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Baclofen Brand And Generic Names

Baclofen represents one of the derivatives of gamma-aminobutyric acid. This is a chemical substance under the form of a crystalline white powder with no odor.
Baclofen is a medicine used to relax muscles and treat associated spasms.
Patients usually don’t develop tolerance to this medicine. Thus, its therapeutic effect can be achieved even after many years of permanent use. However, several studies have shown that patients who receive Baclofen intrathecally may develop tolerance to this drug.
Baclofen is known under different brand names such as: Lioresal, Gablofen, Baclosal, Kemstro and Beklo.

Therapeutic uses


Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and therefore it’s used to treat muscular spasms caused by several medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.
However, you should note that Baclofen is only useful in the treatment of reversible spasticity. In addition, this drug is not indicated in the treatment of muscular spasticity resulting from rheumatic disorders. There is no evidence proving the efficiency of Baclofen in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, cerebrovascular accident and cerebral palsy.   

Dosage and administration


Topical administration
Baclofen may be used as a component of creams applied topically to relieve pain and relax muscles. These creams are usually prepared at compounding pharmacies.
Oral administration
Baclofen is usually taken three times a day. You should evenly space the intervals of drug’s administration. Baclofen can be taken with or without food. However, it’s recommendable that you take it during meals in order to avoid an upset stomach.
Optimal dose should be determined individually for each patient. A doctor will usually start the treatment with the lowest dosage in order to avoid side effects and will gradually increase it until an optimum result is achieved. The recommended dose starts from 40 mg. It should not exceed 80 mg per day.
Intrathecal administration
In severe cases of muscular spasticity that don’t respond to treatment with oral medication, Baclofen should be administered through intrathecal infusion under strict medical supervision. The test dose for intrathecal Baclofen administration is 50 mcg per ml. In the majority of cases, patients require 300 – 800 mcg per day, although the individually determined daily dose can range from 12 to 1500 mcg.
Please note that patient’s body weight, health condition and other received treatment may affect the Baclofen dose prescribed by a medical specialist. Therefore, if your doctor prescribes you a dose different from the mentioned above, do not alter it.

Overdose


An overdose of Baclofen is highly dangerous and can cause severe reactions. The symptoms of Baclofen overdose include, but are not limited to the following body responses:
  • Low tonicity;
  • Seizures;
  • Fainting;
  • Vomiting;
  • Severe heart effects such as slow heartbeat;
  • Breakdown of central nervous system and associated coma in most severe cases.
You should take all necessary safety measures in order to avoid an overdose. However, if it accidentally occurs, please contact your doctor immediately. 
In case of overdose, conscious patients should be treated by emptying their stomach. An emesis should be induced for this purpose. The procedure should be followed by a stomach lavation.
Emesis should not be induced in unconscious patients. An endotracheal tube should be used to secure airway. All necessary measures must be taken to ensure proper respiratory exchange. However, it is no recommended to use breathing stimulants.

Missing a dose


If you didn’t take a dose, do so as soon as you remember. However, be careful in not exceeding the daily-recommended dose. You should never take a double dose in order to make up for the missed one.

Contraindications


Administration of Baclofen is not indicated under the following circumstances:
  • High sensitivity or allergy to Baclofen or any of its excipients;
  • Renal diseases;
  • Mental disorders;
  • Epilepsy caused seizures;
  • Stroke;
  • Blood clots;
  • Respiratory problems;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Breastfeeding.
Before starting a Baclofen treatment, make sure to inform your doctor about the medical conditions you have.

Adverse effects


Patients taking Baclofen may experience the following side effects of the drug:
  • Headache;
  • Dizziness;
  • Hypotension;
  • Sleep disorders;
  • Sensation of feeling weak and confused;
  • Urinary problems;
  • Constipation;
  • Hypoventilation;
  • Lethargy;
  • Sickness in stomach;
  • Vomiting;
  • Convulsions.
Alcohol consumption may increase certain adverse effects of this drug.
If you suspect any Baclofen side effects, please tell your doctor as soon as possible.

Warnings and cautions


Children
Do not give Baclofen to children under 12 years old, as the safe dose for this age group has not been yet established.
Elderly people
People aged over 65 years have higher risk of experiencing side effects. Therefore, they should be taking lower doses.
Driving cars and operating machinery
Due to some of its adverse effects, such as dizziness, weakness and confusion, you should refrain from driving cars and operating heavy machinery before you exactly know how your body reacts to Baclofen.
Discontinuing the treatment
It is not recommendable to abruptly discontinue a Baclofen treatment, since withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations, convulsions, involuntary movements and anxiety may occur. Therefore, if no Baclofen side effects are noticed, you should gradually reduce the administered dose.
Do not stop taking this medication before talking to your healthcare provider first.

Interaction with other medicines


Due to potential drug interactions and the increased risk of resulting adverse effects, you should tell your prescribing doctor about any medication you receive. Baclofen might potentially interact with the following substances:
  • Medicines causing sleepiness. Alcohol and antihistamines are also included in this category;
  • Several types of drugs used for the treatment of sleep disorders and nervousness;
  • Other medication with muscle relaxing effect;
  • Pain relieving opioid medicines.
Keep in mind that substances such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can affect the action of many medicines, including Baclofen. Please inform your prescribing doctor if you use any of them. 

Storage and disposal


Baclofen should be stored in cool and dry places that can’t be reached by children or pets.
Keep Baclofen in its original package. Throw away the outdated medicine.
Never discard Baclofen in wastewater systems.
Read the instructions or consult your pharmacist on how to properly dispose Baclofen.
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