Baclofen Pump Therapy (cont.)

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What are the potential risks and side effects of an intrathecal baclofen pump?

As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection around the area of the pump or tubing. If this is seen, the pump and tubing may need to be removed to allow the infection to clear.

  • The pump must be assessed and refilled regularly; abruptly stopping the baclofen can be dangerous.
  • Patients who have an intrathecal baclofen pump shouldn't drink alcohol, as this can increase the risk of side effects such as sleepiness.
  • Exposure to heat, such as from a hot tub or heating pad, can increase the flow of medication, which could lead to an overdose.
  • Certain types of MRI should be avoided, as this could cause problems with the pump.

How much does a pump cost? Does insurance cover a intrathecal baclofen pump?

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Intrathecal baclofen pump therapy is approved by the FDA; as such, most insurance companies pay for this procedure and follow-up care. However, every plan is different, and the amount of coverage may vary.

REFERENCES:

Rizzo MA, Hadjimichael OC, Preiningerova J, Vollmer TL. Prevalence and treatment of spasticity reported by multiple sclerosis patients. Mult Scler. 2004 Oct;10(5):589-95.

Vender JR, Hughes M, Hughes BD, Hester S, Holsenback S, Rosson B. Intrathecal baclofen therapy and multiple sclerosis: outcomes and patient satisfaction. Neurosurg Focus. 2006 Aug 15;21(2):e6.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/27/2015

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