Baclofen is generally prescribed to patients who are suffering from multiple sclerosis. It can help a patient to manage some of the symptoms of the condition such as muscle pain, spasms, and stiffness. It is also used to help a recovering alcoholic to cope with withdrawal symptoms. Like all medications, this drug has a number of side effects that users need to be aware of. What are some of the side effects of baclofen? How can you maximize its benefits, while reducing the prevalence of side effects. Keep reading to learn more about this drug.
Baclofen side effects
Some of the less serious side effects of baclofen include dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, and weakness. A patient may become constipated or feel nauseous. This is because the drug sometimes acts as a diuretic and may cause more frequent urination. Insomnia and tiredness round out the minor and more common baclofen side effects.
A less common, but more dangerous, side effect is the risk of seizures. The drug may also cause confusion, hallucinations, or an irregular heartbeat. If you experience any of these more serious side effects of baclofen, you should call your doctor immediately.
Baclofen abuse and withdrawal
Especially if someone has taken baclofen for an extended period of time, there is a potential for withdrawal. That is why, when a person is coming off of baclofen, a doctor will recommend gradually reducing the dosage rather than an abrupt stop to the treatment. Coming off of baclofen too quickly can result in acute withdrawal symptoms which will require getting back on the drug temporarily, so as to reduce the dose and get off of it properly the next time.
Withdrawal is a strong risk in cases of baclofen abuse. Some have gotten into the habit of taking this drug recreationally to experience a feeling of euphoria. This is extremely dangerous and could lead to an overdose.
Withdrawal symptoms of baclofen are similar to the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, since they can have a similar effect on the body. This effect, on the other hand, is also what allows bacolfen to assist in the recovery of an alcoholic.
To avoid baclofen side effects or withdrawal symptoms, be sure to only take the medication according to the way it was prescribed. If you have to come off of the drug for any reason, talk to your doctor about the benefits of coming off of the drug gradually. This is generally best, although a severe reaction to the drug may call for immediately ceasing to take it.