Substance Use

Baclofen Overdose: What You Need to Know

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What You Need To Know About Baclofen Overdose

Baclofen is a medication used to treat muscle spasms. It is a centrally acting muscle relaxant that is sometimes prescribed for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy. Baclofen can be habit-forming, and it is essential to take it exactly as your doctor prescribes. This article will discuss the signs and symptoms of Baclofen overdose and available treatment options.

Can You Overdose on Baclofen?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on Baclofen. While most people will only experience mild side effects from taking too much Baclofen, an overdose can be deadly in some cases. Baclofen can affect people in different ways, and the severity of the side effects will depend on how much of the drug was taken.

If you’re concerned about overdosing on Baclofen, please contact your physician to discuss the pros and cons of taking this medication. You can also contact treatment centers like Zinnia Healing for professional guidance on using Baclofen safely. To learn more about what we offer here at Zinnia Healing, call us at (855) 430-9439.

What To Do in an Emergency

If you suspect someone close to you is overdosing on Baclofen, call 911 immediately.

Please call 911 right away to get help and advice for a person who is overdosing.

What Are the Treatment Options for a Baclofen Overdose?

If you or someone you know has overdosed on Baclofen, there are several treatment options available:

  • Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal is a substance that can bind to other substances in the body and help to remove them. This is often given as a drink, which can help reduce the toxicity level of baclofen in the system.
  • Gastric lavage: Gastric lavage is a medical procedure where the stomach is pumped out through a tube. This is done to remove any remaining Baclofen from the stomach.
  • Hemodialysis: Hemodialysis is a process where the blood is filtered through a machine. This can help to remove Baclofen from the system and lower the level of toxicity.
  • Intravenous fluids: Intravenous fluids are used to keep the person hydrated and to flush the Baclofen out of the system.
  • Monitoring: The person will be closely monitored for any changes in their condition and vital signs. This may include looking at an electroencephalogram or electrocardiogram (ECG) to check their heart rate and blood pressure. If the person is having difficulty breathing, they may receive intubation and be placed on a ventilator.
  • Medications to treat symptoms: Medications may be given to treat the symptoms of Baclofen overdose. This can include emergency medicine to control seizures, nausea, and vomiting.

Is a Baclofen Overdose Dangerous?

Yes, a Baclofen overdose can be dangerous. When taken in high doses, Baclofen can cause respiratory depression, which is a condition that causes the body to stop breathing. In severe cases, this can lead to death. People who take Baclofen must know the signs and symptoms of an overdose so they can seek medical help immediately if they experience them.

How Much Baclofen Does It Take To Overdose?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as everyone reacts differently to medication. Different factors, such as weight, age, and health status, can affect how someone reacts to Baclofen. 

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Baclofen Overdose?

The signs and symptoms of a Baclofen overdose can vary depending on how much of the drug was taken and the individual’s reaction to it. Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Slower heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Hypothermia
  • Decreased muscle tone (hypotonia)
  • Coma
  • Respiratory depression
  • CNS (central nervous system) depression
  • Lack of tendon reflexes
  • Cardiac abnormalities

If you think Baclofen addiction might be a problem for you or someone close to you, don’t hesitate to get help. Zinnia Healing offers tailored programs for those struggling with addiction and substance use disorders, and patients work with our team to create a custom care plan that meets their unique needs. Call us today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our programs and how we can help you on your recovery journey.

Other Baclofen Side Effect Complications

In addition to the risks associated with an overdose, another potential risk of taking Baclofen is that it can be habit-forming. People who take Baclofen for extended periods may develop a dependency on the drug, which means they will experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it abruptly. Baclofen withdrawal symptoms can include tachycardia, mental status impairment, hypertension, and seizures.

What Increases the Risk of a Baclofen Overdose?

Certain factors can increase the risk of an overdose, such as:

  • Taking more Baclofen than prescribed
  • Mixing Baclofen with other medications or substances, including alcohol and benzodiazepines
  • Having a history of substance abuse
  • Medical conditions like poor renal function

Why Does a Baclofen Overdose Occur?

Baclofen is a GABA-B agonist used to treat muscle spasms and belongs to a class of medications called skeletal muscle relaxants. Intrathecal Baclofen works by interacting with GABA-B (receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid), decreasing the activity of the nerve cells in the spinal cord that are responsible for sending messages to the muscles telling them to contract. This can help to relieve muscle spasms and pain.

When taken as prescribed, Baclofen is generally safe and well-tolerated.

An overdose occurs when Baclofen ingestion vastly exceeds the recommended dosage. Your body will naturally try to get rid of the medication, but if too much is consumed, it can be difficult for your body to process. In response, your body may start to shut down certain functions to protect itself. In some severe cases, overdose can lead to things like rhabdomyolysis, which is the breakdown of muscle tissue that can lead to kidney or heart damage. This can lead to several severe and potentially life-threatening symptoms.

How To Tell Someone Is on Baclofen

If you suspect that someone is taking Baclofen without a prescription or in larger bolus doses than prescribed, look out for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Weakness from hypotension
  • Lack of coordination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures

Why Would Someone Take Baclofen?

There are many reasons why someone might be taking Baclofen. The medication is commonly used for:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Cerebral palsy

How To Help Someone With a Baclofen Use Disorder

If you think someone you know is struggling with a Baclofen use disorder, there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Encourage them to see a doctor or mental health professional: A psychiatry professional can help them identify and treat any underlying mental health conditions and provide support and guidance for managing their Baclofen use.
  • Help them find a support group: Many support groups can provide peer supportive care and advice on managing Baclofen use.
  • Encourage positive lifestyle changes: Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can all help reduce the risk of developing a Baclofen use disorder.
  • Encourage them to seek treatment: If someone you know is struggling with a Baclofen use disorder, encourage them to seek professional help. Treatment can include detox, inpatient rehab, outpatient therapy, and 12-step programs.

It can be challenging to figure out the best place to start when there are so many different options available. Zinnia Healing makes the process more manageable by identifying and evaluating the best programs for you or your loved one’s unique situation. We believe personalized care is essential for a steady recovery, and we strive for long-term sobriety for all our patients. If you or anyone close to you requires assistance, please visit our website or give us a call at (855) 430-9439.