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What is baclofen?


Baclofen (Lioresal«) is a medicine used to treat the muscle spasms, cramping, and tightness that affect many people with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord conditions, or tardive dyskinesia. It relaxes muscles by acting on the brain and spinal cord.

Baclofen dosage forms

Baclofen comes in tablet and injectable forms. The proper baclofen dose is determined by the person's medical condition and how the person responds to the drug. Doctors often start people on a low dose and gradually increase it every three days until achieving the desired effect. The muscle-relaxing effects usually occur within the first three to four days. Do not stop taking baclofen abruptly. This can cause anxiety, agitation, seizures, or hallucinations. It's best to gradually withdraw the drug over one to two weeks.

Baclofen side effects

Commonly reported side effects of baclofen include drowsiness, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and muscle weakness. These side effects usually go away over time as treatment continues and your body adjusts to the medicine. Less common side effects include diarrhea and stomach pain. High doses or sudden withdrawal of baclofen may occasionally cause hallucinations, blurred vision, double vision, seizures, or an increase in muscle spasms. If you experience any of these effects, contact your doctor. You may need an adjustment to your dosage of baclofen. Sudden withdrawal of the intrathecal injection form of baclofen can result in serious side effects or even death.

Read more on Multiple Sclerosis in our Health Encyclopedia.

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