Uses of Baclofen
Baclofen is used to treat pain and certain types of spasticity (muscle stiffness and tightness) from multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, or other spinal cord diseases. Baclofen is in a class of medications called skeletal muscle relaxants. Baclofen acts on the spinal cord nerves and decreases the number and severity of muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis or spinal cord conditions. It also relieves pain and improves muscle movement.
Side Effects of Baclofen
Baclofen may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- frequent urination
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience either of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking baclofen:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to baclofen, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in baclofen tablets and oral solution. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants, medications for anxiety, medications for mental illness, medications for seizures, sedatives, sleeping pills, or tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had epilepsy, a stroke, a rheumatic disease, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, a psychiatric condition such as schizophrenia or a confusional state, or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking baclofen, call your doctor immediately.
- you should know that baclofen may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking baclofen. Alcohol can make the side effects of baclofen worse.
Baclofen comes as a tablet and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. It usually is taken 3 times a day at evenly spaced intervals. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and 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.
Use an oral syringe (measuring device) to accurately measure and take your dose of baclofen solution. Ask your pharmacist for an oral syringe if one is not included with your medication.
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. Abruptly stopping this medication can cause seizures, fever, confusion, muscle stiffness, or hallucinations. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dose gradually.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.