Baclofen Warnings and Precautions
There are many baclofen warnings and precautions to be aware of before starting the medication. For example, to help ensure safe treatment, you should let your healthcare provider know if you have certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, epilepsy, or any kind of mental illness. You should also be aware that baclofen can cause withdrawal symptoms if it is stopped too quickly.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Baclofen?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking baclofen (Lioresal®, Gablofen®) if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Epilepsy or a history of seizures
- A history of stroke
- Mental illness of any kind
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Baclofen Warnings and PrecautionsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking baclofen include the following:
- Stopping the drug too quickly (for any reason) can lead to withdrawal symptoms (see Baclofen Withdrawal).
- Baclofen might increase the risk of seizures, particularly in people with seizure disorders.
- Baclofen does not appear to be useful in people who have had a stroke. In addition, these individuals often seem to be less able to tolerate the drug.
- This medication usually causes drowsiness. It can also cause dizziness or confusion. Make sure you know exactly how baclofen affects you before driving a car or operating heavy machinery.
- Baclofen may increase the risk of ovarian cysts.
- If you receive baclofen through a pump (to deliver the medication directly to the spinal cord), your healthcare provider should take extreme precautions when adjusting your dosage or refilling the pump in order to avoid an accidental overdose. Your healthcare provider must be prepared in case of an emergency situation.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have kidney disease, as you may need a lower baclofen dosage.
- There have been reports of this medication causing a worsening of various mental illnesses. Your healthcare provider should monitor you for any signs of such problems.
- Baclofen can interact with other medications (see Baclofen Drug Interactions).
- Baclofen is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it might not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this drug when pregnant (see Baclofen and Pregnancy).
- Baclofen passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Baclofen and Breastfeeding).