Baclofen pumps are a popular treatment for spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis (MS). Spasms occur when muscles contract uncontrollably. This causes pain and discomfort for patients. Baclofen pumps deliver medication directly into the spinal fluid where it reaches the brain. It works by blocking the nerve signals that cause muscle contraction. Patients report feeling calmer and experiencing fewer symptoms.
Baclofen pumps are effective for treating MS related spasticity. However, they are not suitable for everyone. If you suffer from severe headaches, nausea or dizziness, then you may not be able to tolerate the side effects associated with baclofen therapy. Our buyers guide explains the benefits and risks of baclofen pumps so you can make an informed decision before purchasing one.
These devices have been around since the 1980s but they continue to evolve as new technology improves their performance and reliability. This article will help you understand what makes a good baclofen pump and how to pick the best one for your child.
Baclofen pumps are medical devices that deliver medication directly into the spinal fluid through an indwelling catheter. This reduces muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other neurological disorders. Baclofen pumps are typically implanted under the skin behind the ear. They are connected to a battery pack that lasts for approximately five years.
Baclofen was first synthesized in 1963 by Dr. Alexander Shulgin, who named it "bacillol" after his daughter. It was approved by the FDA in 1985 and became available commercially in 1989. In 1996, the drug was reformulated to make it easier to administer orally. Today, baclofen is manufactured by several pharmaceutical companies including Abbott Laboratories, Inc., Alpharma Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Impax Laboratories, Inc., Novartis AG, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.
The medications delivered through these systems are called Baclofens. Baclofen is a drug approved by the FDA to treat muscle spasticity associated with MS. It works by relaxing muscles. When injected into the spine, this medicine relaxes the nerves that cause muscle spasms.
These pumps are usually implanted under the skin near the collarbone. Once inserted, the device delivers medication continuously over time. Medication delivery continues until the patient stops using the system.
Pumps are typically worn 24 hours per day. However, patients can remove the pump during sleep. Patients must wear the pump every night while sleeping. Otherwise, the medication could leak out of the implant site and cause side effects.
Patients use the pump to manage muscle spasms. Muscle spasms occur when certain nerve cells become hyperactive. These nerve cells send messages to the brain telling it to contract specific muscles. As a result, the affected areas tighten.
Muscle spasm causes pain and discomfort. It makes everyday tasks difficult. People with muscle spasms cannot move easily. They struggle to sit still and stand upright.
When someone has muscle spasms, he or she may experience stiffness, cramps, and involuntary movements. Spasms can affect any part of the body. Muscles in the face, neck, arms, legs, and torso are most commonly involved.
People with muscle spasms often complain of headaches, backaches, fatigue, and difficulty moving around. Some people develop problems walking because of muscle spasms.
Injections of baclofen are effective for treating muscle spasms. But injections require frequent visits to a doctor's office. Doctors administer the drugs one at a time. This process takes several minutes. Each injection requires a needle stick.
Medications administered via a pump do not require needles. Instead, the pump delivers medication automatically. Because the medication is delivered continuously, patients only need to change the battery once a year.
Some people prefer to receive treatment with a pump rather than injections. Pumps offer convenience and comfort. They allow patients to take advantage of home healthcare services.
Spasticity occurs when nerves become hyperactive and send messages to the brain that tell the muscles to contract even if they aren't needed. This results in involuntary muscle contraction and stiffness. People with MS often experience spasms, twitching, and other symptoms related to their condition. Baclofen pumps deliver medication directly to the spinal cord where it acts to relax the affected nerve fibers. These medications work best when delivered continuously through a catheter placed inside the spine.
There are two types of baclofen pumps available: external and internal. External pumps attach to the skin and remain outside of the body. They are usually worn 24 hours a day and provide continuous delivery of medication. Internal pumps are implanted under the skin and are connected to the spinal canal via a small tube. Medication is released intermittently so that patients do not experience any side effects such as nausea or drowsiness. Both types of pumps offer similar levels of effectiveness. However, internal pumps are generally preferred because they are less noticeable and easier to conceal.
It's important to note that baclofen pumps should never be shared between individuals. Sharing devices could increase the risk of infection and may expose others to the potential risks associated with the device. Patients must also take care to keep the tubing clean and free of debris. Failure to properly maintain the pump can result in serious complications including blood clots, infections, and damage to surrounding tissue.
If you're considering baclofen therapy, talk to your doctor about the different treatment options available. He or she can recommend the type of pump that would be most effective for you.
Budget friendly. Baclofen pumps are available in various sizes, ranging from small to large. Smaller pumps tend to cost less than larger ones, but they may not give you enough control over how much medication is delivered into your body. Larger pumps usually deliver more medication, but they can be expensive.
Easy to use. Most baclofen pumps work similarly to other types of infusion pumps. They connect to a catheter placed inside your spinal canal. The medication then flows through the catheter and into your bloodstream.
Reliable delivery system. Because baclofen pumps are connected directly to your spine, they can be very reliable. However, if there's a problem with the connection between the pump and the catheter, the medication could flow backward instead of forward. This can cause serious problems, including paralysis.
Safety features. Some baclofen pumps have safety features built right into them. These features can prevent accidental activation or deactivation of the pump. In addition, these pumps often have alarms that alert caregivers if something goes wrong.
Accessories. Many baclofen pumps come with accessories such as tubing sets and syringes. These items allow you to change the amount of medication being delivered or administer additional doses of medication.
Cost. Baclofen pumps can range in price depending on their size. Larger pumps typically cost more than smaller models. But, even though they're pricier, larger pumps can deliver more medication and give you more control over your treatment.
Delivery method. There are two main ways to deliver medication using a baclofen pump. One way involves placing the pump under your skin. Another option is to place the pump inside your abdomen. Both methods involve connecting the pump to a catheter located inside your spinal canal.
Baclofen pumps are medical devices that deliver medication through an IV line. Patients use the pumps to administer small doses of baclofen throughout the day. This helps reduce muscle spasms and improve overall quality of life.
There are two main types of baclofen pumps. One is called an external pump. External pumps attach to the outside of the body and are connected to an IV tube. An internal pump attaches to the spine and delivers medication directly to the spinal cord. Internal pumps are less likely to cause infections since they don't connect to the skin. Both types of pumps are FDA approved and safe to use.
An intrathecal baclofen pump is a medical device that delivers medication directly into your spinal fluid.
Intrathecal baclofen pumps deliver medication directly into your spinal fluid. Medication enters the spinal cord via a catheter placed inside your back. Once the medication reaches the area of the spine responsible for controlling muscle movement, it has more chance of reaching its target.
No, an intrathecal baclofen pump does not require surgery. Instead, they are inserted under the skin near the collarbone.
Most health plans will cover the cost of an intrathecal baclofen pump. Your doctor should discuss this with you during your appointment.
You can expect to wait anywhere from two months to three years for your doctor to approve your request for an intrathecal baclofen pump. During this time, your doctor will perform tests to ensure that the pump is safe for use.
Driving is generally prohibited while taking certain medications due to their side effects. An intrathecal baclofen pump is no exception. If you receive an intrathecal baclofen pump, your doctor will likely recommend that you avoid driving until he/she feels comfortable doing so.
Alcohol consumption is generally discouraged while taking medications like baclofen. Alcohol interferes with how well medications reach their intended targets. As a result, you could experience unwanted side effects.
Smoking is also discouraged while taking medications like baclofen. Smoking increases the risk of complications related to the insertion process.
Spicy food can increase blood pressure and heart rate. These changes can make it harder for medications to enter your bloodstream. As a result, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Exercise is generally encouraged while taking medications like baclofen. Exercise helps to improve circulation throughout the body, including the brain. As a result, you may notice increased alertness and improved mood.