Baclofen is a drug which ispredominantly used for treating spasticity, which is a conditionrelated to loss of skeletal muscle performance. However, there is yetanother possible use of this drug and it is related to the treatmentprocess for alcoholism.
If you desire to learn more about thiscondition and the baclofen use for alcoholism, you are highly advisedto read the lines below, since these are likely to be of greatassistance.
Baclofen for Spasticity
Even though baclofen is still underclinical trials when it comes to its use for alcoholism treatment, itis a well-known drug used for helping people deal with spasticity.Basically, this drug is an antagonist for the GABAB receptors.Therefore, it can be used for treatment of spasticity caused byactions at spinal and supraspinal sites.
Nevertheless, there are many other usesfor this drug, even though they are not considered standard. Namely,baclofen can be used for the treatment of hiccups, as well as thetreatment of temperature rises caused by the MDMA drug-inducedfevers, even though the latter has only been noticed in trials doneon rats.
Some other uses of baclofen involve themedical treatments of conditions which are related to spasticmovement disorders, especially when related to the injuries of thespinal cord, the spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, MS or Lou Gehrig'sdisease. Additionally, it is useful for helping patients who sufferfrom peripheral neuropathy, along with trigeminal andglossopharyngeal neuralgias.
The effects of baclofen usually takeplace quickly, over a shorter course of time. However, this dependson the individual patient since not all people manage to experiencethese positive effects. In fact, some patients find baclofentreatment inefficient or mild and vague, in terms of effectiveness,regardless whether intrathecal or oral variants are used.
As far as alcoholism treatment isconcerned, baclofen has shown great promise, being equally effectiveas diazepam, reducing the common complications related to the alcoholwithdrawal syndrome. Moreover, some scientific studies carried out inItaly showed that baclofen helped some patients stay away fromalcohol after quitting and suffering from severe liver cirrhosis.
Regardless of its benefits and positiveaspects, people should not take this drug without practicing propercaution beforehand. Bear in mind that this drug impairs one'sthinking and reactions. Thus, once you are under the influence of it,stay away from situations which might require high levels ofalertness and concentration. Also, avoid using baclofen in situationswhere you need your muscle strength and tone. Therefore, in order toavoid these and many other withdrawal and adverse symptoms related tothis drug, you are advised to consult with your doctor before takingthe first dosage.
What are the Side-Effects of Baclofen?
There are some factors related to yourhealth and the use of baclofen that you need to bear in mind. Firstof all, you are not advised to take this drug if you are sufferingfrom a kidney disease, epilepsy or some other form of seizuredisorders. Also, avoid taking this medication if you have had ahistory of strokes or some other types of blood clots.
Furthermore, bear in mind that baclofenincreases your chances of suffering from ovarian cysts. Thus, consultwith your health expert before you start taking this drug. Also, ifyou are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant while on baclofen,consult with your doctor too, since no scientific trials have ruledout dangerous effects of this drug on either the mother or the fetusshe carries. For the same reasons, you should not breastfeed yourbaby while being under the effect of baclofen.
As for some other side-effects relatedto baclofen, transient drowsiness is considered to be the most commonone, appearing in about 10 to 60% of cases. Some other effectsrelated to this medication are confustion, reported in about 11% ofcases, headache, present in up to 8% of patients, insomnia in about7% of individuals and excitement, depression, hallucinations,paresthesia, muscle pain, ringing in the ears, slurred speech,problems with coordination, tremor, rigidity, dystonia, ataxia,vision problems, epileptic seizures, strabismus, nystagmus, miosisand mydriasis, appearing in rare cases.
However, this is not where the list ofpossible side-effects of this drug ends. Rather, some users havereported low blood pressure, heart palpitations, chest pain, syncopeand dyspnea, while others were bothered by nausea, constipation anddry mouth or even taste disorders, anorexia, pain in the abdominalarea, vomiting, diarrhea and blood in the stool.
Due to the fact that there are manyother health problems, ranging in severity and intensity, related tobaclofen, you are advised to either consult with your doctor orresearch other possible side-effects related to this drug beforetaking it.
To sum up, baclofen is a drug used formany purposes, one of the main being treatment of spasticity. Yet, itis also commonly used for helping people deal with the withdrawaleffects of alcoholism.