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)
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.
- Frequent need to urinate
- Dry mouth
- Vision problems
- False sense of well being
- Rebound spasticity
- Muscle breakdown
- Organ failure
When Baclofen is injected, it can create withdrawal symptoms if not received in a timely manner.
These 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.
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