Author: Gary Jackson

Clinical experience of baclofen in alcohol dependence: A chart review PMC

If you believe you or someone you love may be struggling with addiction, let us hear your story and help you determine a path to treatment. Anyone who experiences side effects while taking baclofen should notify the prescribing doctor immediately. In rare instances, a person may experience a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis while taking baclofen.

is baclofen addictive

Based on these results, the authors proposed that baclofen may act as a partial substitution AUD medication. A recent pharmaco-fMRI study found that baclofen specifically decreased alcohol cue-reactivity in brain areas involved in the processing of salient (appetitive and aversive) stimuli (77). However, the exact underlying biobehavioral mechanisms of baclofen in AUD individuals are still not completely understood (78–80). Only one RCT using doses of baclofen up to 270 mg/day has been published [(45); Table ​Table1].1].

What is Baclofen Used For?

Evaluation of renal function is recommended before starting baclofen administration since renal insufficiency can be a cause of rapid accumulation of circulating baclofen, and may cause acute adverse events, particularly mental confusion (98). In clinical practice, baclofen is usually prescribed using either “fixed” or “flexible” doses. Therefore, both the benefits and challenges of “fixed doses” and “flexible doses” approaches of baclofen administration to treat AUD are described. More information and research are needed to confirm that addiction may be a risk with this drug. Luckily, there are other ways to treat addiction that research has shown to be helpful in managing addiction, including psychological and peer support group programs.

  • Therefore, both the benefits and challenges of “fixed doses” and “flexible doses” approaches of baclofen administration to treat AUD are described.
  • The server of this website is based in a hosting center in a country that is marked as being high risk.
  • A number of case reports 85, 86, a retrospective chart review (87), and three small controlled studies (88–90) found that its administration reduced AWS severity.
  • One of the main reasons a doctor can use Lioresal for alcohol use disorder is because it helps to reduce the compulsion to drink.
  • The results of a second RCT (using up to 300 mg/day) have been presented at scientific meetings but have not yet been published in full (66).

In a 2017 study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, the researchers presented the case of a 36-year old male who demonstrated alcohol dependence and who had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The patient was given the drug in the pill form and eventually abused it, a behavior which the researchers attributed to the mood-elevating properties of the medication. Baclofen addiction is a tough one to battle; according to, the effects of baclofen withdrawal include an increase in or return of spasticity, itching, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and tingling sensations. These symptoms are highly unpleasant, and it’s important that those experiencing possible withdrawal seek the care of a medical professional. There is some suggestion that baclofen treatment may be effective in reducing comorbid anxiety symptoms in AUD patients (33, 34, 71).

Baclofen Side Effects & Uses in Addiction Treatment

This persistent craving was reported by only 15% of the sample by the end of 4 weeks treatment with baclofen (20–40 mg/day). Thirty-four percent of patients reported continued problematic use of alcohol by the end of 4 weeks. The professional addiction treatment community is always on the lookout for new, more reliable ways of treating substance use disorders, and research is continually ongoing into various means of medical support for treatment. One of the tools that has been researched and used in the past two decades is a drug called baclofen.

  • Baclofen is a muscle relaxant and antispasmodic drug that helps alleviate muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain.
  • Just as with any drug, it is not safe to take baclofen in doses larger than those prescribed by a licensed pharmacist or physician or to mix it with other drugs or alcohol.
  • To check for unprescribed use of lorazepam by patient, their informants were regularly asked for the same.
  • And more often, users mix baclofen with other, stronger drugs or with alcohol to intensify the effects of the drug.