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Extreme reaction to Baclofen - any ideas?

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Mary, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    I had been doing pretty well with a cocktail of sleep supplements (l-theanine, niacin, 5-htp, inositol, glycine, melatonin, vitamin C), and was tapering off 1 mg. lorazepam (taken in the middle of the night) for sleep (after looong use - 10 years). Anyways, I was managing it and then a few weeks a go my sleep took a nosedive, it coincided with getting down to 0.125 mg. lorazepam (after a very slow taper), but also I started andrographis and that may have affected my sleep. I am cutting out the andrographis to see if it will help.

    Anyways, I would sleep well for 3 or 4 hours, and then have trouble getting any real sleep after that. I started taking Seriphos thinking perhaps cortisol was elevated in the middle of the night (it worked before) but that did not seem to be the case.

    So I finally asked my nurse practitioner for Baclofen. She gave me 10 mg. to take at night, but I tend to react quite strongly to meds so I cut it in quarters and 2 nights ago took 2.5 mg. of Baclofen at 2:00 a.m. And felt it within 10 or 15 minutes and was drugged and tired all day yesterday, and even some today. I did not take any more last night.

    I don't know what's going on, why I should still feel drugged. I wondered about Baclofen and serotonin syndrome thought I don't really have the symptoms. Any ideas? I do feel better today than yesterday .....
     
  2. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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    I've had rx for Baclofen for about 10 years and I have a tendency to feel very groggy when I take 10mg at night, even though it does help me to have a really solid night of sleep. I seem to react to it similarly to Benadryl which also makes me groggy. I've been meaning to try 5mg but I keep forgetting. 2.5mg seems like a very small dose to still get the grogginess. It could be that this drug just doesn't work for you, or perhaps taking an even smaller dosage could work, especially because you say that you feel better overall.

    Baclofen has no ability to cause Serotonin Syndrome, so don't worry about that.
     
  3. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Thanks @Basilico. I initially thought that Baclofen could not cause Serotonin Syndrome, but when I googled it, I found that there have been reports of this. I don't know what the mechanism for this would be however. I had increased my 5-htp, hoping that would help with sleep, and then wondered if it had interacted negatively somehow with the Baclofen. Also the niacin and l-theanine both enhance or help produce GABA so I thought maybe it was overkill with Baclofen, but my sleep was so poor after the initial 3 or 4 hours, I thought it shouldn't be a problem.

    Yeah, I know 2.5 mg is not much but I do react strongly to meds. e.g., I tried trazodone a few times for sleep and even a small dose (10 mg. or so, obtained by cutting a 50 mg. tablet into pieces) left me tired and drugged all day - There seems to be a fine line between sleep and drugged! :confused: It's crazy - I do still feel drugged today, though not as bad as yesterday.

    Do try cutting your Baclofen pill sometime - I hate feeling drugged and tired!
     
  4. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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    @Mary, I think there is a really good chance that by increasing your 5HTP and taking the other supplements, they potentiated the Baclofen and caused you to have a much stronger grogginess reaction. It would be interesting to try the Baclofen on it's own and see if you respond differently.
     
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  5. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member

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    I take baclofen for muscle spasms and abnormal movements. It's main use (in the UK) is as a muscle relaxant, for example my friend with MS had a baclofen pump like they use for morphine or insulin. It is also used in a single dose to relax muscles for medical examinations in people with things like cerebral palsy.

    I think you might be gettting muscle weakness the next day. The dose for spasms has to be calculated so that you can still walk! I would like a higher dose to get rid of more of the movements but it stops me walking.

    Strangely, it doesn't affect my sleep at all.

    Mithriel
     
  6. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Hi @Mithriel - I think for me it's more than muscle weakness. I was very groggy and tired, and it was a very small dose. I'd read about other people on the board here who took it for sleep and it seemed to be one of the safer drugs - supposedly it's non-habit-forming. It's also a GABA agonist, which supposedly would enhance sleep. Interesting that it doesn't help your sleep!

    You're right, it is a muscle relaxer and generally prescribed for MS and muscle spasms.

    As suggested by @Basilico, I'm going to go back to my original 5-htp dose, and cut back a little on my other GABA supplements, and try 1/8 of a tablet before bed. I've taken Benadryl 2 nights in a row now and it has helped knock me out, but it's not a good remedy.
     
  7. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois Prairie ❀❤✿Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ✿❤❀

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    I occasionally take 5 mg Baclofen when I do not have to do anything the next day. I does make me groggy and very unambitious.

    I once took it 4 out of 5 nights. On the 6th day I did not wake up until mid-afternoon and did not make it out of bed until evening.

    It seem to be better at keeping me asleep during the day than helping my sleep at night. This could be partly due to the fact that I have an inverted sleep cycle. I am experimenting with taking it longer and longer before bedtime.
     
  8. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Maybe you should cut the baclofen even further, e.g., down to 2.5 mg?

    I'm beginning to think that my extreme reaction (more than one day) to 2.5 mg baclofen may have coincided with some sort of detox reaction to something else. It's a long story. I took Benadryl 2 nights in a row after the baclofen and the Benadryl seemed to leave me very tired and drugged all day as well, and ordinarily I am not that super-sensitive to it (though it never makes me feel good). But I used to be that sensitive when my liver was overloaded with toxins some 13 or 14 years ago.

    So I'm starting things (e.g., charcoal, Cholacol iI) to try to mop up toxins and last night took 2.5 mg baclofen again, this time before bed, and took my other usual stuff, and when I woke up in the middle of the night, I went right back to sleep, which never happens unless I'm very sick. And today am a bit drugged but actually overall feel better, so I think my toxin theory is panning out. Nothing is ever simple!

    re your inverted sleep cycle - I don't suppose melatonin would help with that?
     
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  9. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois Prairie ❀❤✿Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ✿❤❀

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    No, melatonin caused that. :grumpy:
     
  10. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Oh, sorry to hear that! :(
     
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  11. Braz

    Braz

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    @Mary,

    I don't know what happened, but I seem to recall that baclofen inhibits serotonin release. Baclofen withdrawal can cause serotonin syndrome, in extreme cases.

    In theory, benzo withdrawal can cause a serotonin rebound, it could have something to do with your supplements or you may just be drug sensitive ...

    Oh, for the heck of it ... : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2562298
    5-HTP ?
     
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  12. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Thanks @Braz - I looked at the link you provided, and from what my poor brain can decipher (which wasn't much! :confused:), I think it's saying that baclofen can increase 5-htp. That may be part of my reaction. I did finally realize that one dose of 2.5 mg of baclofen definitely left me drugged and tired for 2 entire days, so I have given up on it.

    My latest adventure is a Shiatsu chair massager which may be stimulating acupressure points for sleep in the mid-upper back .... it seemed to help, but then I got sick and started andrographis which my immune system likes a lot, but then I re-developed severe insomnia! which I think is related to the andrographis .... it's never-ending .....
     
  13. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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  14. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    No, I haven't tried that. I've done well with 5-htp for many years, so would rather take it than the Baclofen. I think 5-htp is something our bodies can use, it's a substance naturally found in our bodies, whereas Baclofen is a foreign manmade substance and does not exist outside of a lab. When I first started taking 5-htp maybe 13 years ago, I started sleeping better almost immediately.

    Strange as it may sound, the Shiatsu massager did seem to help my sleep, but then I think the andrographis disrupted it again, I think it stimulates my thyroid :confused: So no andrographis today and will see what happens (or doesn't!) tonight. Thanks for your input --:)
     
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