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  1. #1
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    My baclofen journey

    Hello all. I learned a lot about baclofen from forums like this, and baclofenman in particular. I also learned a lot from baclofene.com - a French site. France is a place where baclofen for alcoholism is widely used.

    I thought I'd make this thread even if I'm the only person posting on it, just as a record for others looking to explore this option. I was a long-term lurker on forums before I took the plunge.

    I started taking baclofen about 6 weeks ago. You can find a good summary of almost everything you need to know here Baclofen Treatment for Alcoholism.

    Over 6 weeks, I've titrated up to 100mg a day, in the following doses: 8am - 30mg. 12.00 - 30mg. 4pm - 40mg.

    While titrating up, I got hit by waves - crashing, overwhelming - waves of tiredness. I still get these in the evening - I fell asleep mid-sentence while reading to my little girl at bedtime.

    I also had bouts of diarrhoea when I went up a dose - short, sharp bouts of diarrhoea. That caused some hairy situations - but now I know, and I prep for it. It actually only really happened going from 60->70->80mg a day.

    I found two reliable places to buy it online - for about 16p a pill (10mg) (That's about 22 US cents, 18 euro cents). That's a lot - BUT, it's cheaper than booze. Baclofenman got his doctor to prescribe it - but that's rare in the UK - rare anywhere outside France. From what I see, that's quite cheap. I can post where I got it if the forum is cool with that.

    I feel 100mg is too low a dose to reach indifference BUT the all-consuming thirst come 5pm has ebbed. So - something is happening. It remains to be seen what.

    Also, the waves of tiredness have ebbed - except in the evening. I think that's because I'm still drinking, and apparently that can lead to shocking tiredness. I mean by this: can't keep your head upright, slouching mid sentence tired. Like a sort of 'comedy' narcolepsy - except I know that disease is no laughing matter.

    I kept drinking out of habit - and out of a sort of panic, that it was 5pm, and I could, so I should, cos I always do, and it made me a nicer, better person. (I'm not an angry drunk. I'm actually much more relaxed and agreeable when drunk.)

    This evening, I had 2 drinks around 530pm - I'm on my own, looking after my girl. I could hardly hold my head up for tiredness (not drunkenness - apparently drinking while on bac can lead to shocking tiredness). So... I stopped refilling at 6.30pm. I've been in a sort of panic since - I mean, what on earth is sober me supposed to do with himself? I'm so damn thirsty - not booze thirsty, proper old-fashioned dry mouth thirsty. It's 9pm, and I haven't drunk since 630pm - except tea.

    This is remarkable - but I don't think I could face the tiredness. But I'm sober at 9pm on a Saturday (well - two drinks three hours ago. Sober for me!).

    I'll keep the universe posted on how it goes. Early days, but this is interesting.
    Last edited by georgesmiley; October 23rd, 2020 at 03:27 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Re: My baclofen journey

    Just FYI I'm an after-work drinker. Not off the scale, not fall down drunk - but staggering around the house at 11pm. Never needed to go up from about a bottle of wine or five large gin'n'tonics/rum'n'cokes a night. Sometimes a bottle of wine AND a couple of spirits. Sometimes 6 large measures of spirit.

    So - I know I'm a lightweight compared to some. But I'm getting fat, and I've been drinking that much for years, and I get drunk when I'm looking after my kid, and ricochet of the walls in the hallway when I go to tuck her in at my bedtime. This is bad. And I can't stop. I've been to moderation management meetings, I've tried 'pulling myself together.' So - I'm a drunk.

    We'll see where this goes.

    My biggest fear is ... well, that I love, love, love drinking - the flavour, the feeling, the sense of calm. What can I do in its place? Drinking is what I do, it's who I am. I love what it does to me and for me.

    One of the things baclofen has done for me is extinguish, or at least dampen, that panic or anxiety or questing, searching, yearning feeling that has plagued me all my life. I've had a few moments where I've thought, 'Well... I wonder if this is what normal people feel like?"

    It's not like taking a clonazepam calm - that's lovely (and never been addicted to benzos - just had them odd times). It's not that 'swimming', warm feeling. It's something else - it's like the burning inside me has quietened down.
    Last edited by georgesmiley; October 23rd, 2020 at 03:35 PM.

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  5. #3
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    Re: My baclofen journey

    For those curious about the science behind baclofen, albeit from a French doctor who is committed to using it (which is controversial), then:

    Here is a discussion of the clinical experience/evidence: Frontiers | The Use of Baclofen as a Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Clinical Practice Perspective | Psychiatry

    Here he analyses how it might work: Frontiers | A Review of the Potential Mechanisms of Action of Baclofen in Alcohol Use Disorder | Psychiatry

    Both of these are substantial reads, and quite geeky - but some people like that level of depth (I'm one such). Many people don't, so if you aren't into reading science, then just stick to Baclofen Treatment for Alcoholism

  6. #4
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    Re: My baclofen journey

    Oh - and baclofen makes me snore. This is a common side effect. I've never really been a snorer before. It does this for two reasons, according to a bit of googling (again, France leads the way in research on this):

    1. It's a muscle relaxant, so the 'tone' in your neck muscles when you're sleeping can make tissues in your neck and jaw softer.

    2. It's also capable of provoking sleep apnoea of cerebral (ie, your brain) origin. I don't think I have this, but it can be a consequence of taking the drug.
    Last edited by georgesmiley; October 23rd, 2020 at 04:23 PM.

  7. #5
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    Re: My baclofen journey

    Hi @georgesmiley! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It sounds like you are heading towards "the switch" - a major tipping point! I found it utterly miraculous. And you're experiencing the wondrous anxiety relief as well.

    I know what you mean about loving the drinking, but it's good that you recognize how problematic it can be. My experience with baclofen (10 years) and with watching others on this board has been that the people who are the most successful are those who really work to distance themselves from the drink, and who build up a good amount of sober time. I've seen a lot of people on here and other forums who took bac, kept drinking and ended up right back where they started.

    I have really missed seeing people sharing their bac journies on here!
    Last edited by _serenity_; October 23rd, 2020 at 07:33 PM.

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  9. #6
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    Re: My baclofen journey

    Hey, @georgesmiley

    Thanks for sharing your story to date, as @_serenity_ says, it is nice to read new users stories. It, sort of, reminds us all of our own journeys, none of which are the same. There is no story the same, some make it some don't. This precious site is littered with stories and anecdotal writings, some of which are most inspirational.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgesmiley View Post
    Hello all. I learned a lot about baclofen from forums like this, and baclofenman in particular. I also learned a lot from baclofene.com - a French site. France is a place where baclofen for alcoholism is widely used.

    I thought I'd make this thread even if I'm the only person posting on it, just as a record for others looking to explore this option. I was a long-term lurker on forums before I took the plunge.

    I started taking baclofen about 6 weeks ago. You can find a good summary of almost everything you need to know here Baclofen Treatment for Alcoholism.
    The French site is a great site, I am a member and although I don't post a lot (my French is "Merde") but google translate is helpful. Incidentally a member of this forum is credited with translating the Prescribing Guide from French into an English version.

    Amanda's site is also a very hands on. She is committed to voicing Baclofen throughout Western Australia and beyond. I know she gained a lot of inspiration from this site and eoma.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgesmiley View Post

    Over 6 weeks, I've titrated up to 100mg a day, in the following doses: 8am - 30mg. 12.00 - 30mg. 4pm - 40mg.

    While titrating up, I got hit by waves - crashing, overwhelming - waves of tiredness. I still get these in the evening - I fell asleep mid-sentence while reading to my little girl at bedtime.

    I also had bouts of diarrhoea when I went up a dose - short, sharp bouts of diarrhoea. That caused some hairy situations - but now I know, and I prep for it. It actually only really happened going from 60->70->80mg a day.
    I think that seems a good titration regime. You are pretty full up when the cravings start around the 3pm to 5pm mark. Personally, I would keep the 8am and noon as they are and increase as needed the 4pm intake up to maybe 60mg and then add another slightly later, maybe 6pm or 7pm.

    I never had diarrhoea, I had awful constipation. Without being too graphic, I thought I was shitting a melon but the resultant product was nothing larger than usual. I guess Baclofen had in fact worked as a relaxant and I was unable to muscle out a small shit.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgesmiley View Post

    I fell asleep mid-sentence while reading to my little girl at bedtime.
    I assume you would have done that while drinking, pre Baclofen. That's fucking sad buddie but trust me, we have all been there. Watching my kids grow up with a fuckwit of a father, on reflection will hurt me to my grave. You have the future, let the past inspire you into it.............

    Quote Originally Posted by georgesmiley View Post

    I found two reliable places to buy it online - for about 16p a pill (10mg) (That's about 22 US cents, 18 euro cents). That's a lot - BUT, it's cheaper than booze. Baclofenman got his doctor to prescribe it - but that's rare in the UK - rare anywhere outside France. From what I see, that's quite cheap. I can post where I got it if the forum is cool with that.

    I feel 100mg is too low a dose to reach indifference BUT the all-consuming thirst come 5pm has ebbed. So - something is happening. It remains to be seen what.
    Indeed I did. I would refer you to this post. Anecdotal writings and recommendations are essential to this site so yes, name your source.

    Certainly from what I have read, 100mg qd is not enough to reach a switch.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgesmiley View Post

    I kept drinking out of habit - and out of a sort of panic, that it was 5pm, and I could, so I should, cos I always do, and it made me a nicer, better person. (I'm not an angry drunk. I'm actually much more relaxed and agreeable when drunk.)
    Mmm, this is a very interesting area. Is a habit an addiction? I was a right cunt when I was drunk.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgesmiley View Post

    This evening, I had 2 drinks around 530pm - I'm on my own, looking after my girl. I could hardly hold my head up for tiredness (not drunkenness - apparently drinking while on bac can lead to shocking tiredness). So... I stopped refilling at 6.30pm. I've been in a sort of panic since - I mean, what on earth is sober me supposed to do with himself? I'm so damn thirsty - not booze thirsty, proper old-fashioned dry mouth thirsty. It's 9pm, and I haven't drunk since 630pm - except tea.

    This is remarkable - but I don't think I could face the tiredness. But I'm sober at 9pm on a Saturday (well - two drinks three hours ago. Sober for me!).

    I'll keep the universe posted on how it goes. Early days, but this is interesting.
    Please do, I recommend cuddling your girl on the sofa and watching something decent on tv. I drank fizzy water with lime cordial (god forbid i would have chundered on that when I was "drinking") and maxed out on Netflix and Sky to take my mind off stuff - Curb you Enthusiasm is what I watched and the wife still calls me Larry! You don't have to be American or Jewish to love Larry David.

    Curb Your Enthusiasm Past Away - YouTube
    Larry David vs Susie Greene - YouTube " I thought she had a speech impediment" - Classic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IJaaBHEiuM

    Enjoy,

    Regards,


    Bacman.
    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.

  10. #7
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    Re: My baclofen journey

    Thank you @_serenity_ and @Baclofenman.

    It's been so helpful reading your stuff. Encouraged me to have a go.

    You asked me to name my sources: I'm happy to. Some sites piss their knickers at anything so useful. Both of these do affordable baclofen, and I've found them reliable as I built up my stock (so if it all goes tits up, I can titrate back down...)

    Extrapharmacy Online Store - this guy takes his time, but it's tracked, free postage, and I think it'd suitable for the US as he packages it as some industrial product in a vacuum-packed silver box.

    Welcome to United Pharmacies (UK) have also been brilliant. They work out about the same, costwise. These guys send Mylan products (New Zealand) out of India/HK/Singapore. They've just added the US to their list of destinations, so I guess they must send differently there. (To Britain, it's just got exactly what it is written on the box). Generally here in about a week.

    It's Saturday evening - it's 6pm and I'm sober. This has not happened since... years and years. We'll see how this pans out.

    It's as if without drinking, I'm just bored. I think it was my hobby!

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  12. #8
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    Re: My baclofen journey

    Quote Originally Posted by _serenity_ View Post
    Hi @georgesmiley! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It sounds like you are heading towards "the switch" - a major tipping point! I found it utterly miraculous. And you're experiencing the wondrous anxiety relief as well.

    I know what you mean about loving the drinking, but it's good that you recognize how problematic it can be. My experience with baclofen (10 years) and with watching others on this board has been that the people who are the most successful are those who really work to distance themselves from the drink, and who build up a good amount of sober time. I've seen a lot of people on here and other forums who took bac, kept drinking and ended up right back where they started.

    I have really missed seeing people sharing their bac journies on here!
    I think you're right. In my head, I'm going to be just this 'normal guy' who has the odd drink when out with friends. I've never been one of those drinkers who gets 'the thirst' and can't stop. It's just, I have the odd drink 3 (or 6) times a day every damn day for years. (I'm 48, and first saw an alcohol counsellor aged about 28...) I sneak out of Moanna with my girl to 'refresh the glass.'

    I just can't really think of what I'd do to fill my time if I wasn't drinking, and I can't figure out who on earth I'd be.

    But I think ultimately, giving it up needs to be the end point. I just struggle to 'own' that right now. That said, a couple of drinks while taking baclofen, and I'm basically drifting randomly in and out of narcolepsy. The two substances clearly don't mix.
    Last edited by georgesmiley; October 24th, 2020 at 12:32 PM.

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  14. #9
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    Re: My baclofen journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Baclofenman View Post
    Hey, @georgesmiley

    Thanks for sharing your story to date, as @_serenity_


    I think that seems a good titration regime. You are pretty full up when the cravings start around the 3pm to 5pm mark. Personally, I would keep the 8am and noon as they are and increase as needed the 4pm intake up to maybe 60mg and then add another slightly later, maybe 6pm or 7pm.
    Noted. Will action this. And get some imodium... Constipation looks like a distant dream, right now...
    Last edited by georgesmiley; October 24th, 2020 at 12:35 PM.

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  16. #10
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    Re: My baclofen journey

    Quote Originally Posted by georgesmiley View Post
    Some sites piss their knickers at anything so useful.
    From my view, this site uses very limited moderation, especially with anecdotal opinion, which is essentially the life blood of the forum.

    Bullshit and flaming is stamped on, opinion and poor fact is questioned.

    Regards.


    Bacman
    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.

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