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  • Results 1 to 6 of 6
    1. #1
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      Has anyone done a Baclofen "Reset"?

      Or in other words has anyone come off it so they could re-start using it again at lower doses?

      I've been on Bac now for 4+ years. In the first couple of years it was very successful at helping me go AF and then cutting down drinking to less than most non Alcoholics. I still drink much less than most of my friends and family.

      However I am now at 300 to 400mg a day, which gets bloody expensive. Also lately drinking has been creeping back into my life for physiological reasons, not cravings so much but a perceived 'need' to use alcohol to reduce work related anxiety. I do not use much (two beers at lunch time today to address anxiety) but its more than I want to drink.

      When I first started on bac I slowly went up from 15mg to 30mg to about 120mg then down to 100mg and that worked so well for the longest time. Now I feel my system has become completely accustomed to high doses of Bac and I am wondering if I should come off for a period of time to let my system reset, and then restart bac at a much lower dosage again.

      Does anyone have any experience? FYI this high dosage is not under medical supervision, Im not prescribed this high a dosage.

    2. #2
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      is sober because of Baclofen.
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      Re: Has anyone done a Baclofen "Reset"?

      It's common once you've been indifferent for awhile to titrate down. If cravings return, bump up some and that is your maintenance dose. If you go so far down that you lose your indifference, start drinking again, and have to titrate up, it seems like some have to go even higher. Maybe a lot higher. I did what you are doing and started drinking for stress relief after being indifferent at 250. I relapsed hard, ended up in the hospital with DTs, and had to go up to 310 to find indifference again. Learn from my mistake! Find another stress reliever and don't use AL!!

      One last comment... some who lose their indifference for whatever reason can't get it back. I don't know why. It works differently for people. I don't think we should take it for granted.

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    4. #3
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      Re: Has anyone done a Baclofen "Reset"?

      I was indifferent for 4 months last summer and then gradually started drinking again then I came off it for a few days and started titrating up again but it didn't work so recently came off it completely for about 2 months and I'm now up to 175mg and hoping for indifference again.
      And the year before the same thing happened and I needed a period of time off it to reach indifference again.

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    6. #4
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      Re: Has anyone done a Baclofen "Reset"?

      I totally agree with Mom. I have read many, many stories of folks who for whatever reason have lost their switch. Finding this again is certainly a bitch to get too.

      As regards the OP, I am sorry i have no words of advice, just good luck and keep us posted


      I am not a Doctor - I am an alcoholic.
      Thoughts expressed here are my own, often poorly put together and littered with atrocious grammar and spelling.
      AF since 2nd January 2016.

    7. #5
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      Re: Has anyone done a Baclofen "Reset"?

      Several years ago there were a few people on this site who went through the experience of coming off baclofen completely, after achieving sobriety. I think, if you hunt, you might find a thread about this.

      What happened was that people came off baclofen for one reason or another, either they ran out of baclofen, or they weren't taking it properly, or in sufficient quantities, and the drinking crept back up and they returned to drinking.

      The question then was whether it was possible to achieve the "switch" again and how long it would take. My recollection was that it is more difficult the second time and this caused some people a lot of anxiety.

      About a year into my wife's treatment she stopped taking baclofen. The reason for this was that she had been working up to the "switch" by taking large divided doses and she could not tolerate the side effects. I had read Ameisen's book and found no information in it about how to take baclofen other than that he took three divided doses. So, that's what my wife did, on my advice.

      The stress of things, like my job, was getting to both of us and she just couldn't deal with it all, including the baclofen and she just threw in the towel and started drinking, which turned into very heavy drinking and a total relapse. The whole circumstances made it impossible to restart her on baclofen. This was before the Prescribing Guidelines came out and at a time where no doctor knew the right way to use baclofen so it was pretty scary. That's when we got in touch with Dr. Heydtmann who detoxed my wife in hospital and then prescribed HDB and wrote to our GP. The GP was reluctant to go over 100mg but we got enough bac to get going with it again. I took time off work and began overseeing the dosage. My wife was in a horrific state.

      What was very concerning, at that time, was that I wondered whether this treatment could work at all, or whether one was just doomed to fail and revert to even more serious drinking. There was just no way of knowing what the future held. No one had any experience of this. I did find someone who had come off baclofen and gone through what he described as an "armageddon" before getting back on it but he said it was a very rocky road and much more difficult the second time around. No idea why that was, but it proved to be true for us. My wife went back in at a very high dose, not titrating up at all. The doctor felt this was ok because she had just come off baclofen so would be used to the side effects. There's no problem starting at a high dose if you can tolerate the side effects.

      Anyway, this did sober my wife up. She stopped drinking immediately, but her mental state was bizarre. She was in a zombie like state for about a week, wandering round the house like a creature out of a horror movie. After a week of this, she was semi-normal on the Saturday, so we went out to a park for a walk and then went out for dinner on Saturday evening. Great...so I thought, but I had a worry in the back of my mind because she had sobered up by taking a lot of baclofen through the day and it was me who was overseeing it, making sure she took it. When she came to her senses on the Saturday, she had no recollection of what had gone on, so she stopped taking the baclofen altogether. By Sunday morning she had gone into a state of complete frenzy. My son went to a friends for a sleep over and I had to deal with this situation. I couldn't get her to take baclofen in her state of mind, called the doctor who suggested getting her into hospital but I had tried this during the week and the hospital would not accept her. I couldn't get a doctor to come to the house, so I had no choice but to leave the house, for my own safety. When I got back, the police were there because she could be heard from inside the house by neighbours who thought they would "help". They took her off to the police station and held her overnight, without any baclofen, until Monday evening when she was released.

      She was much improved but wanting to get back on the baclofen which she did, but also had such severe cravings that she began drinking. This experience was a real shock to the system. I can't remember much about the Tuesday but on the Wednesday we had arranged for our son to be baptised. On the Wednesday morning, my wife was in a horrible state of mind. I didn't think she would make it to the church and the rest of the family were saying they wouldn't go if she was drunk, so I contacted my GP, who wouldn't come out, and tried to get a prescription for something, like diazapam to calm her down. No chance. Then I had the bright idea of calling an ambulance and seeing if they could examine her and give her some diazapam. They turned up and I explained the situation. However, they decided to call the police who attended with them. Then, our GP turned up and I got talking to a police officer about my wife's behaviour, particularly towards me. The next thing I knew, the ambulance was driving off with my wife in it. I had wanted her to be taken to our local hospital which is where her doctor is who prescribes baclofen. But, no, she was being taken to a big inner city hospital emergency. Our doctor said that "any emergency" would do. I ran after the ambulance in a state of panic because I knew that my wife was so far-gone that no one would be able to treat her and she would lash out.

      The next call I had was from the police saying she had been taken to the police station due to her behaviour at the hospital.

      From there on, the standard, usual things happened which happen to any old drunk who turns up at a hospital A and E. I gave a lengthy statement to the police about why she was the way she was, about her stroke, her use of baclofen, her reaction to having stopped abruptly for a few days, how baclofen withdrawal causes crazy wild behaviour. I gave them the doctors name. He assured me that this behaviour was consistent with alcohol and/or baclofen withdrawal, that the timing was consistent with delirium trements.

      You know what? None of it made a hill of beans worth of difference. No one spoke to the doctor, or gave my wife's lawyer the statement I had provided. It was all blamed on alcoholism and no mention made of her treatment at all. The hospital ordered the doctor not to speak to anyone or give any statements.

      This situation rumbled along for two years until I quit my job and went to court for my wife. I got into a series of arguments with the judge who would aim both barrels at me whenever I turned up. She tried to order psychiatric reports, for instance, from the hospital which had overseen the baclofen treatment at our home which led up to this mess. When I tried to explain this, I was virtually told to shut up. That caused months of delays but we got to a point where the judge agreed that nothing should be done to my wife and the judge reserved the case to herself. All this time, my wife had not been in court and I couldn't get her there because it stressed her out and she would drink.

      So, success! After the judge said she would deal with the case as I had suggested, I got my wife to court and the judge didn't turn up, so another judge stepped in and decided to "deal with it" himself. So, that was the end of it, I thought because there was no prospect of her being punished etc etc because of her illness, but she wound up on a probation order and was able to show that baclofen did, indeed, work. During that time we were invited to a child care case conference intended to remove our son from our parental control. As we arrived at the hearing, my wife slipped in the car park and fractured her ankle, requiring surgery and insertion of plates in her leg. She was in a wheel chair for five months after that and put on about 80lbs. As a result she had surgery for a gastric band. Because of the injury, I went to the child welfare hearing by myself and produced a letter from the Social Worker saying they were satisfied with how my wife was doing on baclofen and they had no need to be involved with us. So, that was all thrown out.

      We then put our house up for sale and left the country.

      Here, you can get baclofen without a prescription, and Campral, but not diazapam, because it's much more dangerous!

      So, yes, you can do a reset of baclofen. But it's probably best just to stick to the Prescribing Guidelines. If anyone wonders why I chose to translate them into English, that's why.



      Olivier Ameisen

      In addiction, suppression of symptoms should suppress the disease altogether since addiction is, as he observed, a "symptom-driven disease". Of all "anticraving medications used in animals, only one - baclofen - has the unique property of suppressing the motivation to consume cocaine, heroin, alcohol, nicotine and d-amphetamine"

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    9. #6
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      Re: Has anyone done a Baclofen "Reset"?

      Adam - just checking into the forum after a long while. How did this go, or what did you do?

      You wrote that you felt that your "system had become completely accustomed to high doses of Bac". Did you mean that it would perhaps become less effective? That's not the way it works, in my understanding. It's not like your body will acclimatize to the dosage, and therefore the cravings can creep back in. Your level at which you reach some sort of indifference is the level you should stay on for a while. My own journey has been crazy, with ups and downs of dosages. I thought at 180 I'd reached it, which is kind of laughable in retrospect. I've been on baclofen for 7 1/2 years. I just recently pushed up again to 360, from the 320 and 340 I'd been coasting on, yet still having incredible relapses. For the last 4 months I've been taking 360 - just a 20 mg push up, but I feel it's made all of the difference. It's quite perfect.

      You wrote that you were having a beer or two at lunch. If that's truly all, then you're truly ok. But yes, you wrote that it was a perceived need, around work anxiety. Man, I'm no stranger to that. Work anxiety gets to me often. And I sometimes have that old thought of a drink or a smoke. And before my last push up, I may have succumbed to it. I have to ask, and sorry to sound pedantic or whatever - are you exercising? You have to. Real, cardiovascular exercise. Get a sweat on. For just 20 minutes, whatever you can manage. Endorphin release, stress relief. Just a fact. If I don't do it regularly, work stress is intolerable.

      Looks like your level is in the mid 300's. You're not binging out, seems like it's under control. I'm way late to the thread here, but I wouldn't restart. Find an outlet for stress relief - we all need it. That's normal. Longish post. Is this helpful to you/anyone?

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