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Thread: baclofen + spastisty = help me Wise!!!!!!!

  1. #1

    baclofen + spastisty = help me Wise!!!!!!!

    i just up'ed my dosage of baclofen by 10mg's. is it possible that it could have a reverse effect?



    i also take quite a large dose of baclofen too. is it possible that your body can become immune to the amount you take? it seems that i have this cycle; i get my dose of baclofen increased by 10mg's and my spasms are calmed; then after about 3-4 weeks my spasms start to get worse. again i'll get my dose of baclofen increased by 10mg's. 3-4 weeks later the same thing happens all over again. it's been like this since mid-summer last year. my injury was in jan. of '06. i'm currently taking 180mg's of baclofen daily now. 3 20mg pills, 3 times a day. what are some reasons that my spastisty is getting more intense? i get my legs stretched thoroughly every morning. should i try stretching some more in the afternoon? i just want to know when spastisity usually decreases. i'm going to be coming up on 2 years post-injury about new years, isn't the 2yr mark about when you come out of spinal shock? will my spastisity increase until then?

    please help sci nurse!
    Last edited by DA6righthand; 08-04-2007 at 04:04 PM.
    -C6 incomplete
    -injured January, 14th 2006 in roll-over

  2. #2
    1-2 years post injury is when the spasticity peaks.
    Oral baclofen is sometimes not that helpul -that is why so many have the implanted pump.


    CWO

  3. #3
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    My sister gets thoroughly stretched in the morning and the evening, in addition to a massage once a week or every other week, and this has really helped with spasms.

  4. #4
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    That's a lot of baclofen.
    My son (C-5, 10 mos post) was about at that level, & found that it
    really doesn't do much good after you get to that high a dosage.
    He's decreased it, some, and works at stretching and exercise,
    has P/T 3 x week & e-stim bike work.
    He's kinda in the same situation.
    Bob B
    SCI - Parent

  5. #5
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
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    Maybe Baclofen isn't the right anti-spacticity med for you.

    I've never used Baclofen personally, but I do get really bad spasms. I've found that Zanaflex works well to calm my spasms. Try talking to your dr about trying a diff anti-spasm med, or a combination of meds.

    The Baclofen pump is always an option, but that is pretty invasive surgery and you have to be committed to having it implanted...but a LOT of people have a lot of relief with it and a lot fewer side effects.
    'Chelle
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  6. #6
    No doubt, that is a load of baclofen. I take 120mg/day. Need to evaluate what you are doing with daily exercise, and also make sure there is no underlying problem. Sometimes increased spasms is an indication of health issue.

  7. #7
    DA6righthand,

    You are taking too high a dose of baclofen. You should not take more than 120 mg per day.

    Baclofen is for treating spasticity and not spasms. Spasticity is increased tone and rigidity of your legs. Spasms are spontaneous movement of your legs. Baclofen generally does not reduce spasms unless you are taking very high doses.

    Is your doctor experienced with spinal cord injury? He/she should not be increasing the dose of baclofen to such high levels and somebody should have told you that baclofen does not prevent spasms.

    Is there some reason why you are trying to eliminate all spasms? Is it bothering you? Are you trying to get rid of spasticity or spasms because you think that it is bad? Some people think that baclofen is not good and Dr. McDonald believes that it reduces regeneration and recovery. While I am not sure that I would go that far, I do agree that one should not take a higher dose of baclofen than is necessary.

    Spasticity and spasms are a form of exercise for your muscles and prevents atrophy. I sometimes joke that spasticity and spasms are the cheapest form of exercise. Why go to all the trouble and expense of doing functional electrical stimulation when you have spasticity and spasms?

    If the spasticity and spasms are truly bothering you, you may want to consider combining the baclofen with other treatments of spasticity. For example, the other drug that has been approved for treatment of spasticity is tizanidine (Zanaflex), This drug is often given in combination with baclofen when high doses of baclofen are not effective. People here on this forum have also reported to gabapentin (neurontin) helps reduce spasms.

    Wise.



    Quote Originally Posted by DA6righthand
    i just up'ed my dosage of baclofen by 10mg's. is it possible that it could have a reverse effect?

    i also take quite a large dose of baclofen too. is it possible that your body can become immune to the amount you take? it seems that i have this cycle; i get my dose of baclofen increased by 10mg's and my spasms are calmed; then after about 3-4 weeks my spasms start to get worse. again i'll get my dose of baclofen increased by 10mg's. 3-4 weeks later the same thing happens all over again. it's been like this since mid-summer last year. my injury was in jan. of '06. i'm currently taking 180mg's of baclofen daily now. 3 20mg pills, 3 times a day. what are some reasons that my spastisty is getting more intense? i get my legs stretched thoroughly every morning. should i try stretching some more in the afternoon? i just want to know when spastisity usually decreases. i'm going to be coming up on 2 years post-injury about new years, isn't the 2yr mark about when you come out of spinal shock? will my spastisity increase until then?

    please help sci nurse!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    DA6righthand,

    You are taking too high a dose of baclofen. You should not take more than 120 mg per day.

    Baclofen is for treating spasticity and not spasms. Spasticity is increased tone and rigidity of your legs. Spasms are spontaneous movement of your legs. Baclofen generally does not reduce spasms unless you are taking very high doses.

    Is your doctor experienced with spinal cord injury? He/she should not be increasing the dose of baclofen to such high levels and somebody should have told you that baclofen does not prevent spasms.

    Is there some reason why you are trying to eliminate all spasms? Is it bothering you? Are you trying to get rid of spasticity or spasms because you think that it is bad? Some people think that baclofen is not good and Dr. McDonald believes that it reduces regeneration and recovery. While I am not sure that I would go that far, I do agree that one should not take a higher dose of baclofen than is necessary.

    Spasticity and spasms are a form of exercise for your muscles and prevents atrophy. I sometimes joke that spasticity and spasms are the cheapest form of exercise. Why go to all the trouble and expense of doing functional electrical stimulation when you have spasticity and spasms?

    If the spasticity and spasms are truly bothering you, you may want to consider combining the baclofen with other treatments of spasticity. For example, the other drug that has been approved for treatment of spasticity is tizanidine (Zanaflex), This drug is often given in combination with baclofen when high doses of baclofen are not effective. People here on this forum have also reported to gabapentin (neurontin) helps reduce spasms.

    Wise.
    wise,

    i have plenty of muscle tone in my legs and i'm not really worried about atrophy. my legs are suprisingly strong for not being used. when they kick out straight when i'm in my chair, not many people can bend them back so they can go on my chair. when my legs tense up and/or kick when i'm in my chair, it's pretty hard to control where i'm going (and i mean in a manual wheelchair, cant reach the brakes). i can tollerate spasms when they dont interfere with getting around, like transferring. it's hard to keep my balance when i'm transferring if my legs are kicking out or my back tenses up throwing me backwards. it's hard to manuever around my house or through a crowd of people with my leg sticking straight out.

    this spasm problem is going to be even worse come september because i'm going to school (wright state). i'm going to have to be even more independent and it will be extremely difficult. i'd love to figure something out to help calm these spasms ASAP!

    i like my doctor, but i've had to come here several times to get answers for somethng and then use the answers to tell him what i want. i dont know what other doc's there are in my area that are highly experienced with SCI. my doc seems to be experienced because he told me about you, dr. young, and this website and he goes to lots of spinal cord conferences...but i still have my doubts...

    about the baclofen...should i ween off of it a bit to 120mg's? i've tried zanaflex for two weeks; it made me so dizzy and light-headed that i couldn't be up in my chair for more than 3-4 hours. what other meds are there to take? my doc mentioned this one med that i would have to get my blood drawn to check the condish of my liver; if the liver is good i'd start the med and get blood drawn again after 45 days to make sure the med doesn't affect my liver...but i'm a bit leary about that.

    about spastisty and fes...i want to get on an fes bike so bad. it would feel sooo good go have the legs moving for a good half hour or more. i've read here on carecure, that fes decreases spasms, helps with circulation, and bone density. why would i not want it? am i rght about the benefits of fes? do you think it would be pointless to use fes? i'm lost here...

    i dont think spasms are bad. if anything, want some spasms. i dont want atrophy. there's just that even level, or right combo, of spasms. i want some, not get rid of them. i just want the dang legs tamed down a bit. they're crazy though, i could be a darn field goal kicker :P
    -C6 incomplete
    -injured January, 14th 2006 in roll-over

  9. #9
    Thanks for the response. I see. Your spasticity appears to be quite severe even on 180 mg of Baclofen. Since you are having side-effects from Zanaflex, I think that you are a candidate for a baclofen pump. I did not mean to put any doubts in your mind about your doctor. He seems to be trying the right options. I was just worried that you are on too high a dose of baclofen and you were expecting the baclofen to do something for your spasms.

    A baclofen pump will allow higher doses of baclofen to be given to you directly to the spinal cord, without the baclofen going all over your body. If you still have spasms, you should perhaps consider gabapentin (Neurontin) which appears to reduce spasms in people.

    Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by DA6righthand
    wise,

    i have plenty of muscle tone in my legs and i'm not really worried about atrophy. my legs are suprisingly strong for not being used. when they kick out straight when i'm in my chair, not many people can bend them back so they can go on my chair. when my legs tense up and/or kick when i'm in my chair, it's pretty hard to control where i'm going (and i mean in a manual wheelchair, cant reach the brakes). i can tollerate spasms when they dont interfere with getting around, like transferring. it's hard to keep my balance when i'm transferring if my legs are kicking out or my back tenses up throwing me backwards. it's hard to manuever around my house or through a crowd of people with my leg sticking straight out.

    this spasm problem is going to be even worse come september because i'm going to school (wright state). i'm going to have to be even more independent and it will be extremely difficult. i'd love to figure something out to help calm these spasms ASAP!

    i like my doctor, but i've had to come here several times to get answers for somethng and then use the answers to tell him what i want. i dont know what other doc's there are in my area that are highly experienced with SCI. my doc seems to be experienced because he told me about you, dr. young, and this website and he goes to lots of spinal cord conferences...but i still have my doubts...

    about the baclofen...should i ween off of it a bit to 120mg's? i've tried zanaflex for two weeks; it made me so dizzy and light-headed that i couldn't be up in my chair for more than 3-4 hours. what other meds are there to take? my doc mentioned this one med that i would have to get my blood drawn to check the condish of my liver; if the liver is good i'd start the med and get blood drawn again after 45 days to make sure the med doesn't affect my liver...but i'm a bit leary about that.

    about spastisty and fes...i want to get on an fes bike so bad. it would feel sooo good go have the legs moving for a good half hour or more. i've read here on carecure, that fes decreases spasms, helps with circulation, and bone density. why would i not want it? am i rght about the benefits of fes? do you think it would be pointless to use fes? i'm lost here...

    i dont think spasms are bad. if anything, want some spasms. i dont want atrophy. there's just that even level, or right combo, of spasms. i want some, not get rid of them. i just want the dang legs tamed down a bit. they're crazy though, i could be a darn field goal kicker :P

  10. #10
    I have a baclofen pump and it saved my life. I had the exact same problems that you do right now with my legs kicking out constantly and my back spasming up really tight. I highly recommend the pump. I have it set so that I still have some spasticity and tone but not enough to get in my way. Good luck with everything.
    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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