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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-24-2012, 02:09 AM
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I take 20 mg every few hours during periods of high stress which has been a long time now but I try to take 10 mg if things are a bit less stressed. I am not sure about it yet because I want to reduce and am a bit worried that I am going to be on it for life. I hope not. I am not sure how to reduce and when. I actually take more than 60 mg a day sometimes and have gone up as far as about 160 mg a day. I don't take an extra large dose for periods of stress, I increase the frequency according to how I feel.

Last edited by Otter; 01-24-2012 at 02:11 AM..
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:29 AM
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I don't think you should worry too much Otter, unless you ever find benzo-style tolerance and other problems happening with baclofen. It doesn't sound to have benzo-style problems from the posts I've read on here, and drugs forums also seem to show that recreational drug users don't regularly take it. Phenibut (chemically baclofen without one chlorine atom) is said to be addictive, but I think it has properties that baclofen doesn't.

It's probably my best hope at present of keeping off alcohol and other substances, together with Antabuse as an added alcohol deterrent. I have just started on it again today, at 12.5 mg so far.

(Also, gradual tapering off baclofen could be done if problems did arise.)

Last edited by Greg; 01-24-2012 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:53 PM
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I have never been on a benzo so I am not able to offer a comparison. I suspect that benzos would be more effective for “my head is going to explode” moments. I am on the lowest dose of baclofen that I’ve been on since I started, 60 mg a day, sometimes 80, but the effects have not diminished over the four months I have been on it. This past weekend was really busy and I missed an entire day’s dose. The effect was incredible. My anxiety was off the wall, and I panicked, and almost cried, while shopping. I do not believe it was withdrawal because the state I was in used to be normal for me when I was under a stress, and I was under some stress at that moment. I used to drink for relief from that hell.

I wish I could say that anxious thoughts go away on baclofen but that is not true for me, at least not at this dose. They have considerably reduced, are less obsessive, and rarely get to the point of being the force that drives me. I am also working at recognizing and dismissing those kinds of thoughts but with limited success.

At higher doses on baclofen, those kinds of thoughts reduced even more, but the cost in energy, focus and feeling crappy was too much to make it a fair trade. Around the 200 mg level, my anxiety greatly increased. That seems to be a common experience and is one reason why I am dubious about anxiety being at the root of why baclofen works for cravings. Which is not to say that a lower dose of baclofen doesn’t help ease my anxiety. It does but it works subtly enough that I only grasped its impact when I went off it for a day.

I should add that I have quit smoking too and am using nicotine replacements. The head-exploding incident while shopping happened about ten days after my last cig, so I don’t believe nicotine was a factor. I should have been having those panic moments the first few days after quitting. I have tried to quit smoking dozens of times using every method that money can buy. This time, while on baclofen, quitting has been effortless in comparison to those past attempts. Another big difference is that I have not felt compelled to use anything as a substitute for the act of smoking, so I haven’t gotten even fatter than I already am! Again, I have an inkling that baclofen reduced my cravings for nicotine in some way unrelated to its impact on my anxiety. I hope that makes sense.

Your new plan with baclofen and antabuse sounds like a winner. Keeping the valium on hand for emergencies sounds like a good idea too. Good luck with it.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:11 PM
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Thanks GingerDust. Another thing I have found helpful is L-tryptophan, at the dose recommended on the bottle, 3 x 500 mg daily taken separately to meals and other amino acids. I take vitamin B3 and B6 at the same time. It seems to work best after taking it for a few days, and some tiredness can happen initially. Although it doesn't feel like either baclofen or a benzodiazepine, it does seem to reduce obsessive type thinking and anxiety for me, and produce a calmness in general. I have never heard of it producing tolerance or dependence. It should NOT be taken by anyone who also takes serotonin-increasing antidepressants, however, as the combination has a risk of producing serotonin syndrome. Tryptophan was used together with antidepressants in trials done years ago with no apparent problems, but I wouldn't risk it. Most of today's antidepressants are serotonin-increasing, by the way.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:43 AM
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Greg, I have tried 5HTP and I think it is the same thing as L-tryptophan. My stomach throws tantrums at the slightest provocation, and the 5HTP made it mad. I have just about given up on all the supplements because of gut problems. As long as I can do a daily vit and the baclofen, it should be okay.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by GingerDust View Post
Greg, I have tried 5HTP and I think it is the same thing as L-tryptophan. My stomach throws tantrums at the slightest provocation, and the 5HTP made it mad. I have just about given up on all the supplements because of gut problems. As long as I can do a daily vit and the baclofen, it should be okay.
I had digestive problems when trying 5-HTP too, but am able to take L-tryptophan without any problem. Although both are converted to serotonin (and other substances) once taken, I think I recall reading that 5-HTP can be converted throughout your system and lead to a fair bit of serotonin being in places other than the brain. This could be why it causes digestive troubles. Someone who knows more about supplements could say more, and I think there is a thread about this in the Holistic section too.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Greg View Post
I would like to ask a question of anyone who has been taking baclofen on a daily basis for a long time now, whether it is low or high dose use.

Does baclofen maintain its anxiety-reducing effects after daily long-term use? I ask because I am looking for an alternative to daily benzodiazepine use, but have not yet taken baclofen every day for long periods. I have found it helpful this way for the short periods I have taken it. I have told my doctor I now want to wean off benzodiazepines permanently, and he is unlikely to reinstate my prescribed Valium once I am off it. I would just stay on benzos like Valium or Xanax except that I am too worried about tolerance setting in, having to go up to higher doses, and then having to wean off those high doses.

Before I actually do stop all benzo use, I would like to know there is something else (medication wise) that can offer a long-term way of feeling calm and relaxed, without being limited by tolerance. Apart from baclofen, I have also considered a few of the anticonvulsants, and may try the antidepressant mirtazapine (Remeron) again. Unfortunately, the herbal/natural things I have tried have been ineffective at the doses normally sold, apart from L-tryptophan having some helpful effects.

Any experiences would be greatly appreciated. I know there is an anxiety thread already but am not sure how much of the information there is applicable to long-term daily use of baclofen as an anxiolytic.
I am so grateful that I found this site. I have been taking 20 mgs of Baclofen with no side effects for almost 20 years. I am now recovering from knee surgery and the dr. here got hysterical when she found out that I had been on Baclofen for that long and immediately (w/o my permission) cut the dosage to 10 mgs. After 2 days, I became incredibly stressed and couldn't sleep. Thank goodness my DH brought me Baclofen from my own (legal) prescription. I know it's addicting, but it seems that with an addiction you always crave more and more and I never have. Of course, I'm now taking Percoset (which I hate) for pain. I probably shouldn't be posting on this site since I have never had a problem with alcohol (rarely drink) -- of course, Baclofen may be why!! Anyway, thank you all for your comments!!! It was originally prescribed to me for muscle spasms. I remember that I was sleepy the 1st 2 days -- and had the best sleep ever --- but no side effects since. So far, a wonderful drug!!! And it still works for me!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:17 PM
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I know it's addicting, but it seems that with an addiction you always crave more and more and I never have.
Cope

Welcome. Nice post. But I don't think there is any evidence that baclofen is addicting. Any at all.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:32 AM
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A few points:

I came off Baclofen more or less cold turkey after getting up to high doses of 150 mg. I found that a lot of the anxiety I had was because the Baclofen kept wearing off. When I started titrating down I got very edgy throughout the day and had to push up my dose again.

I do think that Baclofen has long term benefits because I now feel much calmer and have what I would describe as a normal anxiety response whereas when I started taking it I had a very serious anxiety problem.

Baclofen is, from my own experience of coming off it, not addictive. I have no desire to take it and even coming off it I was not looking for it and only took it reluctantly because the anxiety was becoming unpleasant. In fact, it is so "not addictive" that I don't like the idea of taking it up again. You get shakes coming off it but that is not a sign of addiction, just withdrawal symptoms.

Baclofen differs from benzos in that the latter are addictive and you do reach for them as they wear off. They are hard to come off and even after coming off the original anxiety continues.

My feeling is that long term Baclofen use for anxiety does have a cumulative and prolonged after effect of eliminating symptoms of anxiety.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerry Blue View Post
A few points:

I came off Baclofen more or less cold turkey after getting up to high doses of 150 mg. I found that a lot of the anxiety I had was because the Baclofen kept wearing off. When I started titrating down I got very edgy throughout the day and had to push up my dose again.

I do think that Baclofen has long term benefits because I now feel much calmer and have what I would describe as a normal anxiety response whereas when I started taking it I had a very serious anxiety problem.

Baclofen is, from my own experience of coming off it, not addictive. I have no desire to take it and even coming off it I was not looking for it and only took it reluctantly because the anxiety was becoming unpleasant. In fact, it is so "not addictive" that I don't like the idea of taking it up again. You get shakes coming off it but that is not a sign of addiction, just withdrawal symptoms.

Baclofen differs from benzos in that the latter are addictive and you do reach for them as they wear off. They are hard to come off and even after coming off the original anxiety continues.

My feeling is that long term Baclofen use for anxiety does have a cumulative and prolonged after effect of eliminating symptoms of anxiety.
Hi Kerry,

I know that benzodiazepines are a lot different to baclofen for many people, probably most people in fact.

For me however, your situation with baclofen was almost exactly the same situation I encountered when taking Xanax every day for a long time. I didn't psychologically want or crave it, and didn't increase my daily dose or abuse it, but I did find anxiety and other unpleasant symptoms arising in between doses. Luckily I was able to postpone taking more of it at such times, whereas a lot of people would reach for more, as you said. Things became really difficult (withdrawals) when I tried cutting it down, so I ended up switching over to Valium (longer half life so much smoother) and tapering down off that.

Please note that I'm not trying to write a pro-benzo post here, just saying that I was lucky enough to have avoided some of the addictive feelings others develop towards these drugs.

I'm glad to hear that you have found baclofen to have a prolonged anxiety reducing action too. I have been on and off it so much now that I should start from scratch with it, and I should have pushed through my side effects (insomnia in particular) early on when I first tried it back in 2009 or 2010.

Good luck in your own battle!
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