Baclofen is a generic drug that is used to treat some ill health conditions of the central nervous system. Disorders that are related to spinal cord injuries are treated with this drug. Also, it is helpful for people who are suffering from spastic diplegia (a certain type of cerebral palsy), multiple sclerosis (a chronic disease that inflames the nervous system), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and trigeminal neuralgia ( a condition that directly affects the nerves of the facial muscles).
A derivative of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), baclofen is an agonist that binds to the GABA receptors and inhibits activity in the specific brain area that facilitates skeletal muscles and their functions. It acts as a muscle relaxant that relaxes the skeletal muscles. It functions as an anti-spastic agent, too, which means that convulsive and spastic tendencies that are triggered by nervous system disorders are controlled and prevented.
Before taking Baclofen, a patient must relay necessary health information to the doctor. Things like allergic reactions to the drug or other medications must be raised. A patient must also inform his or her doctor if he or she is taking muscle relaxants, sleeping pills or tranquilizers. Medical history must also be disclosed to the doctor - blood clots, stroke incidences, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, ulcers, kidney diseases, cerebral palsy, diabetes and psychiatric conditions. This is important because the presence of other drugs taken and conditions experienced may call for a vital adjustment in a patient’s Baclofen dosage.
Baclofen is absorbed speedily immediately after ingestion. It travels throughout the blood vessels to provide relief to the spinal cord nerves, stiff muscles, and it also lubricates muscle movement so that moving freely and painlessly would be possible.
Some precautions have to be remembered with Baclofen use, though. This drug is not normally recommended for women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or may get pregnant while taking the medication. As a Pregnancy Category C drug, according to the FDA, there is some chances that some of the drug’s components may end up in a breastfeeding mother’s milk and from there, to the infant. Driving, operating heavy machinery, drinking and other types of activities that call for careful attention should not be performed while under the effects of the drug. Sleepiness, muscle weakness, a decrease in alertness, and an impairment in judgment may also manifest from Baclofen medication. Using Baclofen along with tricyclic antidepressant drugs like Elavil and Sinequan must not be done, too, for doing so may lower brain activities and weaken muscles. Nardil, Parnate and other monoamine oxidase inhibitors should also not be used when Baclofen is used to prevent a drop in blood pressure and brain functions loss.
The usage of prescription medicines and OTC drugs must be known to the doctor, too, so that the possible opposing reactions that may crop up between Baclofen and those drugs would be minimized. Herbal products, vitamins and mineral supplements are also part of this.
Like other types of medications, Baclofen has its share of side effects, too. The regular physical effects from Baclofen typically cover constipation, weak muscles, headaches, nausea, dizziness and an increase in urination. If the following reactions manifest, though, a patient would need medical care immediately: facial swelling, hives, seizures, uneven heartbeat, confusion and hallucinations, and breathing difficulties. Those effects are telltale signs of a huge allergy to Baclofen.
Baclofen can be purchased under its generic name or through the brand names Lioresal and Kemstro. It is available in 10 mg to 20 mg tablets. Liquid solutions that can be ingested through the mouth or through the spinal fluid (also known as intrathecal ingestion, for those who are experiencing severe spams) are also offered in 0.05 mg/ml, 10 mg/5 ml, and 10 mg/ 20 ml solutions.
A doctors’ say will factor a lot into Baclofen ingestion. The normal starting dose for adults is normally this: taken three times a day, at 5 mg doses - either on a full stomach or a hungry one. Abrupt cessation of the medication is never a good choice. That might trigger the onset of withdrawal symptoms that can make life harder for a patient. Manifesting high fever, muscle breakdowns, seizures and hallucinations, muscle spasms and convulsions and sometimes even death are enough to convince a patient that a doctor must be properly informed if a patient is thinking about stopping Baclofen use.
Studies are currently being conducted to review Baclofen’s effectiveness when it comes to assisting with alcohol and opium withdrawal. It is undergoing research to check if it can be used a substance abuse treatment.
Generic Name: Lioresal
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