Baclofen was first developed in Switzerland in the 1960s. This prescription medication was initially marketed to treat epilepsy. It belongs to a group of drugs called muscle relaxants. Typically, patients take this medication orally. However, it can also be delivered directly into the patient's spinal cord. The recommended starting dose for many patients is fifteen milligrams per day for the first three days. The dose is gradually increased over several days, up to a maximum of eighty milligrams per day. Some individuals may receive an intrathecal pump of this medication at lower doses. Patients are closely monitored when they take this medicine.
This is a common medication for multiple sclerosis treatment. Doctors have also prescribed it as a way to achieve muscle spasm pain relief. Baclofen is also a common medication for stiff muscles in this condition. Of course, patients should understand how this medication works as a treatment for multiple sclerosis and similar conditions before taking it.
How It Works
It is important to recognize the medication's classification as a GABA-B agonist. Baclofen helps relax muscles by activating GABA-B receptors, making it similar to pregabalin. This medication also acts as an inhibitory ligand that blocks the release of certain neurotransmitters. It is believed to inhibit both mono and polysynaptic reflexes. The body quickly absorbs baclofen, and it has a half-life of two to four hours. Thus, patients have to take it several times a day for symptom management. This medication does not change much during its time in the body. It is mainly excreted through the kidneys. This feature could make it useful for certain patients with liver disease that is related to alcohol use.
Continue reading to learn about the uses for this medication next.