Baclofen Side Effects

by on July 5, 2012


The most common side effects of Baclofen (Lioresal, Kemstro) are back pain, constipation, diarrhea, increased salivation, headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, nausea, and muscle weakness. Common side effects usually do not require medical attention however, if they persist or become bothersome you should contact your doctor to discuss alternative solutions.

Common Baclofen Side Effects

The most common baclofen side effects include the following:

  • Back pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased salivation
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Muscle weakness

Other side effects that are less common include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Frequent urination

The side effects listed above usually do not require medical attention as they will commonly diminish when your body adjusts to the medication. Your doctor may also be able to advise you of ways to reduce or prevent these common side effects from occurring. However, if any persist or become bothersome you should notify your doctor to discuss alternative solutions.

Serious Baclofen Side Effects

An allergic reaction can occur with a baclofen medication. If you experience any of the following symptoms indicating an allergic response, get emergency medical help right away.

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of lips, face, throat, or tongue

Many other Baclofen side effects can occur that are not indicative of an allergic reaction but that are still very serious. If you experience any of the following side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizure
  • Abnormal thoughts or movements
  • Eye or vision problems
  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Tremors
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Mental or mood changes
  • One sided weakness
  • New or worsening muscle stiffness or spasms
  • Fever or chills
  • Speech problems
  • Severe, persistent dizziness or headache

Other Risks

Baclofen may impair your thinking and reactions. Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or doing anything that requires you to be alert and focused; drinking alcohol can increase drowsiness and should be used with care. After extended use of Baclofen you are at risk for experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when you stop taking it such as, hallucination and seizure; talk to your doctor before stopping this medication, gradually reducing the amount you are taking may decrease the risk for withdrawal symptoms.

You should not use this medication before an activity that requires stable muscle tone to ensure your safe balance and movement; the nature of this medication is to relax muscles which means it should not be taken before an activity that could pose a physical threat while you are in a state of decreased muscle tone. Using baclofen may also increase the risk for developing an ovarian cyst in some individuals; talk to your doctor to evaluate your personal risk factors.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

If you have certain medical conditions you may need to have a dosage adjustment or special tests to ensure you can safely take baclofen. Talk to your doctor before taking this medication if you have any of the following conditions; kidney disease, epilepsy or other seizure disorders, or history of stroke or blood clots. Talk to your doctor before taking this medication if you are pregnant or may become pregnant; this medication has been placed in category C by the FDA, which means that it is not known how this drug may affect an unborn child.

You should also talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding as it is not known if this medication passes through breast milk or how it may affect a newborn. Additionally, children under 12 should not take this medication, and older individuals may be more sensitive to the potential side effects of it.

Other Medications

It is very important that you inform you doctor of all over the counter, prescription, and herbal medications that you are taking prior to starting a new one. Notify your doctor if you take any of the following medications as they could increase the drowsiness effects of baclofen.

  • Drowsiness inducing medication such as antihistamines, cold and allergy medications, antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications, narcotic pain medications, sleeping pills, and muscle relaxants.

Baclofen is an antispastic agent used to treat the muscle symptoms caused by certain medical conditions. You should not stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor; doing so could cause serious withdrawal symptoms. Talk to you doctor if you have a medical condition that may interfere with your safety while taking this medication. If you experience a serious side effect or a common effect becomes bothersome, notify your doctor right away.