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    Baclofen pump FAQ

    Baclofen pump facts
    The baclofen pump is used to provide medication directly to the spinal cord, typically baclofen, when the oral dose exceeds the recommended maximum dosage. It is produced by Medtronic and is about the size of a hockey puck. A catheter runs from the pump along the abdominal wall where it is anchored to the spine and punctures the spinal cord. It is possible for the catheter to be placed above the point of injury. I have mine placed at C-4. It can provide medication both continuously or in bolus amounts (large amount at a time) and is typically delivered in micrograms. The pump itself is located just below the skin somewhere in the abominable section. Mine is located on my right side. The battery lasts anywhere from five to seven years at such a point when they need to replace it, but not the catheter. To fill the pump, a needle gets stuck through the skin and a port in the middle of the pump. To reprogram it, a scanner is placed directly over the pump to scan the pump and get the settings at which point they can change them and program the new settings into the pump. MRI's are not a problem with it as it automatically shuts down as soon as it senses the magnetic field. If anyone has any information to add to this, go for it.
    As far as medications that can go in it, baclofen and clonidine are a typical mix to help with spasms and some pain. You can add Dilaudid or a number of other liquid medications although I found they aren't very effective for central pain, at least not long-term. And for me, a lowered my testosterone level and I put on a ton of weight.
    I have a lot of experience with this thing so if you have any questions that aren't answered here by me or others or doing a search, feel free to ask.

    Will someone please make this a sticky post. There are a lot of questions about it and I think it would be good to have them all answered in one place.
    Last edited by rybread; 05-19-2008 at 12:41 AM.
    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

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