Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Baclofen, spasticity and mobility

By far the biggest issue I have with living with Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) is the restricted mobility.
With the aid of crutches I can be mobile, after a fashion. It's a struggle but does at least offer me independence.
As you may expect some days are better than others.

I take medication to help relieve the increased spasticity in my legs. The tablets are Baclofen and each dose is 10mg. I take up to 5 a day.
For the most part I'm good at taking the medication and spread each dose by roughly 4 hours.
Just lately I've been forgetting to take the tablets during the day. In fact lately I've been pretty absent minded when it comes to most things. Probably a combination of the stresses of divorce and trying to effectively perform two jobs.

What is intriguing is that I'm not convinced I've noticed a huge amount of difference.
On a good day I'll take 5 Baclofen. On a slightly more absent-minded day I'll take just a couple. Do I notice a difference in my mobility? Not really. My legs are just as stiff as they always were.
My fear is of course that Baclofen is having nothing more than a Placebo effect on my mind. I believe it to be making a difference when in reality it's probably not.

I suppose the real test is to stop taking it for a week and see just how immobile I become. It would certainly be an interesting test.

To help me understand further what I should perhaps be expecting from this drug I did a little light research.
This research started and stopped with Wikipedia which shed some fascinating insight in to the effectivness of the drug and the risks of overdose as well as the impact of withdrawal.
It appears to be an extremely effective drug in the treatment of spasticity and also has very little chance of developing tolerance. That is, continued use of the drug does not necessarily mean that my body becomes used to it and therefore negate its effect.

Interestingly the drug can also be used in the treatment of alcoholism. You live and learn!

Read more about Baclofen at the wikipedia page. There are some interesting links to pursue.

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