Baclofen : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Baclofen is used to treat pain and certain types of spasticity (stiffness and muscle stiffness) from multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or other spinal cord diseases. Baclofen belongs to a class of medications called skeletal muscle relaxants. Baclofen acts on the nerves in the spinal cord 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.
How should this medicine be used?
Baclofen comes as a tablet and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken 3 times a day at regular 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 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 it is not included with your medicine.
Keep taking 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. Stopping this medication abruptly can cause seizures, fever, confusion, muscle stiffness, or hallucinations. Your doctor will probably want to decrease your dose gradually.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
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 over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants, anxiety medications, medications for mental illness, seizure medications, 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, stroke, rheumatic disease, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, a psychiatric condition such as schizophrenia, or a state of confusion 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 can cause drowsiness. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while taking baclofen. Alcohol can worsen the side effects of baclofen.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. 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.
What side effects can this medication cause?
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
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit an online report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Mantenga este medicamento en su envase, bien cerrado y fuera del alcance de los niños. Guarde las tabletas a temperatura ambiente y lejos del exceso de calor y humedad (no en el baño). Guarde la solución oral en el refrigerador.
Es importante mantener todos los medicamentos fuera de la vista y del alcance de los niños, ya que muchos recipientes (como los que toman pastillas semanalmente y los que se usan para colirios, cremas, parches e inhaladores) no son resistentes a los niños y los niños pequeños pueden abrirlos fácilmente. Para proteger a los niños pequeños del envenenamiento, siempre cierre las tapas de seguridad e inmediatamente coloque el medicamento en un lugar seguro, uno que esté arriba y lejos y fuera de su vista y alcance. http://www.upandaway.org
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to get rid of your medication is through a medication take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local recycling / garbage department to find out about return programs in your community. Consult the FDA’s Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, call 911 immediately.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- weak muscle tone
- vision problems
- difficulty breathing
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important to keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should carry 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.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.