In this article, I’m going to teach you how to use baclofen for opiate withdrawal. Baclofen is a centrally-acting skeletal muscle relaxant that was approved by the FDA in 1977 for its ability to reduce muscle spams, muscle tightness, and pain.
Baclofen is a prescription drug that is also known as the brands Lioresal, Gablofen, Flexibac, and more.
It’s typically prescribed for spastic movement disorders, most commonly in instances of:
- Spinal cord injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cerebral palsy
Baclofen For Opiate Addiction
As an off-label use, many people have now benefited from taking baclofen for opiate detox. More and more people are using baclofen for opiate withdrawal because its chemical makeup closely resembles the neurotransmitter known as gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA).
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, so it slows down the brain and body, acting as a mental relaxant. I often refer to GABA as the brain’s natural Valium. Benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, bind to GABAA receptors in the brain, which leads to decreased anxiety and relaxation of the mind and muscles.
Note: Baclofen for opiate withdrawal works in a very similar fashion, though it binds specifically to GABAB receptors, as does the supplement phenibut.
Baclofen For Opiate Withdrawal Studies
Research has shown the benefits of using baclofen for opiate withdrawal on numerous occasions. In a study from 2000, 62 opiate addicts were divided into two groups during a 14-day, double blind clinical trial.
The first group received a maximum daily dose of 40 mg baclofen given three times per day in divided doses. The second group received a maximum daily dose of 0.8 mg clonidine given three times per day in divided doses.
The following is a direct quote from the study:
RESULTS: Baclofen and clonidine were equally effective in treating the physical symptoms of withdrawal syndromes. However, baclofen showed a significant superiority over clonidine in the management of mental symptoms.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that baclofen might be a novel therapeutic agent for opiate withdrawal syndrome. However, a larger study to confirm our results is warranted.
In another baclofen for opiate addiction study from 2003, the research was directed at assessing possible efficacy of baclofen in the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. In the 12-week, double blind trial, 40 opiate-addicted patients were randomly assigned to either receive 60 mg of baclofen daily, or a placebo.
The following is a direct quote from the study:
RESULTS: Treatment retention was significantly higher in the baclofen group. Baclofen also showed a significant superiority over placebo in terms of opiate withdrawal syndrome and depressive symptoms. Non-significant, but generally favorable responses were seen in the baclofen group with other outcome measures including intensity of opioid craving and self-reported opioid and alcohol use. However, no significant difference was seen in the rates of opioid-positive urine tests. Additionally, the drug side effects of the two groups were not significantly different.
CONCLUSION: The results support further study of baclofen in the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence.
How To Use Baclofen For Opiate Withdrawal
According to the above studies, one might expect to get favorable results by using the same or similar dosages. For instance, the first study used 40 mg of baclofen for opiate withdrawal daily, in three divided doses.
The half-life of baclofen is only 3-4 hours, making this split-dosing protocol optimal. The second study used 60 mg of baclofen for opiate addiction daily. Based on the favorable results of these studies, if you’re looking for the correct baclofen dosage for opiate withdrawal, you might benefit from taking 40-60 mg or even more in 3-4 divided doses throughout the day.
Note: For example, the maximum prescribed amount of baclofen dosage for muscle spasm is 40-80 mg/day. 80 mg/day baclofen dosages should be administered in four divided doses.
Important baclofen for opiate withdrawal tips:
- Use it under the care of your physician.
- Use the least amount necessary to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
- Only use it for 4-7 days to combat the most severe withdrawal symptoms (you’re just trying to make the withdrawal more comfortable, your goal isn’t to get hooked on more drugs).
- You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as seizures or hallucinations when you stop using baclofen after taking it for a long period of time.
Before deciding to use baclofen for opiate withdrawal, review the following:
Baclofen For Opiate Withdrawal Alternatives
Using baclofen for opiate withdrawal is not always an option for everyone. Since it needs to be prescribed by a physician, this doesn’t make the opiate withdrawal remedy easily available. Luckily, there are a few dietary supplements with similar mechanisms to baclofen.
Phenibut is a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant and derivative of GABA. It has anxiolytic and nootropic (cognition-enhancing) effects.
Phenibut acts directly on the GABAB receptor sites. Drugs and substances such as baclofen, GHB, and alcohol also bind to these sites.Note: Some believe that high doses of phenibut also bind to the GABAA receptors, which is where benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax bind to, though this is a topic of debate in the scientific community.
Calm Support (Read review…) is a powerful opiate withdrawal supplement that contains a synergistic blend of nutrients specifically formulated to ease symptoms fast. Many people have used this product to minimize withdrawal symptoms naturally.
Among the nutrients are two herbs that also activate GABA receptors in the brain:
Note: These two herbs are some of my absolute favorites for opiate withdrawal. They both increase GABA levels in the brain naturally, leading to less anxiety, relaxation of muscles, and an easier time falling and staying asleep.
Baclofen For Opiate Withdrawal Conclusion
Many people have used baclofen for opiate withdrawal symptoms. It has been shown in numerous research studies to minimize both mental and physical symptoms.
Under the care of a physician, an individual can use baclofen to help them transition off opiates with less discomfort. Furthermore, there are dietary supplements that can be used to treat symptoms in a similar fashion (GABA receptor activity), without needing to see a doctor and get a prescription. Click here now to view my best home detox program.
If you have any questions on using baclofen for opiate withdrawal, please feel free to post them in the comment box below.