Baclofen is a prescription muscle relaxer and goes by brand names like Lioresal and Gablofen. It treats many ailments dealing with stiff muscles, muscle spasms, and muscle pain. In some cases, patients are prescribed Baclofen to treat neurological issues including cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. And in recent years, this drug has been prescribed “off-label” for substance abuse disorders as a treatment. Here is what you need to know about Baclofen.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this medication relieves spasms of the musculoskeletal system, relieves pain, and improves muscle movement.

According to Physiopedia:

Baclofen is a muscle relaxer used in the generalized treatment for patients with severe spasticity. It acts as an agonist to the gamma-aminobutyric acid, type B (GABA-B) receptor. GABA-B is an inhibitory neurotransmitter receptor, so Baclofen functions in this same manner as it attaches to it, resulting in the reduction of muscle contractions (and, therefore, reduces muscle spasms).

It should be started out with small doses over a number of days. This is because it takes a few days before the patient will experience the help it provides.

As with any muscle relaxer, there is the possibility of abuse. If you or someone you love is dependent on Baclofen or another type of drug, there is help. Here at Transformations Treatment Center, we can help you recover from problems with addiction to prescriptions. Contact us today for more information on our certified staff of professionals and first-rate facilities.

Symptoms of Baclofen Use and Abuse

Because Baclofen relieves pain, it is a prescription drug with potential for abuse. The use of Baclofen can give the user feelings of euphoria and relief from pain. When taken as it is prescribed, there is a low rate of abuse potential. Yet some mix the drug with alcohol or other substances to achieve a high. And others take more than is prescribed in order to achieve this same feeling of euphoria at a higher rate. This can lead to a tolerance because the body builds up an immunity to the effects of the drug. This leads the patient to have to consume more of the drug in order to achieve the same results. This can lead to forming a dependence without even realizing it. The same amount no longer works as well and this starts a vicious cycle of abuse for some patients.

It is interesting to note that Baclofen, as mentioned above, may be able to help treat alcohol abuse withdrawal symptoms as well as opioid dependence but comes with its own dangers.

There are certain side effects from using Baclofen. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

 

In some cases, the side effects may be more severe and include the possibility of:

  • Seizures
  • Shallow or weak breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion

 

It is also important to note that this drug comes with the potential of overdose. These signs include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pinpoint pupils or dilated eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness

 

All of these symptoms of overdose can lead to more serious effects that can be fatal. These include:

  • Coma
  • Dangerous seizures
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Death

All of the symptoms of Baclofen are increased if it is taken in higher dosages not prescribed by your doctor or when mixed with other drugs to achieve a feeling of euphoria or a high.

Baclofen By the Numbers

According to the Electronic Medicines Compendium, dosage of Baclofen is increased and decreased gradually over time; initial high doses of Baclofen, without tapering up to that amount, can cause side effects to be more severe.

And with any muscle relaxer, a person may grow dependent.The statistics on Baclofen by itself are not known but there are plenty of numbers on addiction to muscle relaxers and other prescribed medications for pain. And while Baclofen is not an opioid, other drugs such as this come with their own dangers and potential for abuse.

As PNN has reported, a recent study published in Clinical Toxicology found a “worrying” increase in calls to U.S. poison control centers about gabapentin (Neurontin) and the muscle relaxer Baclofen, coinciding with a decrease in opioid prescriptions. The study analyzed more than 90,000 cases of exposure to gabapentin and Baclofen, many of which were coded as suicides or attempted suicides.

“Gabapentin and Baclofen are two medications that have seen increased availability to patients as alternatives to opioids for the treatment of acute and chronic pain.

Signs of Addiction to Baclofen

As with any type of addiction or dependence, there are certain signs to be aware of. These include:

  • Thinking about the drug constantly
  • Using too much or mixing it with other drugs or alcohol – this includes ignoring the prescribed dosage
  • Alienating family, friends, and work relationships
  • Financial problems
  • Seeing many doctors, known as doctor shopping, in order to try to get more of the drug

Recovery From Baclofen Addiction

The good news is that there is help in recovery from Baclofen addiction as well as other prescription medications. At Transformations Treatment Center, there are a range of treatments available for people affected by muscle relaxers. Our custom-tailored plan puts you on the right track into a healthier lifestyle without depending on prescription drugs. In addition to various therapy options, we specialize in supportive therapies and programs that you are tailored to meet every individual. And our variety of treatment settings — including partial hospitalization, inpatient care, and outpatient care — help ensure that you receive everything you need to set yourself up for lasting sobriety.

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