Baclofen Withdrawal and Detox: Symptoms, Treatment, and Duration

Last Updated: February 22, 2021

Authored by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

An abrupt decrease in the intake of certain medications can result in various withdrawal symptoms. They depend on the type of drugs being used. Definitely Baclofen is a medicine which withdrawal symptoms patients should be careful with. Generally this medicine is used to treat spasticity. Also sold under the brand name Lioresal and Kemstro, the medication is also used as a muscle relaxant and antispasmodic. Other purposes of Baclofen are to treat spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. The generic medication is also used off label to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome. However, there isn’t much research on the subject of Baclofen alcohol withdrawal that determines the effectiveness of this practice. It is crucial that patients and medical attendants understand that stopping Lioresal use abruptly will result in BWS (Baclofen withdrawal syndrome).

Signs and Symptoms of Baclofen Withdrawal

Withdrawal occurs when a person’s brain becomes dependent on the drug’s effects. Such effects that make a person suffer from the adverse effects of Baclofen withdrawal don’t happen just when the medication is being abused. Even using the drug exactly as prescribed can lead to difficulties with weaning off if the usage of the medication isn’t stopped in a proper and controlled manner. It can occur through a low or high dose usage.

Baclofen withdrawal symptoms can be severe. This is what makes it so important to know the signs of weaning off Kemstro. Symptoms can often be very similar to alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal. Comparing Baclofen vs. Flexeril withdrawal, effects will also be almost the same.

Following is a list of some of the common signs and symptoms that could feel a person suffering from Loiresal withdrawal:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Acute Confusion
  • Tactile hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Delusions
  • Insomnia
  • Disorientation
  • Depersonalization
  • Psychosis
  • Memory problems
  • Changes in behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in perception
  • Hyperthermia
  • Mania
  • Mood disturbances
  • Tremors
  • Fever
  • Tachycardia
  • Seizures

Young lady got feverLioresal is a derivative of the naturally occurring GABA neurotransmitter. Baclofen acts in the body by activating GABA receptors in the central nervous system. This has the direct result of calming nerve activity. The medication’s effects on the brain and the central nervous system are the reason behind there being potential Baclofen recreational use which is considered as abuse and is illegal. People might experience a sense of well being or relaxation with the use of the drug. Some signs that might help you spot Baclofen abuse include a person taking higher doses than prescribed, using the medication without a prescription or combining it with other central nervous system depressants to amplify the effects.

How Long Does Baclofen Withdrawal Last?

Baclofen withdrawal duration depends on various factors. Depending upon the individual, how long they’ve been using Lioresal, whether they stopped usage abruptly or gradually and even how the drug was being administered. These are some of the factors that can affect how long withdrawal from Baclofen can last. Routes of Baclofen administration matters a lot. Oral Baclofen withdrawal symptoms are less severe than for those patients who administer Baclofen intrathecally.

Baclofen Withdrawal Timeline

Doctor is writing on calendar by the penSome people might find themselves experiencing withdrawal symptoms within a few hours after the last dose of Baclofen is taken. However, it can typically take up to 48 hours for withdrawal symptoms to occur. Those affected will find symptoms peeking within 72 hours. Of course, this is something that will vary from person to person and depend on many factors that need to be taken into consideration as well. Despite the fact that half-life of Baclofen is just about 5,5 hours, withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks. The psychological symptoms like anxiety can persist for months in some cases.

Weaning Off Baclofen

It is quite clear how important it is to be aware of how to stop taking Baclofen. There is always a  possibility of severity of symptoms when weaning off Kemstro. Sudden abruption of Kemstro intake can result in organ failure and even death in some cases.

So, how should one start weaning off Baclofen? It is evident that a professional Lioresal detox is often the best course to take when a patient wants to stop using the drug. Some of the symptoms can be avoided by merely participating in a professional detox program, where doses of Baclofen are tapered off gradually under the medical supervision. Person also can undergo Baclofen withdrawal treatment at a qualified rehab. This step ensures that the whole process is performed well while giving precedence to the patient’s comfort and wellbeing.

Page Sources

  1. Bret D. Alvis, Christopher M. Sobey, Oral Baclofen Withdrawal Resulting in Progressive Weakness and Sedation Requiring Intensive Care Admission,
  2. Christopher F. Terrence, Gerhard H. Fromm, Complications of Baclofen Withdrawal,
  3. Elisa Richter, Alice Baldovini, Valery Blasco, Marc Leone, Jacques Albanese, About baclofen withdrawal syndrome,

Published on: March 4th, 2019

Updated on: February 22nd, 2021

About Author

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

After successful graduation from Boston University, MA, Sharon gained a Master’s degree in Public Health. Since then, Sharon devoted herself entirely to the medical niche. Sharon Levy is also a certified addiction recovery coach.


Leave a comment

  • Sharon
    I take baclofen 10MG twice a day been on it for about three years . I want to come off it can i be just wianed off or do i need to be in hospital setting to come off it than you for any of your help
    • Donna Frank
      I’m trying to quit Baclofen. I didn’t like the way it me feel. I couldn’t sleep, nauseated, sissy, foggy, unsteady, drunk feeling. I was on Flexeril for a long time. She told me to stop and start Baclofen. 5mg 3x daily for one week increasing to 30 mg daily. I was on it totally for 2 weeks. I also take 600 mg 2x daily of gabapentin. How should I wean off?
  • Theresa
    My son, 35 is in a detox center to get off Baclofen. They are giving him Gabapentin. My son is worried that he will have withdrawals sometime after he gets home, tomorrow. He will have been there for 5 days. Our question, is Gabapentin used to to get off Baclofen, or is it just trading one GABA for another?
  • vaughn Burtenshaw
    Reduce the dose gradually over 7 to 14 days or simply ask your Dr.
  • Suzi
    My husband was started on 10 mg baclofen while in the hospital and while in snf. He has what we call Norco/baclofen brain where he is just not himself. While in the hospital the gave him too much Norco in addition to the baclofen. This made him hallucinate and many other side effects so the Norco was stopped but baclofen continued. I stopped the baclofen all at once and my sister in law said that he needed to be weaned off slowly,, so I have only give him half a pill the last two days , 5 mg. Was this the correct thing to do? He sees his primary care physician on Monday.
  • Terri Kellogg
    my daughter is hospitalized for sepsis, pneumonia I, uti and had a partial bowel obstruction. Despite improvement in all areas she continues to have fevers 100-101.5 in afternoons. Yesterday I realized her baclofen 10 mg had not been given since and wondering if that sudden withdrawal could be culprit If her fevers. She herself seems back to her baseline personality and is eating and requires no oxygen. All blood test, COVID x 2,, urine, stool, CT’s have been repeated along with venous b Doppler all negative and still on antibiotics appropriate for initial findings. She has infectious disease also on case and will be talking to them today. Just wondering if this dose taken for 4 years once a day could cause it?
    • Terri
      It has been stopped for 10 days only noticed tremor in spastic arm(she has CP)