Muscle relaxant drugs are drugs designed to reduce muscle tone that can get rid of pain and effectively counter the inflammatory process. One of the brightest representatives of this group is baclofen.
Baclofen is a derivative of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a brain neurotransmitter, which inhibits the action of excitatory neurotransmitters. It works by stimulating GABA receptors. The main effects of baclofen are related to its ability to remove the painful muscle spasms, which facilitates the patients mobility, thus allowing him to be more independent. It is absorbed within a half hour after being taken.
As noted above, Baclofen is a centrally acting muscle relaxant, which effectively reduces muscle tone and reduces motor activity. Nerve impulse transmission is suppressed by intermediate neurons that reduce the excitability of sensory fibers and extremities. This is why baclofen is used in the case of existing neurological diseases in which it is necessary to stop pain, spasms or convulsions. It helps to improve joint mobility, thereby making it subsequently possible to apply other treatments (physiotherapy, massage, manual therapy).
Experts appointed baclofen in the following diseases:
- traumatic brain injury
- cerebral palsy
- multiple sclerosis
- alcoholism (affective states or nervous disorders)
In addition, baclofen is often used in pathologies of the spinal cord from various origins, including traumatic (fracture, dislocation), degenerative (pathological process in the body), infection (in infectious inflammation). Baclofen is used to relieve spastic states, cramps and rigidity, which are observed in multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. It is also used in serious situations such as stroke, traumatic brain and spinal injuries.
How to take Baclofen
Tablets can be taken even when eating. In the beginning, baclofen should be taken as doses of 5mg three times a day. At the same time every three days, a single dose should be increased by 5mg until an optimal therapeutic effect occurs. This typically occurs at a daily dose of 30 to 75mg. In any case, the maximum daily dose should not exceed 100mg. The duration of the course is defined only by a specialist. Treatment of children with this drug should also be started with a dosage of 5mg three times a day. For infants at 2 years old the dosage does not increase, 2-6 years old kids daily dosage can be increased to 30mg, and kids 6-10 years – 60mg.
Studying baclofen, the instruction manual identifies the following conditions:
- renal failure
- seizures (in history)
- Parkinson’s disease
- hypersensitivity to the active substance
- child nurturing
With care, this drug is used in such cases as atherosclerosis, gastric ulcer disease, cerebrovascular insufficiency, and for ages 12+.
The use of baclofen may cause the following side effects:
- for the nervous system: drowsiness or insomnia, dizziness, headache, tiredness and weakness, confusion, impaired balance and discoordination, decreased reaction rate, mental stimulation, euphoria, hallucinations, depression, nightmares
- for the cardiovascular system: hypertension, palpitations, chest pain, collapse
- for the digestive tract: anorexia (disgust for food), change in taste, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, vomiting, dyspepsia, abdominal pain
- for the genitourinary system: enuresis, dysuria, urinary retention, renal dysfunction – for the respiratory system: nasal congestion, respiratory depression
- other effects: muscle pain, rash, swollen feet, excessive sweating, weight gain
If the use of Baclofen causes chest pain, skin rashes, depression, vomiting, shortness of breath, collapse, hallucinations, visual disturbances or seizures, you should immediately contact your doctor. Abolition of the drug should be carried out gradually. The use of the drug may have a negative impact on concentration, so for the period of treatment, the patient should not drive a car.