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Baclofen is a muscle relaxer that requires a prescription and is classified as a GABA drug. Its precise mechanism of action is not fully understood, but it is known to inhibit reflexes at the spinal level by decreasing responses to stimuli.
- Baclofen is commonly used to relieve spasms, pain, clonus, and muscular rigidity associated with multiple sclerosis.
According to most experts, the suggested dosage for Baclofen generally starts at 5 mg. Doctors often start patients on low doses, around 5 mg, gradually increasing as they become accustomed to the side effects. As it is primarily excreted unchanged through the kidneys, it can cause kidney problems if not appropriately dosed. It is also used in topical creams to help reduce pain and muscle spasms.
Abruptly stopping Baclofen use in any form or manner can result in severe withdrawal symptoms, which may be life-threatening and clinically severe. These can include changes in mental status. Withdrawal from Baclofen can be unpleasant, which is why doctors and pharmacists recommend tapering off the drug gradually. If you try to stop taking it cold turkey, you can experience symptoms including disorientation, dizziness, delirium, insomnia, hallucinations, and nausea. If any of these symptoms manifest, it is recommended to seek immediate medical attention.
- By slowly tapering off use, you might avoid most of these withdrawal symptoms.
- If you or anyone ceases taking baclofen, ALWAYS do it under a doctor’s care.
- t is important to always cease taking Baclofen under a doctor’s care.
Detox and withdrawal can be unpleasant in the extreme. Therefore, doctors and pharmacists recommend slowly tapering off the drug gradually. If you try to stop taking it cold turkey, you can experience symptoms including:
If any of these symptoms manifest, call 911 immediately.
GABA is an amino acid chemical found in the human brain. Its primary purpose is to regulate nervousness and excitability—various GABA-based commercial drugs used for controlling the Central Nervous System. Baclofen is a CNS depressant, and in general, someone abusing it may seem “out of it.”
When used in recommended doses, most people can take Baclofen safely for muscle spasms, anxiety, and relaxation. However, some people may experience side effects. These may include;
- Slower Talking
- Slurred Speech
- Inability to Concentrate
- Loss of Coordination
- Memory Problems
- Drowsiness or tiredness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased urination
- Physical weakness
Also, it can result in mood changes or mental symptoms, including hallucinations, confusion, and depression.
Some drugs can cause serious drug interactions. Two examples are Acetaminophen or hydrocodone and calcium/magnesium/potassium/sodium. Although Baclofen is not considered addictive and should not result in cravings, it is essential to take precautions while using it.
Taking more than the prescribed dosage, snorting lines of pulverized pill powder, smoking powder (in tobacco or marijuana, etc.), and injecting it into liquid form are some ways people use Baclofen to get high. The high people get from Baclofen does not involve extreme euphoria. It does aid people in relaxing, squashing any anxiety, and feeling relaxed. Some people with problems with alcohol, cocaine, and other addictive substances find that it relaxes them so much that they no longer crave those drugs.
It is essential to take precautions while using Baclofen, such as taking it with food to avoid stomach upset, avoiding abrupt drug discontinuation, and avoiding the operation of automobiles or other dangerous machinery until patients know how the drug affects them. Central nervous system effects may be additive to those of alcohol and other CNS depressants.
The tablet form of Baclofen should be stored at room temperature away from light and moisture. It should not be stored in the bathroom. The liquid form should be stored in the refrigerator. Medications should not be flushed down the toilet or poured into a drain unless instructed. The product should be properly discarded when it is expired or no longer needed.
- Overdoses of Baclofen can result in vomiting, difficulty breathing, seizures
In conclusion, baclofen is a muscle relaxer that can be an effective treatment for spasticity in conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. While most people tolerate it well, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects and risks associated with its use, such as withdrawal symptoms and kidney problems. It should always be taken under the supervision of a doctor and any changes to dosing or discontinuation should be done gradually to minimize the risk of adverse reactions. While some people may abuse baclofen to achieve a sedative effect, it is not considered addictive and should not be used for recreational purposes. Overall, baclofen can be a useful medication when used appropriately and as prescribed by a healthcare provider.