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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Baclofen effective in reducing alcohol craving and intake?

Short Answer

Yes.

Long Answer

Baclofen is indicated as a muscle relaxant and antispastic agent. However, it has been found that it may decrease the obsessive/compulsive components of craving along with a decrease in anxiety for the patient with alcoholism. It has low liver metabolism, so may be used in patients with advanced liver disease. It also may reduce AWS (Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome).

Recommended Dosage: A study group was administered 15mg/day for the first three days and 30mg/day after that, given in three separate doses of 10mg each.

Safety: Baclofen is a relatively safe drug with few side effects. If you have been taking it long-term, do not suddenly stop taking Baclofen.

Contraindications and Warnings: Use with caution in patients with seizure disorder or impaired renal function. Avoid abrupt withdrawal of the drug. If stopping the medication slowly, reduce the dose over a number of days.

Adverse Reactions: Drowsiness is a common side effect; a small percentage of patients will get a rash, occasionally nausea, or constipation.

Additional Information

alcalc.oxfordjournals.org: Baclofen Efficacy in Reducing Alcohol Craving and Intake: A Preliminary Double-blind Randomized Controlled Study
http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/37/5/504
A small double-blind study group consisting of 39 alcohol-dependent patients were randomly divided into two groups. One group was administered placebo and the other group Baclofen. "Baclofen proved to be effective in inducing abstinence from alcohol and reducing alcohol craving and consumption in alcoholics." "...Baclofen may represent a potentially useful drug in the treatment of alcohol-dependent patients and thus merits further investigation.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: Baclofen in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome: a comparative study vs diazepam.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16490478
"Benzodiazepines are the drugs of choice in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). Recent data have shown that Baclofen may reduce AWS symptoms."
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