OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

Generic Name: Baclofen

Brands: Lioresal, Gablofen

Class: Skeletal muscle relaxants

Availability: Prescription required

Molecular Formula: C10H12ClNO2

Substance UNII: H789N3FKE8

What is Baclofen?

Baclofen is a skeletal muscle relaxant that likely works by decreasing key neurotransmitters. It is often sold under the trade name Lioresal. 

Baclofen is taken by mouth or can be injected directly into the spine.

What is Baclofen Used For?

Baclofen is used for the treatment of muscle spasticity (involuntary muscle movement) typically associated with spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis.

It can be helpful at the end of life for patients that develop hiccups or muscle spasms. 

How Does Baclofen Work?

It is thought that baclofen works by inhibiting certain reflexes at the spinal level, meaning it blocks them at the spinal cord. Like most muscle relaxants, it reduces the transmission of messages between nerve cells. This allows the muscles to contract less. 

It may also activate key receptors in the brain to create a feeling of relaxation and reduced anxiety. 

How Long Does it Take for Baclofen to Work?

Many people feel the effect of the medication after about 30 minutes

Do Not Use Baclofen If:

There are several situations where this medication may not be the right choice for you. According to the FDA, in the following situations, you should not use baclofen:

  • If you are hypersensitive to baclofen
  • Poorly tolerated by stroke victims.
  • May exacerbate mental health disorders such as schizophrenia.
  • May exacerbate autonomic dysreflexia, the sudden onset of high blood pressure.
  • May exacerbate epilepsy

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where use of this drug is not advisable.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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