Podcast 604: Baclofen Withdrawal - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 604: Baclofen Withdrawal

Contributor: Erik Verzemnieks, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Baclofen is used to treat muscle spasms or spasticity.
  • Baclofen comes in two forms: oral and intrathecal
  • Withdrawal is much more common with those receiving intrathecal administration from a Baclofen pump, which is typically spinal cord patients
  • Withdrawal symptoms usually start within 1-3 days after stopping baclofen
  • Symptoms include altered mental status, muscle rigidity, and fevers, which can mimic other severe illnesses
  • It is nearly impossible to reverse withdrawal symptoms with oral baclofen if a patient is receiving it intrathecally, so solving the pump problem is key


Ross JC, Cook AM, Stewart GL, Fahy BG. Acute intrathecal baclofen withdrawal: a brief review of treatment options. Neurocrit Care. 2011 Feb;14(1):103-8. doi: 10.1007/s12028-010-9422-6. PMID: 20717751.

Summarized by Jackson Roos, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

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