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    You are here : Home » About MS » Multiple Sclerosis Treatments » Drug Treatments » Baclofen (Lioresal)

    Baclofen (Lioresal)

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    LioresalBaclofen (Lioresal) is a muscle relaxant and antispastic and treats spasms cramping, and tightness of muscles caused by spasticity in multiple sclerosis.

    Each tablet, for oral administration, contains 10 mg or 20 mg Baclofen.

    How Baclofen Works

    Baclofen is a direct agonist of GABAB receptors, which upon activation utilise a G-protein coupled mechanism to increase transmembrane potassium conductance through specific ion channels. Since potassium has a positive charge, and since intracellular potassium concentrations are normally at least ten times that of the extracellular environment, opening potassium channels has an inhibitory, hyperpolarising effect on a cell's resting electrochemical potential. This tends to decrease the rate of neuronal action potentials, which accounts for Baclofen's anti-spastic effects.

    Indications and Usage for Baclofen

    Baclofen is useful for the alleviation of signs and symptoms of spasticity resulting from multiple sclerosis, particularly for the relief of flexor spasms and concomitant pain, clonus, and muscular rigidity.

    Patients should have reversible spasticity so that Baclofen treatment will aid in restoring residual function.

    Patients with MS are usually started on an initial dose of 5 mg every six to eight hours. If necessary, the amount is increased by 5 mg per dose every five days until symptoms improve. The desired effect is to find a dosage level that relieves spasticity without causing excessive weakness or fatigue. The effective dose may vary from 15 mg to 160 mg per day or even more dependent on the severity of the spasms.


    If you are take more than 30 mg per day, Baclofen should not be stopped suddenly. Stopping high doses of this medication abruptly can cause convulsions, hallucinations, increases in muscle spasms or cramping, mental changes, or unusual nervousness or restlessness.

    Any reduction on medication must be supervised by your GP or Consultant.

    Baclofen adds to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (such as antihistamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, prescription pain medications, seizure medications, other muscle relaxants), possibly causing drowsiness.

    Below you can keep up to date with all the latest news on Baclofen (Lioresal):

    Intrathecal Baclofen therapy for severe spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

    Intrathecal Baclofen TherapyA new scientific article has been published demonstrating the profound impact of spasticity on patients with multiple sclerosis and the benefits and underutilization of intrathecal baclofen (ITB) therapy from Medtronic, Inc. as a treatment option for these patients.

    The paper, published this week as an OnlineFirst article in Multiple Sclerosis Journal, recommends physician evaluation of ITB therapy as a treatment option for patients at all clinical stages of MS who are intolerant of or unresponsive to oral spasticity therapies.

    “Severe spasticity is a debilitating condition that can have a negative impact on quality of life of patients with MS. While oral medications work to treat spasticity in some individuals, I see patients every day who can’t tolerate the side effects of large doses of medication necessary to treat the most severe cases,” said Mary Hughes, M.D., one of the article’s authors and chair, Division of Neurology, University Medical Group, Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center in Greenville, S.C. “The strong collection of clinical results on the use of ITB therapy in MS patients points to a clear need for physicians to help MS patients control their spasticity and restore quality of life with options like ITB therapy, which is safe and effective in carefully selected patients.”

    The expert panel of authors, including leading MS clinicians from the United States and Europe, combined has more than 100 years of experience in MS management and has treated more than 1,500 MS patients worldwide. The article includes a review of literature on ITB therapy for spasticity in MS and provides expert opinion of the panel regarding patient selection and management of ITB therapy in MS patients. Medtronic sponsored the panel’s meeting and paper development.

    According to survey results within the research summary, 84 percent of patients with MS reported at least some symptoms of spasticity, with 30 percent reporting moderate to severe symptoms. Of the 13 percent of MS patients who may be candidates for ITB therapy, only 1 percent of patients stated they were receiving the therapy. However, current data indicate that ITB therapy effectively and significantly reduces severe spasticity in ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients with MS.

    The expert panel noted that the main barrier to the use of ITB therapy is that many physicians do not present ITB as a therapeutic option that is safe, effective and well-tolerated. This often occurs due to a lack of physician understanding of quality of life issues caused by spasticity, potential ITB benefits and appropriate patient selection, as well as their focus on disease-modifying therapies rather than symptom control.

    “This article is a very powerful analysis of the need for greater consideration of ITB therapy by clinicians who manage MS,” said Tom Tefft, senior vice president and president of the Neuromodulation business at Medtronic. “We are hopeful that this paper will encourage more physicians to offer the therapy to appropriate patients.”

    About Multiple Sclerosis and Spasticity

    Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS, a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms may include abnormal fatigue, impaired vision, loss of balance and muscle coordination, slurred speech, tremors, spasticity, bladder and bowel problems, difficulty walking, short-term memory loss, mood swings, and, in severe cases, partial or complete paralysis. Spasticity can occur when the part of the brain that controls voluntary movements is damaged or injured and results in tight, stiff muscles. In addition to being one possible symptom of MS, spasticity also can be a symptom of cerebral palsy, brain injury, spinal cord injury or stroke. For some people, the condition is so severe that it is impossible to voluntarily relax muscles.

    About ITB Therapy

    Medtronic ITB Therapy using the SynchroMed® II pump is the first and only fully programmable implantable drug pump available in the United States to treat severe spasticity. First approved in the United States in 1992, ITB is a complete drug delivery solution to optimize spasticity treatment and maximize function. The therapy delivers a baclofen injection directly to the intrathecal space where fluid flows around the spinal cord in patients with severe spasticity.

    Source: Copyright © 2000-2011 (04/02/11)

    Lannett Gets Added Baclofen Approval
    Generic drug developer Lannett Co. said Thursday the Food and Drug Administration approved a generic version of Novartis AG's multiple sclerosis drug Lioresal.

    The drug, also called Baclofen, is a muscle relaxant and treats spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.

    The approval is for the 10-milligram tablet dose of the drug. Lannett already sells a generic version of the 20-milligram dose.

    Other companies selling generic Lioresal, or Baclofen, include Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories Ltd.

    Source: © 2007 LLC™ All Rights Reserved

    Caraco Gets FDA Approval on Baclofen
    Generic drug maker Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories Ltd. said Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration approved its generic version of Novartis AG's Lioresal.

    The drug, called Baclofen, is a muscle relaxant and antispastic for symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis and is available in 10-miligram and 20-miligram doses, according to the company.

    Source: Regulatory Affairs Syndicator (16/08/06)

    © Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC)

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