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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Chest pain, bloody or dark urine, skin rash or itching, hallucinations, fainting, depression or changes in mood, ringing or buzzing in the ears. Call your doctor.
Common

Dizziness, drowsiness, weakness (especially muscle weakness), fatigue, nausea, headache, insomnia.
Less Common

Muscle or joint pain; numbness or tingling in hands or feet; unsteadiness, clumsiness, trembling, or other muscle control problems; stomach pain or discomfort; diarrhea; constipation; false sense of well-being (euphoria); loss of appetite; sexual problems in males; swelling of ankles; frequent urge to urinate or uncontrolled urination; difficult or painful urination or decreased urine output; unexpected weight gain; unusual excitability.
Baclofen


Drug Class:
Muscle relaxant

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Generic 10 mg
(Zenith)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions
 


Available In
Tablets

Why Prescribed
To relax muscles and relieve the pain of muscle spasms and cramping. Chronic muscle spasms may be associated with disorders such as multiple sclerosis or spinal injuries. Baclofen has also been shown to improve urinary or fecal incontinence in patients with spinal cord injuries.

How It Works
Baclofen appears to reduce the transmission of nerve impulses from the spinal cord to muscle tissue.

Range and Frequency
To start, 5 mg, 3 times a day for 3 days. The dose may then increase 5 mg every 3 days until the desired response is attained. The maximum dose is 80 mg a day.

Onset of Effect
Varies from hours to weeks.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
Take it with milk or food to reduce stomach upset.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember if it is within an hour of the scheduled dose. If more than an hour has passed, do not take the missed dose. Take your next scheduled dose at the proper time, and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Do not stop taking this medication suddenly. Consult your doctor about reducing the doses gradually to avoid suffering from withdrawal symptoms such as hallucinations or seizures.

Prolonged Use
Consult your doctor about reducing doses gradually after prolonged use.

Over 60
Central nervous system side effects such as confusion, dizziness, and drowsiness are more likely in older persons.

Driving and Hazardous Work
This drug may cause drowsiness; avoid driving or engaging in hazardous work until you determine how the medicine affects you.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol while taking this drug.

Pregnancy
Some animal studies have found that very large doses of baclofen can cause birth defects. Human studies have not been done. Before taking baclofen, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Baclofen passes into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
The safety and effectiveness of baclofen in children under age 12 have not been determined.

Special Concerns
Baclofen may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness when you rise from a sitting or lying position; avoid any sudden position changes. Some side effects may appear after stopping baclofen; if any of the following develop, call your doctor immediately: hallucinations; seizures; confusion or changes in mental state; increase in muscle spasms, cramping, or tightness; unusual restlessness or nervousness.

Overdose Symptoms
Blurred or loss of vision, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, muscle weakness, twitching, seizures, slowed breathing, vomiting.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking an antidepressant, an MAO inhibitor, a tranquilizer, a sedative, a barbiturate, another muscle relaxant, or a narcotic pain reliever.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Caution is advised when taking baclofen. Consult your doctor if you have a history of any of the following: stroke, diabetes mellitus, a mental or emotional problem, epilepsy, or kidney disease.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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