Hi everyone, I too have a question about Baclofen......... Do you take it EVERY DAY or just when we get flare ups? I am on 30mg. a day, and does seem to help, but I wasn't sure about the everyday thing. I can't get hold of any DR's to get questions answered. They never seem to have time for me.
Hey, Candy - Baclofen works best when it's in your system all the time. This means that you should have a regular dosing schedule, and always try to take your pills at the same time. If I forget, I get a little painful reminder, so I just know to have some with me at all times.
Candy, in addition to taking your baclofen on a regular schedule it is VERY important to not stop this drug cold turkey. The sudden withdrawal can cause all sorts of problems and you need to titrate the dose down if you want to go off Baclofen.
Baclofen is rapidly absorbed, so some doctors use it as an "as needed" (PRN) medication. It is related to Gabapentin, and can (not always) cause withdrawal syndrome.
When taken "as needed," withdrawal syndrome would be rare. I started it as "as needed at bedtime." I now take 20mg 3 times a day + 10 mg Norflex twice a day + 10 mg Valium at bedtime to manage the spacticity.
Like Jens says Baclofen works best when the daily levels are the same - it's not typically prescribed for intermittent use. Was your dose titrated up to the 30 mgs? Like Lu mentions it's very important to titrate up, and then back down if you are going off it.
Normally, baclofen is titrated up and down for the dosage. It gets introduced into the CNS slowly this way and allows your body to adjust and for you to find the perfect point for your body without over medicating yourself. It is a quick acting drug, that is why it is usually dosed three to four times a day. For your dosing,
be sure to talk to your doctors.
"Abrupt discontinuation of oral baclofen may cause seizures and hallucinations. Abrupt discontinuation of intrathecal baclofen may result in high fever, rebound spasticity, muscle rigidity, and rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) that can progress to failure of several organs, including the kidney, and even death."
I believe baclofen is best when taken on a regular (daily) basis unless it is being used only to supplement another medication on 'bad' spasm days.
I'm guessing that is why the Rx bottle my baclofen comes in boldly pronounces: IT MAY TAKE MONTHS TO REALIZE THE FULL BENEFIT OF THIS MEDICATION
Baclofen works in the spinal cord. You have to get your blood level up high enough and long enough so the drug can cross the blood brain barrier in sufficient amounts to do its work there. An occasional dose CANNOT do that.
The dose and schedule can change as your own body and needs change Candy. If you take a daily dose though it is easier to get good relief on those occasions when you need something extra for FAST relief. That's why it can be so important to have access to your doctors. It doesn't have to be the MS doctor. Some general docs do an excellent job with this kind of thing.
I tried to use baclofen on a strictly 'only when needed' basis. It didn't work all that well but I wasn't ready to admit that I had progressed to needing an additional daily drug dosing.
Since most of my spasms occured at night I decided to try one bedtime dose early on. It helped some but I wouldn't say it worked well.
As spasticity and spasms increased I added one in the morning... then another in the afternoon. Pretty soon I realized that my body was saying it needed a dose just before one was due. Rather than increase any one dose my MSologist had me take the same 10mg dose FOUR times a day. That worked well to give me more even relief at a minimum dosage increase.
Last summer, when I had an increase in nerve pain, I started taking a modest dose of gabapentin at night. (It made me too sleepy during the day for a long time.) I dropped the bedtime baclofen then and can maintain on this combo now unless I have a pseudoflare going on.
I like the combo. It's two drugs but both are at doses far lower than usual. I couldn't function on what Bob said he takes (and fit in his MM besides!) but it isn't fair to compare ourselves to anyone else. We're all so different.
I wouldn't chance stopping this drug cold myself but it probably doesn't require a long slow taper off like some of the others do. The body hates giving up what it's used to almost as much as the mind IMO.
Hi, just found this site and I am thinking of taking Baclofen as and when I need it, came across your response to a previous post, did it help you in the beginning, jjust really scared of side effects. Thanks
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