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Thread: Pregnancy and Meds (Baclofen)

  1. #1

    Pregnancy and Meds (Baclofen)

    Hi all,

    I'm a T8 complete para, 10 years post. My husband and I are about to start trying for a family. I've been told to wean off my meds (60 mg of baclofen and 0.5 mg Clonazepam, both at night for killer spasms) as they are not safe during pregnancy.

    It's killing me. I'm lucky if I get 2 hours of sleep a night. I am in serious pain and my spasms are crazy strong throughout the night. This morning I offered to sleep/ lay awake in our spare bedroom because my husband gets woken up by all my shifting and spasms. And we're not even pregnant yet! Seems like it's making things way way harder haha!

    Now I know that Clonazepam has actual evidence of fetal damage, but I see conflicting stuff about baclofen. I know that it's recommended to not be on it, but I feel like I will have to quit my job due to lack of sleep, which probably isn't so rational.

    What have other people done? Can I stay on it until I find out I'm pregnant and then do a fast wean? Can I stay on it generally? Lesser dose? My doc just says "If you can do it, do it". That's not enough information for me.

    Any help appreciated.

  2. #2
    Both of these drugs should be avoided in the first trimester. It is too late to stop them once you find out you are already pregnant, as you would still be on the drugs during the first several weeks of your pregnancy, which is the most critical time to avoid exposure. Many physicians will allow you to restart Baclofen after the first trimester.

    Have you tried sleeping prone (on your stomach)?? This provides good stretch and can actually inhibit spasticity if done correctly.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    I went off mine to get pg. the first few months were rough but eventually things got better. the stomach idea works well if you can sleep like that. I also found putting ankle weights on my legs helped calm them because they couldn't move. laying flat on my back with a pillow under my legs putting them in a raised position can also help. and if you can convince your hubby the best thing for my spasms were nightly massages where my husband really digs his fingers into the muscles. it kind of helps get all the spasms out. frankly once off I have never gone back on. yes my legs spasm and sometimes at night a bit too much if I haven't done one of the things listed above, but I overall feel better and more alert not on the meds. good luck!!

  4. #4
    I have tried literally everything. When I am on baclofen, my legs are relaxed enough that I can sleep on my stomach - when I'm off, I develop really aggressive contractures. I stretch minimum 1 hour a day, so I have full ROM, but without the bacoflen, the tone is too much.

    Right now, in consult with my OBGYN and Physiatrist, we're trying to figure out if going off the baclofen will cause more harm than good. For reference, I'm a type A lawyer - I've done a crazy amount of research on alternative meds/techniques/therapies to get through this.

    At the moment, I'm considering quitting my job so that the zero sleep isn't so much an issue. I can deal with pain and not sleeping, but I can't do it while I am supposed to be productive at the office.

    Sigh.

  5. #5
    UPDATE:

    Thought I'd fill everyone in on where things stand at the moment. We conceived in December and I'm currently 4 months pregnant. I went off the Baclofen and Clonazepam and my medical team put me on Nabilone (synthetic marijuana) instead. It seems to be a workable solution at the moment. It lets me get a some sleep at night and has no adverse effects on a fetus.

    My spasms are still outrageous and pretty painful. Sleep is interrupted, but better than it was when I was on nothing. I don't feel like I have to quit my job because of insomnia/pain any more.

    Recently, a specialist maternal fetal medical team advised that I could go back on Clonazepam as I'm out of the first trimester. They also said that I could start baclofen again HOWEVER, no one has a good answer about the fetal withdrawal that will occur (just like we can't stop baclofen cold, neither can a baby, so the infant has to be weaned off, requiring a stay in the hospital). At this point, I've been off baclofen for 5 months. It's painful and makes my life harder, but I can last another 5 months.

    I have started going to physio once a week for assisted stretching. My spasms are too strong for me to get a good stretch any more, so the physio helps me. I'm super neurotic about maintaining ROM because the second the baby is born, I am back on the Baclofen. The docs have assured me that any amount passed through breastmilk is so tiny, it will have zero effect on the baby.

    So that's where I stand now. Using 2 mg of Nabilone a night and nothing else. It's workable.

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