Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Experience With Baclofen

Early in my MS career, I told the neurologist that I was experiencing unusual tightness in my calves. His recommendations were yoga, swimming, plenty of fluids and potassium-rich foods. These strategies helped somewhat, but not completely, and I certainly didn’t know how to properly stretch my muscles.

At home, I would talk about how knotted my calves were and the response I received was something like this: “Good grief, Lisa!! What did you do?” My response: “Absolutely nothing, and this is not as bad as it usually gets.”

So it wasn’t until the enormous, never-ending (seemingly) relapse I experienced last winter/spring that the neurologist and I discussed spasticity. Basically, the back of my legs were pulled so tight that I couldn’t extend them to stand straight. It was excruciating.

Also, I couldn’t stand from a chair or the sofa without pulling on a table. On Day 3 of a 5-day course of IV Solumedrol, I actually could stand up from a seated position. The moment was thrilling!!

A month later the spasticity was returning and my neurologist prescribed Oral baclofen (Linosenil®). Following the titration schedule described below, I found a therapeutic level. At first I did experience increased fatigue as a side effect, but that dissipated after 3-5 days. I was so nice when my legs could be completely straightened and I could walk more easily. The increased mobility was most welcome.

Rest this post in its entirety:

Taking Baclofen and Stretching for MS-Related Spasticity

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