levels to rise. If you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar test or if you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
baclofen Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:Less common or rare
- Bloody or dark urine
- chest pain
- 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
- Blurred or double vision
- convulsions (seizures)
- muscle weakness (severe)
- shortness of breath or unusually slow or troubled breathing
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- unusual weakness, especially muscle weakness
- Abdominal or stomach pain or discomfort
- clumsiness, unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control
- difficult or painful urination or decrease in amount of urine
- false sense of well-being
- frequent urge to urinate or uncontrolled urination
- loss of appetite
- low blood pressure
- muscle or joint pain
- numbness or tingling in hands or feet
- pounding heartbeat
- sexual problems in males
- slurred speech or other speech problems
- stuffy nose
- swelling of ankles
- trouble in sleeping
- unexplained muscle stiffness
- unusual excitement
- unusual tiredness
- weight gain
After you stop using baclofen, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:
- 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
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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- Drug class: skeletal muscle relaxants