Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and an antispastic agent. Baclofen is used to treat muscle-related symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, including spasm, pain, and stiffness. Baclofen is taken either as needed, or on a regular, daily basis twice daily.
Baclofen is an excellent option for those who experience muscle spasticity with MS, and is not addictive like other muscle relaxers such as valium. Baclofen may impair your thinking or reactions, so you need to be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects, and you should be careful as your balance may be off. Some patients will find that muscle relaxation may cause walking to be more difficult, but for the average MS patient, this will not be the case.
My experience with Baclofen has been a positive one. I have used this medication for many years on an “as needed” basis. I use it when I have muscle pain, and it is incredibly effective. I have not found the medication to be very sedating, and I am able to function well even during the day. I have a great deal of muscle stiffness and pain, especially after physical activity. It is a feeling that reminds me of muscle soreness after a very strenuous workout, but this pain will happen even without activity for me. Baclofen is my go-to medication when I have this pain, and it helps me avoid using too much Tylenol and Motrin.
If you experience muscle related pain or stiffness, consider speaking with your health professional about Baclofen. This can be an excellent option for MS patients, without the fear of dependence or addiction.
Do you take Baclofen? Have you found it to be helpful to you or do you use another medication or method to help muscle pain?
Meagan Freeman is a mother of 6, wife, and Family Nurse Practitioner from Northern California. She has rekindled her interest in writing since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009, and blogs frequently on her site, Multiple Sclerosis, Motherhood, and Other Traumatic Experiences. She is also a recurring guest blogger for Race to Erase MS.