What is Baclofen: Dosage, Side Effects, How to Use

What is Baclofen: Dosage, Side Effects, How to Use

What is Baclofen

Baclofen is an oral and injectable medication that relaxes skeletal muscles, the muscles that move the skeleton (and also called striated muscle).
Baclofen was made by the FDA in November 1977.It is a muscle relaxant and antispastic.  Its chemical name is 4-amino-3-(4-chlorophenyl) butanoic acid. It gets used for curing muscle spasmscaused by certain conditions (such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord hurt). Chemically, Baclofen is related to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that nerves use to relate with one another. GABA released by some nerves causes the activity of other nerves to decrease. It is considered that baclofen, acting like GABA, blocks the activity of nerves within the part of the brain that controls the contraction and relaxation of skeletal muscle. 
Baclofen is used for curing spasm of skeletal muscles, muscle clonus, rigidity, and pain caused by disorders such as multiple sclerosis. It is also injected into the spinal cord (intrathecal) for management of severe spasticity.

Baclofen is indicated for the relief of spasticity of voluntary muscle resulting from such disorders as multiple sclerosis, other spinal lesions e.g. tumours of the spinal cord, syringomyelia, motor neurone disease, transverse myelitis, traumatic partial section of the cord.

Baclofen is also indicated in adults and children for the relief of spasticity of voluntary muscle arising from e.g. cerebrovascular accidents, cerebral palsy, meningitis, traumatic head injury.

Patient selection is important when initiating baclofen therapy; it is likely to be of most benefit in patients whose spasticity constitutes a handicap to activities and/or physiotherapy. Treatment should not be commenced until the spastic state has become stabilized.
This drug is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

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How to use Baclofen

This drug must be taken by mouth with or without food as shown by your doctor. ask your doctor or 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. This drug must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than suggested. Keep it at room temperature away from moisture and heat. 
Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, juice or similar. Your child should not chew the tablets. Your doctor may have told you to give half or quarter of a tablet.
Liquid medicine: Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or medicine spoon. You can get these from your doctor. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.

Dosage of Baclofen

Start therapy at a low dosage and increase gradually until optimum effect is achieved (usually between 40-80 mg daily). This drug usually gets used 3 times a day. To decrease your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this drug at a low dose and gradually increase your dosage. Your doctor’s instructions should be followed very carefully.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to cure, either. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than suggested by your doctor. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you not to forget, take it at the same times each day. Don’t stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is stopped without consulting with your doctor.

Side effects of Baclofen

You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations and seizures. To avoid withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information, and report any withdrawal reactions right away.
In the text below we tell you some other side effects of this medication either
Common side effects of baclofen are: constipation, confusion, respiratory depression, inability to sleep, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, headache, seizures, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure.
More severe side effects of this drug include difficulty breathing and seizures; medical help should be sought immediately if any of these side effects is experienced. Side effects are generally minimal and occur primarily when first starting treatment with this medication.
Some individuals may be more susceptible to side effects, including the elderly, and those with impaired renal function. Individuals with galactose intolerance, active peptic ulceration, and porphyria should not take this medication. Additionally, baclofen should be prescribed with caution to the following individuals:
Those with severe psychiatric disorders
Individuals with seizure disorders
Those already receiving antihypertensive therapy
Anyone suffering from sphincter hypertonia
Individuals with liver disease or diabetes mellitus


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Using Baclofen while being pregnant

The use of baclofen by pregnant women has not been evaluated.
Baclofen can be detected in the breast milkof mothers taking oral baclofen. No information is available on the presence of baclofen in the breast milk of mothers receiving baclofen intrathecally.

How are old people with Baclofen?

Elderly patients may be more susceptible to side-effects, particularly in the early stages of introducing baclofen. Small doses should therefore be used at the start of the treatment, the dose being titrated gradually against the response, under careful supervision. There is no evidence that the eventual average maximum dose differs from that in younger patients.

Does baclofen effect on ability to drive?

Baclofen may be associated with adverse effects such as dizziness, sedation, somnolence and visual impairment (see section 4.8) which may impair the patient's reaction. Patients experiencing these adverse reactions should be advised to refrain from driving or operating machinery.

What should be done while forgetting a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Where should I keep this medicine?
Keep all medicines where children cannot see or reach them.
Keep this medicine somewhere cool and dry, away from direct heat and light. It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
Keep the medicine in the container it came in.
Symptoms of overdose
Vomiting, muscular hypotonia, drowsiness, accommodation disorders, coma, respiratory depression and seizures.
In the alert patient, empty the stomach promptly by induced emesis followed by lavage. In the obtuned patient, secure the airway with a cuffed endotracheal tube before beginning lavage (do not induce emesis). Maintain adequate respiratory exchange, do not use respiratory stimulants.
Drugs that may interact with
Baclofen oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Warnings of Baclofen

Do not share this drug with others. This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another condition unless your doctor directs you to do so. A different medication may be necessary in that case.


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