Can you become addicted to baclofen? If you stop using baclofen, will you go into withdrawal? How long does baclofen withdrawal last? If you have received a prescription for baclofen, it’s important to get the answers to these and other questions. Taking any prescription medications exposes people to certain risks. In some cases, such as baclofen, these risks can include the possibility of becoming addicted and going through withdrawal.
What is Baclofen?
Baclofen is a muscle relaxant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it to treat reversible spasticity. The drug may be administered orally or via an intrathecal delivery system.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), muscle spasticity is characterized by “an abnormal increase in muscle tone or stiffness of muscle, which might interfere with movement, speech, or be associated with discomfort or pain.”
Doctors prescribe baclofen to people who have multiple sclerosis, as well as those who have certain spinal cord injuries or diseases. A 2014 study in the journal PLOS One indicates that baclofen is also sometimes prescribed to treat people who have been struggling with alcohol use disorder.
Baclofen is the generic name for this medication. It is marketed under several brand names, including Gablofen, Lioresal, and Ozobax.
Is Baclofen Addictive?
When a person takes baclofen or another muscle relaxant, they may feel an easing of pain. Other effects of baclofen use may include elevated mood and a sense of serenity or slight euphoria. In addition, the pleasurable effects of baclofen can be enticing to people who have been seeking a certain type of recreational high.
Unlike many prescription pain medications, baclofen is not an opioid. However, this does not mean that it is safe to abuse, or that it is non-addictive. Abusing baclofen can put a person at risk for several negative outcomes, including overdose and addiction. Baclofen overdose symptoms can include loss of consciousness, seizure, irregular heartbeat, delirium, and coma. Symptoms of baclofen addiction can include tolerance and withdrawal. Each of these symptoms is related to how a person’s body adapts to baclofen after prolonged use.
Tolerance means that a person will need to use larger amounts of baclofen to experience the effects they are seeking. Withdrawal means that a person can develop certain physical and psychological symptoms when they aren’t able to acquire and use baclofen.
Signs and Symptoms of Baclofen Withdrawal
During the withdrawal process, a person’s body reacts to the absence of the substance that the person had previously been abusing. Several factors influence the nature and severity of withdrawal symptoms, including which substance the person had become addicted to and how long they’d been using it. Withdrawal symptoms often include both physical pain and psychological distress.
The following are possible signs and symptoms of baclofen withdrawal:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Erratic, involuntary movements
- Dangerously high body temperature
- Muscle stiffness
- Muscle pain
- Unstable blood pressure
- Breathing difficulties
- Anxiety and agitation
- Hallucinations and delusions
The pain of withdrawal can be a significant obstacle on the path of recovery. If a person has been unable to get through withdrawal on their own, they may need professional care. At Ambrosia Treatment Center in South Florida, our detox program can help people complete baclofen withdrawal safely and with as little discomfort as possible.
How Long Does Baclofen Withdrawal Last?
Baclofen withdrawal symptoms can vary considerably from person to person. So, too, can the duration of baclofen withdrawal. In other words, there is no single, definitive answer to the question, “How long does baclofen withdrawal last?” Some people can complete baclofen withdrawal fairly quickly, while others may need much more time to rid their bodies of this substance.
Baclofen Withdrawal Timeline
The effects of baclofen can begin to wear off in a few hours. This is why people who take prescription baclofen are typically told to take the medication multiple times each day.
In terms of withdrawal, it can take 10-20 hours for baclofen to be eliminated from the body. This means that withdrawal symptoms can begin to develop within a few hours. In some cases, though, it may take a day or more after a person’s last dose before they start to have withdrawal symptoms.
Within 48 hours of a person’s final dose, they should experience some symptoms of baclofen withdrawal. The severity of these symptoms can depend on several factors, including whether they tapered their baclofen use or simply quit without first gradually reducing the amount of the drug they had been taking.
Usually, baclofen withdrawal symptoms will be at their most severe about 72 hours after a person stopped taking the drug. After the 72-hour mark, symptoms will typically begin to subside, though some symptoms may persist for several days or even weeks.
Find Medical Detox for Baclofen Withdrawal
The unpredictability of baclofen withdrawal is one of the many reasons why detoxification, or detox, can be such a beneficial service. If you’ve been seeking medical detox for baclofen withdrawal, the following are some important factors to consider:
- Does the detox offer both therapeutic and medical support?
- What are the qualifications of the professionals who provide care in the detox program?
- Does the treatment center offer other levels of care, so you can transition into baclofen addiction treatment after you’ve completed withdrawal?
- If the center offers other levels of care, do their services include both inpatient and outpatient options?
When you’re searching for baclofen detox or other types of baclofen addiction treatment, what’s most important is finding the facility that best matches your specific needs. Detox and addiction treatment can take several forms. Find the place whose services align most closely with your goals and preferences.
Get Treatment for Baclofen Addiction in South Florida
Ambrosia Treatment Center is a valued source of baclofen addiction treatment in South Florida. If your life has been disrupted by an addiction to baclofen or any other substance, our team can help you find your path to successful, long-term recovery. Visit our admissions page today to learn how we can help.