Spasticity caused by various medical conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord is often treated by using Lioresal. In particular, the drug can help treat spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury or disease, or cerebral palsy. It is believed to work by inhibiting certain nerve signals. "Off-label" uses may include the treatment of chronic hiccups, alcoholism, and bladder spasms.
Lioresal® (baclofen) is a prescription medication used to treat spasticity. Specifically, the tablet form is approved to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injury or disease. The injectable form (which delivers the medication directly to the spinal cord using a pump) is approved to treat severe spasticity due to various causes, including MS, spinal cord injury or disease, or cerebral palsy.
Spasticity is the continual contraction of muscles. This can result in pain and loss of function, and can interfere with walking, speaking, and movement. Over time, the muscles may actually shorten, which can result in significant deformity, as well as severe loss of function. Spasticity is usually the result of damage to the brain or spinal cord.
It is not fully understood exactly how Lioresal works to treat spasticity. The medication is chemically similar to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical messenger in the central nervous system. The primary activity of GABA is to inhibit nerve signals, and Lioresal might have actions that are similar to this.
Lioresal intrathecal infusion (delivered directly to the spinal cord by a pump) works to provide the medication directly to the spinal cord. This, to some extent, spares the rest of the body from side effects.
Lioresal tablets have not been approved for use in children younger than 12 years of age, although this medication is frequently used in younger children. Lioresal intrathecal injection is approved for children as young as four years old.