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Generic Name:

baclofen, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Lioresal (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for baclofen

Oral tablet
1

Baclofen is used to treat muscle spasms.

2

This drug comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

3

Baclofen is only available as a generic drug.

4

The common side effects of this drug include headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, low blood pressure, and constipation.

5

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of sedation from baclofen. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Stopping baclofen

Don’t stop taking this drug without talking to your doctor. Stopping it suddenly can cause seizures and hallucinations (seeing or hearing something that’s not real). If you need to stop taking this drug, your doctor will slowly lower your dose over time.

Drowsiness

This drug can causes drowsiness. Don’t drive, use machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how it affects you. Also, don’t drink alcohol or take other medications that may make you feel drowsy while using baclofen. It may make your drowsiness worse.

What is baclofen?

Baclofen is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet. It’s also available in a spinal injection, which is only given by a healthcare provider.

Baclofen is only available as a generic drug.

Baclofen may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Baclofen is used to treat muscle spasms.

How it works

Baclofen belongs to a class of drugs called muscle relaxers.

More Details

How it works

Baclofen belongs to a class of drugs called muscle relaxers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It isn’t known exactly how baclofen works to treat painful muscle spasms. It’s thought that baclofen blocks the signals from your nervous system that tell your muscles to spasm.

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baclofen Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects of baclofen can include:

  • headaches

  • dizziness

  • drowsiness

  • nausea

  • low blood pressure

  • constipation 

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following: 

  • Withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms include:

    • worsening of muscle spasms
    • infection
    • high fever
    • severe muscle pain
  • Feeling very drowsy

  • Seizures

  • Agitation

  • Trouble urinating

Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Baclofen may cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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baclofen May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Baclofen can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of drowsiness from baclofen. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs that cause more side effects

Taking baclofen with certain medications may cause more side effects. These drugs include: 

  • Central nervous system depressants, such as benzodiazepines (triazolam, midazolam) and narcotics (oxycontin, codeine). You may have more sedation and drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Baclofen warnings
epilepsy
People with epilepsy

Talk to your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you. Baclofen may make your seizure control worse.

kidney problems
People with kidney problems

If you have kidney problems or a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may increase the levels of baclofen in your body and cause more side effects. If you have kidney disease, your doctor may start you at a lower dose.

history of stroke
People with a history of stroke

If you’ve had stroke, you may have more side effects with baclofen. This drug may also not work for your muscle spasms.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t assigned a pregnancy category to baclofen. It is not known if baclofen is safe and effective for use in pregnant women. 

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Baclofen should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if baclofen passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

children
For children

This medication hasn’t been studied and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 12 years of age.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

allergies
Allergies

Baclofen can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include: 

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue 

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take baclofen (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Muscle spasms

Generic: baclofen

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 10 mg, 20 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • Typical starting dose: You should start taking this drug on the following schedule:
    • Days 1–3: Take 5 mg three times per day.
    • Days 4–6: Take 10 mg three times per day.
    • Days 7–9: Take 15 mg three times per day.
    • Days 10–12: Take 20 mg three times per day.
  • Dose increases: Your doctor will slowly increase your dose every 3 days. Your doctor may further increase your dose if needed.
  • Maximum dose: A total of 80 mg per day taken in four divided doses of 20 mg each.
Child dosage (ages 12–17 years)
  • Typical starting dose: You should start taking this drug on the following schedule:
    • Days 1–3: Take 5 mg three times per day.
    • Days 4–6: Take 10 mg three times per day.
    • Days 7–9: Take 15 mg three times per day.
    • Days 10–12: Take 20 mg three times per day.
  • Dose increases: Your doctor will slowly increase your dose every 3 days. Your doctor may further increase your dose if needed.
  • Maximum dose: A total of 80 mg per day taken in four divided doses of 20 mg each.
Child dosage (ages 0–11 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 12 years.

Warnings

The manufacturer of this drug recommends that you don’t take more than 80 mg per day.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Baclofen comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your muscle spasms won’t get better and may get worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug include:

  • vomiting
  • muscle weakness
  • coma (being unconscious for a long time)
  • stopped breathing
  • seizure

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You should have less pain and stiffness.

Baclofen is used for either short-term or long-term treatment of muscle spasms.

You can take baclofen with or without food

If the drug upsets your stomach, try taking it with food or milk.

Store this drug carefully

  • Store baclofen at room temperature. Keep it between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

Kidney function. Your doctor may do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may lower your dose of this drug.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does baclofen Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for baclofen

Rite-Aid $9.99
Walmart $10.00
Kroger Pharmacy $10.25
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for baclofen on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for baclofen on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on November 9, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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