Baclofen Intrathecal Injection
Baclofen (Lioresal®, Gablofen®) is a prescription medication used to treat spasticity. Specifically, baclofen intrathecal injection is approved to treat spasticity due to various causes, including multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy, or spinal cord injury or disease. A tablet form is available for less severe cases of spasticity caused by MS or spinal cord injury or disease.
With baclofen intrathecal injection, a pump delivers the medication directly into the intrathecal space between the layers of the spinal cord. A small, flexible tube (called a catheter) is inserted into the intrathecal space. The catheter is connected to the pump, which is surgically placed under the skin, usually in the abdomen (stomach). The pump contains a reservoir for the medication, which is usually filled by an injection through the skin directly into the pump.
The pump allows for a continuous infusion of baclofen directly to the spine. With a baclofen infusion, drug blood levels are approximately 100 times less than the levels seen when using the oral form. For many people, in order to get the necessary spasticity relief from baclofen tablets, the dose must be so high that intolerable or dangerous side effects occur. A pump can help avoid this problem.
(Click Baclofen and Baclofen Pump for a more in-depth look at baclofen intrathecal injection, including how this method of administering the medication works to treat severe cases of spasticity. These articles also explain potential side effects, general precautions, and what to tell your healthcare provider before beginning treatment.)