Baclofen (brand name Lioresal, Kemstro) is a GABA-B agonist used as a muscle relaxant in multiple sclerosis. I've long been interested in this drug for several reasons: muscle relaxers often have some type of abuse potential, it is a GABA-B agonist and the benzo's, barbs and Ambien-type drugs are GABA-A agonists, and it is an analogue of the popular drug GHB. I finally decided, after much research, that I must try it. Several weeks ago I ordered fifty baclofen 25 mg tablets from a commercial source. Upon recieving the package I immediately went to work.
My initial experience was profoundly intense, so much so that I would consider it adversive. This was probably do the excessive dose I had ingested over the course of the day (325 mgs in a 18-hour period). The initial effects weren't apparent after 75 milligrams, so another dose of 75 milligrams was taken to produce mild dizziness. It still didn't feel like much of anything so a third dose of 75 milligrams, bring the total amount to 225 milligrams, was taken with water. Wow. Again, wow. The effects manifested themselves without being shy about it. That feeling of dizziness multiplied to a feeling of clumsiness, but not an unpleasant clumsiness. It was strangely similar to the "buzzing" of alcohol intoxication, but there were unique aspects that are hard to describe. My mood was enhanced, yet SWIM wasn't euphoric to manic proportions as he is on amphetamine or opiates. It was an antidepressant-like mood-enhancement. Words weren't slurred and coordination was in tact roughly 75-80%. After interacting with my family for a while the intensity of the "buzzing" dizziness became too much and I went to go lay down. I turned the TV on and put my head down on my bed with a pillow covering it. This was at approx. 1:30 PM. After what seemed like a half hour, I sat up and a wave of disbelief swept over my body when I looked over at the window. It was dark outside! Not twilight-dark, I mean middle of the night dark. I stumbled upstairs and stared in awe at the digital clock: it read 12:45. It was forty-five minutes after midnight and I had just lied down a half-hour ago, it seemed. I suddenly became nausious and went downstairs, only to end up vomiting on my patio. I laid back down after that. I was in for an unbelieveable experience but I didn't know it at the time.
It was a dream, I know that now. But while it was happening, it wasn't a dream. It was to real to be a dream. I had suddenly found myself driving down a road, cornfields on both sides of me. My car was missing everything but the wheels and a metal bar in-between the front and back axels. The sun was shining; it was probably 11 in the morning. A cop was in the process of writing a speeding ticket to a car on my right. I was high as can be. All of a sudden I was upstairs in my friend's house, alone, smoking pot. I looked out her window; it was night. I thought to myself "man, I'm really flipping high. I hope ********'s parents don't come up here." And then, I woke up. It was more like I sprung out of bed. I was dreaming! I couldn't believe how real the dreams had been. I was actually feeling high in the dream, I could actually feel the sun on my skin when I had been "driving", and I felt actual fear of her parents catching me... yet it was only a dream? What is this stuff, I asked myself.
I took 50 milligrams after waking up; this was approx. 11:30 in the morning. The dizziness was apparent, only it was different this time. It was more enjoyable. It felt like psychedelic Xanax, so to speak. My mood was enhanced, only greater than it had been the day before. My body felt nice, where yesterday it had felt "weird" in a bad way. This is the way it's been ever since that morning. It took an initial adversive experience to become familiar with the drug and it's effects, sort of like first-time marijuana users usually don't get high on their first experience because they have to become familiar with marijuana's effects and learn to find them pleasurable. This is why experienced smokers report more intense effects than inexperienced smokers: their brains have learned that marijuana is indeed psychoactivly euphoric. Baclofen has very similar properties.
I hope this look into the somewhat-obscure drug baclofen is at least an interesting read!
@lostgurl: Baclofen is indicated for the treatment of muscle spasticity associated with MS and Spinal Cord Injuries, it is sometimes used for spasticity in Stroke, Cerebral Palsy and Parkinsons Disease, but this is off-license.
It is NOT a downer/sleeping pill in the traditional sense, and SWIJ wonders whether this should be moved to "Various". However, it undoubtedly has effects at GABA receptors, and so maybe it is more appropriate here.
Is phenibut a generic or brand name? I've never heard of it before. And on the subject of moving the thread, Jatelka is absolutely right. Although baclofen is a GABA-B agonist it doesn't have the sedative-hypnotic properties that would make it a "downer/sleeping pill" canidate. In fact, I was rather surprised to find falling asleep or even keeping still very difficult. There was pointless, repetitive behaviour observed during the second half of the day, akin to the repetition of movement seen with amphetamine intoxication. I really should write a report on baclofen because it was so unique and educational. I have a totally different perspective on GABA receptors and the role of GABA in the CNS. There's more to the neurotransmittor than what a benzo or barb would lead you to believe.
SWIM took 4 X 10 mg baclofen last night but did not feel any euphoria, when she started to feel tired she lay down and could feel her heart beating hard, but not in a scary way, she thought this would prevent her from falling asleep but she slept very well and today SWIM felt very mellow. Overall SWIM thought it to be very useful as a sleep aid but perhaps a bigger dose is required for recreational purposes.
SWIM took 8 of the 10 mg ones once. He felt VERY dizzy and disoriented for about 12 hours and didn't much enjoy it. That's the only time he's ever tried it but he knows of some very dumb friends who did 20 on multiple occasions. One of them OD'ing and ending up in a 2 day coma after taking 25-30. Obviously SWIM doesn't recommend this he's just telling what he knows to be the approximate overdose range.
Swiy's experience sounds a lot like Swims experience taking doses of gabapentin along with different varieties of muscle relaxers and opiates(all prescribed for pain/trying to find the best combo for said pain). When taken without opiates the experience was similar to the one swiy had, except no vivid dreams. With opiates it was slightly euphoric(low doses opiates), with the dreams.
F.Y.I Baclofen is not for recreational use and can be fatal if abused in that manner. The human tolerance is about 120mg(oral) a day and should be taken in intervals not all at once. I hope no one is trying to get high from a medication used to treat moderate to severe spasiticity . I know this because I have been on baclofen since 2004 to treat a movement disorder caused by a spinal cord injury. I have an intrathecal baclofen pump implanted in me which cuts off all side affects of the medication because baclofen is pumped directly in the intrathecal space of the spine and does not have to go through the body to reach the affected area. Because there is no cure for spasiticity this is the next best and benificial treatment for it. Baclofen is also very addictive and withdraw from both oral and intrathecal baclofen also can be fatal. Again I cannot stress enough that baclofen is not a recreational drug and should not be used in that manner.
Baclofen tends to have an additive depressant effect when taken with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines or other "Downers". It can exacerbate psychosis, mania and confusional states. It lowers the seizure threshold, and should be avoided in those with a history of seizures.
Baclofen can cause acute urinary retention, it also causes hypotension and syncope has been reported.
Here's a (copy n pasted from the BNF) list of AE's:
Re: Baclofen info ,experiences and insights needed
Originally Posted by Jatelka
There's a bit on Baclofen over in "Various", so this probably sits better over there (have you UTFSE?)
Swim is sorry for posting it here – he thought this was the right section as it said Sceletal muscle relaxants and he thought that baclofen should fall under this category – He got confused.
Swim did use the search engine and there is plenty of info – it mostly contains info about withdrawals and what it is used for.
But there seems to be very little about the length of time before signs of withdrawal appear, and the dosage taken during this time.
Swim is not trying to waste time but he really needs to know this before he makes an informed decision.
Swim was diagnosed with fibromyalgia recently – Before being diagnosed swim used various opiates to counteract the pain – but that obviously led to problems because of swims drug history, and substance abusive , addictive personality.
He started four days ago using baclofen and it was absolute Godsend.
It was so effective that he stopped immediately with opiate use, and the quality of life was so improved that he immediately requested more working hours.
Now swim needs to make that decision whether to continue or not.
In one hand it has improved the quality of his life dramatically .
On the other hand swim has had enough withdrawals in his life time, and is confused which is the lesser evil.
Last but not least – swim would consult a doctor but he currently lives in a country that health professionals are not exactly advanced.
Most of them did not know what fibromyalgia was ,and very few of them knew what baclofen is.
That is why I decided to investigate it further in DF
Swim has access to 25 mg baclofen tablets and has achieved a drunk-like relaxing high after taking 50-75 mg. It takes about an hour to become noticeable and lasts for several hours, and there is a sort of energetic antidepressant effect that can last for hours after the main effects have greatly diminished. Swim has also taken 25 mg and just experienced a very mild relaxant effect at this dose. No tiredness was noticed at either dose, and in fact swim found that he could not sleep for at least several hours after taking 75 mg. He believes that baclofen is a GABA-B agonist, unlike benzos which are GABA-A agonists, and its half-life is much shorter (3-4 hours) than most benzos. He has also read numerous reports of baclofen being a very helpful long-term treatment for alcohol addiction.
SWIM's age is 24 and weight approximately 85 kg. (around 185 pounds). No other factors that would be likely to influence personal reaction to baclofen, apart from no longer drinking alcohol after being a heavy drinker (swim had an interest in baclofen to help him stay sober, but managed to do that without needing baclofen regularly).
By the way, if anyone knows of a safe way of taking something extra at night to help with insomnia caused by baclofen, can they please let swim know? He is aware that baclofen has sedating effects for some people but in his case it just seems to keep him awake at night for hours.
perhaps swim didn't ingest enough. will swiy share the mg dose taken when swiy felt the most come-on? i see that it was taken incrimentally at first, but swim wants a full on fun fest from the start. swim has said RX in cabinet downstairs, but when swim took it, she felt nada... perhaps swim needs to boost the mg intake. Thanks for the great description of swiy's experience
Swim realises that swiy's question was directed at the OP, so he apologises for butting in here for just a minute...he just wants to say that baclofen has a very variable effect in people from what he has heard. It can be a formidable drug with very harsh side effects for some people, especially if a lot is taken before tapering up to high doses. A slow rate of increasing the drug is often recommended for people who are prescribed it, including starting off with only 5 mg doses (yeah maybe that's too cautious but that's often how it is medically prescribed). It's also not a drug swim would like to get onto regularly and then have to suddenly quit cold turkey.
swim would have to say baclofen is very weak compared to GABA A agonists such as benzodiazepines, alcohol, barbiturates, soma (carisoprodol,meprobamate is major metabolite). swim has extensive experience from years and years with benzodiazepines like clonazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, temezepam, and so on. also with barbiturates. swim has a ton of experience with phenobarbital (usually a 300mg dose is good), and butalbital (swim has extraced from fioricet. and tons of experience with alcohol, and carisoprodol (used to buy them online all the time and now has a prescription from his own doctor).
Baclofen is much like phenibut, as it is a phenyl derivative of GABA. swim likes phenibut when he can't get his other meds. baclofen is similar, maybe a little stronger and with a cleaner feeling. not injesting grams of powder, ect. (swim needs like 5-10 g of phenibut). but swim has to say, baclofen feels pretty good. swim took an interest in it after enjoying phenibut, and asked his doctor for some. he got prescribed like 80mg/day. swim tried about 100mg over the day but never really noticed much. it wasn't untill a couple of days later that swim injested baclofen and really enjoyed it's mild effects. definately does not make swim drowsy in any way. but it really kills anxiety. and it does make his body feel good. he also feels talkative, like an anti depressant may be, which swim has never done. well it's kind of like when swim is on pregabalin. he wants to talk to people, instead of retreat from his surroundings and the people, as he has a bad anxiety disorder. baclofen obliterates anxiety, which is a really good use for the drug. with all the talkativeness, slight euphoria/relaxation, this might be where people compare to ghb. the only thing close to that swim has done is 1,4 butanediol, and really has no reccolection of that time period.
so, baclofen: anxiety reduction, calmness, talkaitvenss, mild euphoria, ect. no real negative sides. but it is very, very, mild. swim may go get some today and try again, since it's been many months since use. he has used hundreds and hundreds but built a big tolerance. maybe swims post will continue if he gets some and tries again.