Baclofen Side Effects
The most common side effects of baclofen include weakness, drowsiness, dizziness and headache. More severe baclofen side effects include nausea, vomiting, low pressure, constipation, confusion and seizures. Some people may experience respiratory depression, sleep disturbances and urinary retention. If someone suddenly stops using baclofen, they may have seizures and hallucinations. If someone is using the spinal injection version of baclofen and they suddenly stop using it, side effects can include rebound muscle rigidity and spasticity, high fever and a condition called rhabdomyolysis -a muscle breakdown that can cause organ failure or death. Rare baclofen side effects include abnormal liver function tests, bloody urine and chest pain. Some people may also experience a false sense of well-being or mild euphoria when using this drug -which is why it has a potential for abuse.
Baclofen can also adversely interact with other medications. Patients shouldn’t use baclofen with tricyclic antidepressants before talking to their doctor because it can cause muscle weakness. If baclofen is combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, it can cause depression of brain function and low blood pressure. If baclofen is used by people with diabetes, it can increase blood sugar levels.
Baclofen abuse can begin when someone has a legitimate prescription for the drug. Then, over time, someone may show signs of abuse, such as taking higher doses than prescribed or taking baclofen more often than prescribed. People who abuse baclofen may combine it with other substances, use it without a prescription, or use baclofen in any way outside prescribing instructions. Baclofen abuse can increase the likelihood of addiction and dependence.
Baclofen addiction and dependence can lead to an overdose. An overdose is one of the many symptoms of baclofen abuse and can include hypothermia, coma, slow breathing, or respiratory arrest and seizures. Other symptoms of baclofen abuse related to an overdose can include slowed heart rate or other changes in heart muscle conduction. People who have taken too much baclofen may show outward signs like vertigo, problems breathing, and a loss of consciousness.
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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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