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  #1  
Old 09-23-2011, 06:13 PM
Citlalli Citlalli is offline
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Baclofen 101

Can any of you tell me how long Baclofen takes to work?
I've been having cramps in thighs, calves and feet on and off now for months and this week have had nearly constant pain in my legs, which are rebelling against walking more than a few blocks (I live in NYC). The pain is keeping me awake at night and distracting me by day. My doctor suggested I try Baclofen.

I've hesitated, because I need my wits for a demanding new job I can barely do (have to try to stay the course because I've been out of work for more than a year and have debts piling up), but now I'm desperate for relief, so ready to give it a go.

She prescribed 10 mg. 3 x/day, and I just took half of one to test the effect. So far, nada. I'm wondering if any of you might weigh in on how much (or little) you felt when first taking this medication. I realize I've taken a very small dose, but I've heard this can make you dizzy, sleepy and also--big fear here--exaggerate leg weakness, so I want to test it out with caution over the weekend before I return to work.

Any advice much appreciated! (I've been taking Xanax to sleep and understand that if I take Baclofen I shouldn't take the Xanax. Wonder if that's true.)
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2011, 06:34 PM
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salamandertom salamandertom is offline
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I take so many meds that mess with my brain, I couldn't tell you about baclofen's effects - but I have to tell you that you need to start taking it! It is AMAZING. I was in horrible pain like you describe - and it helped me SO much. I mean, i still have pain but bac really, really helped. It is SO worth it. You will get used to the med, but you will not get used to the muscle issues. HUGS and good luck!
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2011, 06:41 PM
BigA
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Just take it. It doesn't seem to have side effects until a much higher dose. Taking 1/6 of the dose is no way to test it anyway. Take it as prescribed for a week and see how you feel. Many people depend on it.

BTW, I take baclofen and xanax sometimes. I checked and there is some possibility of interaction, but you can just ask your pharmacist or doctor. I suspect at those low levels it's not a danger.

You can check drug interactions here:
[URL]http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.php[/URL]
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2011, 06:45 PM
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salamandertom salamandertom is offline
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Oh and I realized I didn't answer your question - it took only a day or two on the full dosing to notice.

I take 60 mg.
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~Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.~
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2011, 07:07 PM
Citlalli Citlalli is offline
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Angels

You people are amazing!
I can already feel a lessening of tension in my calves an hour after taking my first measly little 5 mg half tablet. This is the first relief I've had since these cramps started in July. I'm going to take the other half and see how I feel, then go ahead this weekend with the 10 mg 3 x a day. I take very little Xanax, but will Google around and see whether if I still feel I need it to get some sleep I can.

If this works it will truly be miraculous for me.
Thanks so much for your encouragement!

I was afraid to ask my doctor for it, because I was afraid she would think I was being a wimp, but she offered, so I filled the script and then kept it for a week while I had to start my new job.

So afraid of losing this chance to work while I still (sort of) can. Maybe this will make the difference.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:32 PM
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salamandertom salamandertom is offline
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I am so glad that it is working, just imagine the relief you will feel on the full dose. I remember sitting cross legged for the first time in forever and being SO happy. I cannot do it again, but it was wonderful while it lasted!
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:29 PM
Spydre Spydre is offline
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I just got my baclofen earlier this week - 10 mg twice a day - and the difference has been amazing. The spasms down my leg have decreased, and the spasms that are causing my shoulder pain have settled down quite a bit, so that my should is hardly hurting anymore.
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:39 PM
rdmc rdmc is online now
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Don't worry about getting weakness...if that happens, you can cut back a little on the dosage. the most bothersome symptom for most people is the drowsiness...but everybody's different and you may not have that side effect

Main thing to remember about baclofen is that you have to decrease the dose slowly of you've been on it awhile and decide to cut back. It is not a drug you can go "cold turkey" with.

Best of luck...hope you get good results and relief.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:44 PM
Citlalli Citlalli is offline
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Less of a Wimp

Well, I've taken the other 5 mg. and now have twice the relief, almost. The main thing is I'm still awake.

The pain has had me near tears all week, so I'm ready to go ahead with this full-gear (30 mg., still a low dose as I understand it) tomorrow.

It's even better than getting new glasses!

So glad it's helping you too, Spydre, and Salamandertom.
I was also worried that my legs would get too weak, but so far they've stayed the same (crappy, but moving).

This site is amazing in so many ways, not least of which is the kind of advice we never get from doctors, especially not on a weekend!
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2011, 10:46 AM
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MiSunderstood MiSunderstood is offline
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I have taken Baclofen for years and I think it made me a bit sleepy and occasionally slightly weak legs (nothing drastic, I could still walk around) when I first started taking it but I adjusted to that. I take 10 mg 4 times a day. At bedtime they switched me to a very low dose diazepam (1/2 of a 5mg pill) because it lasts longer than Baclofen for overnight. good luck and I hope you give it a chance.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2011, 05:24 PM
hope32 hope32 is offline
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Good question! I just got a Baclofen Rx for muscle spasms so this is helpful information for me, too.
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2011, 06:14 PM
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Shashi Shashi is offline
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Baclofen seems to be one of those medications that work best when it builds up in your system, so just taking one (or half of one) here and there like a Tylenol isn't really going to work much.

I take 60-80 mg a day, but started out with 10 mg a day about five years ago. It doesn't make me sleepy or weak at all, but the other muscle relaxer I tried, Zanaflex, knocks me out.

Anyway, good luck with it. I hope it works well for you and you get some relief.

Hugs,

Lisa
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Alpha Lipoic Acid (200 mg) + Acetyl L-carnitine (1,000 mg) = No more fatigue for me!
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2011, 07:32 PM
Spydre Spydre is offline
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I know the doseage of Baclofen that I'm on - 10 mg - doesn't make me sleepy or tired at all.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2011, 07:53 PM
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Shashi Shashi is offline
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One important thing to know about baclofen, particularly if you're taking higher dosages like I am, is that you can't just stop taking it cold turkey. You have to wean yourself off of it gradually over several weeks. (I actually did this last year and was off of it for about four months until I had a flare up in April.) If you just stop taking it, it can give you hallucinations and make you weird for awhile. (We've got enough problems without that!)
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Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.
Cut aspartame from my diet in 2012 and my symptoms have slowly disappeared. Interesting!
Alpha Lipoic Acid (200 mg) + Acetyl L-carnitine (1,000 mg) = No more fatigue for me!
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2011, 08:57 PM
BigA
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Interesting post. I got up to 50mg per day and I decided to lower it. By Friday (Avonex day of all days), I was on 10mg. Today is my first day without it in a long time.

I'm not sure why I did it, I just wanted to feel how much stiffness there was. I suppose I could live without it, though I suspect when I start again, I will feel relief.

Right now, my hands are very stiff, but the one thing I noticed is that they don't change throughout the day. Just consistently the same stiffness.

Hmm. But seriously, Citlalli. Take the pill. It's the most common drug we're all on. You're not abusing it. I understand perfectly well the desire not to take the meds, especially to convince ourselves we're not really sick. But take it and you'll see how nice it can be.
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