Baclofen is a muscle relaxer that’s prescribed to treat muscle spasms, pain, and stiffness caused by conditions like spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis. People who have prescribed the oral formulation of baclofen usually take it several times a day, while those who can’t take the drug orally might receive it through an implantable pump and catheter. Long-term use of this medication can lead to physical dependence, which is marked by withdrawals when use is cut down or suddenly stopped. It’s important to ask your doctor questions like, “how long does baclofen stay in your system?” and to understand the drug’s half-life and potential for withdrawal.
Baclofen is classified as a central nervous system depressant in addition to being a skeletal muscle relaxant. It interacts with the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA to calm nerve activity that causes muscle spasms to alleviate pain. Baclofen is similar to phenibut, another depressant that affects GABA receptors.
Once the body has grown accustomed to the drug, baclofen takes about an hour to kick in or take effect. Side effects of baclofen include drowsiness, sedation, disturbances in sleep, nausea, vomiting, problems urinating, constipation, and fatigue. It’s important to note some more extreme reactions to baclofen, such as tachycardia, seizures, mania, and psychosis, all common withdrawal symptoms.
It’s important to receive medical support if you’ve decided to stop taking this drug. It’s equally important to avoid mixing baclofen with alcohol or other drugs. Additionally, while this drug isn’t as addictive as opioids are, long-term use can lead to dependence, and misuse can develop a psychological baclofen addiction that’s linked to an emotional attachment to the drug and how it makes the user feel.
The half-life of baclofen plays a major role in how long it lasts in the body. A drug’s half-life refers to the length of time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated. It can take several half-lives for a substance to be metabolized and eliminated.
Considering the baclofen’s half-life is anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, baclofen stays in your system anywhere from 10 to 20 hours after the last use. In addition to half-life, other factors that affect how long baclofen lasts in your body include age, body mass, metabolism rate, and duration of use.
A slow metabolism rate can also extend the elimination process, whereas people with faster metabolisms might eliminate the drug quicker. Older people and people with a higher body mass tend to take longer to metabolize drugs. Additionally, if someone has been using baclofen for an extended period, it takes longer to eliminate baclofen because it accumulates in their body over time.
Baclofen does not usually show up in standard drug tests, as people aren’t typically tested for muscle relaxants. However, baclofen does show up in a drug test that’s specifically administered for it. If baclofen is specifically tested for, urine, blood, hair, and saliva samples may be used.
Baclofen drug test detection windows include:
If you’re struggling with baclofen addiction or dependence and you’re ready to stop, our drug and alcohol treatment centers can help. While quitting cold turkey might seem like a good idea, baclofen withdrawal can be a difficult process to get through safely without medical support. In fact, withdrawals are often uncomfortable enough to encourage relapse in hopes of mitigating the discomfort.
As you can imagine, this can make the recovery process difficult. The safest way to stop taking baclofen is with a medically monitored detox. Patients undergoing medical detox at our Banyan rehab locations are placed on a tapering schedule during which they receive medicated assistance (as needed) to mitigate withdrawals and make the process more comfortable. These individuals receive 24-hour care and supervision to ensure their safety, comfort, and success.
Following detox, depending on the substance in question, patients can then move on to illicit or prescription drug addiction treatment. Our rehab programs incorporate individual and group counseling and therapy to promote individual healing and accountability, as well as peer support.
No matter the substance use disorder you’re struggling with, our drug addiction treatment centers are here for you. To find out more about our substance abuse services and locations, call Banyan Treatment Center today at 888-280-4763.
Baclofen Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, & Treatment