Lioresal is a prescription drug used to treat spasticity caused by several conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries. It is not exactly clear how the drug works, but it is thought to inhibit nerve signals. It comes in the form of a tablet or as an intrathecal injection that pumps the medication directly into the spinal cord. Potential side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and weakness.
What Is Lioresal?
Lioresal® (baclofen) is a prescription medication approved to treat spasticity. The tablet form is approved for treating spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injuries or diseases. The injectable version (which is used in a pump that delivers the medication directly to the spinal cord) is approved to treat severe spasticity due to various causes, including MS, spinal cord injuries or diseases, or cerebral palsy.
Brand-name Lioresal injection is made by Novartis Pharma and is distributed and marketed by Medtronic, Inc. Brand-name Lioresal tablets are no longer manufactured, although generic versions are still available and are made by various manufacturers.
How Does It Work?
It is not fully understood exactly how Lioresal works to treat spasticity. The drug 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.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed March 18, 2009.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed March 18, 2009.
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