Baclofen is an anti-spasmodic medication that is used in drug rehab facilities for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal. It works on the GABA receptors of the brain to produce a reduction in spasticity.
What is Baclofen?
Baclofen is a GABA receptor antagonist that inhibits the release of several neurotransmitters such as dopamine, glutamate, and noradrenaline. It works by diminishing the reward effect or positive sensations associated with cocaine abuse. It is fast-acting and can help cocaine abusers overcome their addiction as well as help the addict with psychosocial treatment. Initial studies of Baclofen’s effects appear optimistic.
(Source: Neuropsychopharmacology, “Baclofen as a Cocaine Anti-Craving Medication: A Preliminary Clinical Study”, http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v18/n5/full/1395109a.html)
Is Baclofen a Controlled Substance?
Baclofen is a prescription medication that is not available over-the-counter. However, Baclofen is not considered a controlled substance.
Uses of Baclofen
Baclofen has been used to treat other stimulant addictions such as amphetamine and methamphetamine addiction as well as addiction to over-the-counter drugs that contain stimulants. It is often prescribed in drug rehab centers for dual diagnosis treatment for addiction. In a study conducted and presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Addictions Psychiatry Annual Meeting, researchers found benefits of using Baclofen for the treatment of alcohol dependence and cravings.
Baclofen is a drug which can cause serious harm to the patient if administered incorrectly, especially with intrathecal administration. Baclofen should not be prescribed with other tricyclic antidepressants, as the combination can cause depressed brain function and muscle weakness. It must be used with caution and closely monitored when used on patients with diabetes.
Baclofen can be administered via two methods: the intrathecal route and the oral route. Baclofen intrathecal is injected into the fluid of the spinal cord, thus acting as a CNS depressant. Baclofen relaxes the muscles, relieving the sufferer of cramps and tightness. Baclofen intrathecal must be administered under the supervision of a physician.
Baclofen can be used intrathecally to treat conditions caused by spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and other spinal diseases.
Baclofen Side Effects - Oral
- Frequent need to urinate
Baclofen side effects - Intrathecal
- Dry mouth
- Vision problems
- False sense of well being
Withdrawal Symptoms of Baclofen
- Rebound spasticity
- Muscle breakdown
- Organ failure
When Baclofen is injected, it can create withdrawal symptoms if not received in a timely manner.
Baclofen Withdrawal Symptoms include:
- Itchy skin
- Feeling of pins and needles
Baclofen withdrawal symptoms can be safely monitored and controlled by slowly reducing the dosage.
Baclofen should not be used if you suffer from certain medical conditions such as:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Kidney disease
- Emotional problems
Baclofen will add to the side effects of CNS depressants such as antihistamines, cold medications, prescription pain relievers and seizure medications.
Looking For Treatment?
If you suffer from drug addiction to baclofen or other drugs, then you need a medically monitored detox and treatment center. If you suffer from a mood disorder as well, a dual diagnosis treatment program is needed. Call 866.812.8231, Recovery Connection’s helpline to speak with a live trained coordinator. Help is available and treatment works.
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