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BACLOFEN

Brand Name(s) : Lioresal, Lyflex
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

BACLOFEN WARNINGS

Baclofen should be used with caution in: patients with previous stomach ulcers, those with a mental illness (such as schizophrenia) or who suffer from confusion, those who have epilepsy, those who suffer from lung, liver, kidney or bladder disease, those you have ever suffered any bleeding in the brain (a stroke), those with diabetes mellitus or those who have high blood pressure.

It should not be used in: people who are allergic to baclofen or to any other substances in the tablet or liquid, people with peptic ulceration, or those with porphyria (a genetic disorder affecting the blood).

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Store below 25°C and protect from light and moisture.

BACLOFEN USES

What is it used for?

  • Baclofen is used to treat muscle tightness and cramping (spasms) caused by certain conditions such as multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury/disease.
  • It is a muscle relaxant.
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include reduced spasms, which in turn help to reduce the pain and stiffness experienced by the patient, improving the ability to move.

Listed below are the typical uses of baclofen:

  • The relief of spasms, cramping and tightness of muscles caused by illnesses such as cerebral palsy, diseases of the spinal cord, meningitis, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and other injuries or diseases which affect the brain and nervous system.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list: none known.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • This medication can be taken orally in either tablet or liquid form, or as a liquid that can be injected directly into the spinal fluid using a spinal pump.
  • The oral medication should be taken three times per day. The tablets should be swallowed with water, but if you suffer from nausea (feeling sick) you may find taking baclofen with a milky drink or with food makes you feel better.
  • If you suffer from painful muscle spasms your doctor may recommend that you take baclofen as a single dose at night. Alternatively it may be recommended you take baclofen an hour before performing specific tasks (such as shaving or dressing) to improve your mobility.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same times each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Baclofen may be associated with dizziness, sedation, somnolence (drowsiness) and visual disturbances which may slow your reactions. If you experience these effects you should not drive or operate machines. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.

BACLOFEN SIDE EFFECTS

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: mental/mood changes (e.g. confusion, depression, hallucinations), hearing/vision changes, seizures, fast/pounding heartbeat, fainting, black or bloody stools, chest pain or shortness of breath.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

BACLOFEN PRECAUTIONS

Before taking baclofen, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other muscle relaxants; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: an allergy to baclofen or to any other substances, stomach ulcers or porphyria.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: mental illness (such as schizophrenia) or confusion, epilepsy, breathing problems or lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver or kidney problems, bladder problems (problems passing water), or have previously had a stroke.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • You are advised not to drink alcohol with this medicine. Discuss this with your doctor if you have any questions.

The elderly. Baclofen should be used with caution in the elderly as they may be more susceptible to side effects, particularly when first taking this drug.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below.

PREGNANCY

The safety of baclofen has not been established during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

During pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months, baclofen should only be used if vital, as baclofen crosses the placenta.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Baclofen can pass into the breast milk, but in quantities so small that no undesirable effects on the infant are to be expected.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BACLOFEN INTERACTIONS

Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with baclofen:

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.

BACLOFEN OVERDOSE

An overdose of baclofen may cause: severe muscle weakness, vomiting, severe drowsiness, seizures, slowed breathing, loss of consciousness.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of baclofen or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember if it is within about an hour of the scheduled dose. If you do not remember until later and it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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