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Thread: Is a Baclofen pump safe / effective ?

  1. #1

    Is a Baclofen pump safe / effective ?

    My wife is a T-4 Para for the past 16 years. Spasticity is markedly worse this year. Positives and negatives about Baclofen pump? Any side-effects from individuals who have tried it ( or who know about the pump )?
    Side-effects from the trial-dose into the spinal canal, before the pump insertion?
    Present oral Baclofen dose is 15 mg. 4 times a day.
    Does the trial-dose of Baclofen, or the pump itself, risk any negative effects on my wife's normal upper extremities ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lenallen
    My wife is a T-4 Para for the past 16 years. Spasticity is markedly worse this year. Positives and negatives about Baclofen pump? Any side-effects from individuals who have tried it ( or who know about the pump )?
    Side-effects from the trial-dose into the spinal canal, before the pump insertion?
    Present oral Baclofen dose is 15 mg. 4 times a day.
    Does the trial-dose of Baclofen, or the pump itself, risk any negative effects on my wife's normal upper extremities ?
    I've had a pump for 10 or so years, and it changed my life. My spasms were running my life, I pretty much couldn't do much due to never being able to just sit and relax in my chair.

    The test shot caused me no side effects, except I was not used to not having spasms, and it took a couple days to get used to little to no spasticity.

    Your wife might try the test dosage at least to see if will make her life easier, I know how spasms can ruin your day/life when you have sci.

    best of luck
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  3. #3
    There are symptoms of overdose and baclofen withdrawal that can but usually are not associated with pumps. If a person has one, he/she needs to be very reliable about getting refills on time. If you ignore that you will be in deep trouble with baclofen withdrawal (the first symptom of which is itching).

    I'd recommend discussing your concerns with the neurosurgeon who is going to put the pump in. In my experience they are right up there with sliced bread. They help manage spasticity without all of the sedation that comes with oral medications.

    The neurosurgeon decides on which level of the spine to insert the catheter. Baclofen has a heavier molecular weight than spinal fluid so the drug tends to follow gravity and has much less impact on upper extremities.

    My recommendation is to go for the trial and see what happens.

    RAB

  4. #4
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    There is a group that does technology assessments called The Hayes Group (www.hayesinc.com). If you click on "free sample" the free sample this month is baclofen for spasms! Go get the report, it is long but highly useful. I read it and tried to get Chad to go on one, but he utterly refuses as he is weirded out by having something implanted in his body. It drives me nuts because I know it would help him tremendously.
    Wife (8 years) to Chad (C4/5 since 1988), Mom to a Medium Boy, Owner of a Standard Poodle and a Pit Bull
    Blog: http://ItWasntFunnyAtTheTime.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Ami, my son felt the same way for a long time; it was only after being thrown from his chair a few times, and hitting his stepdad in the chin with his knee during a spasm that he agreed!
    _____________

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