Baclofen vs. lorazepam
- Baclofen and lorazepam are both used as muscle relaxants.
- Lorazepam belongs to the benzodiazepine class of drugs that is typically used to treat anxiety.
- Brand names for baclofen include Gablofen and Lioresal. The brand name for lorazepam is Ativan.
- Side effects of baclofen and lorazepam that are similar include drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, headache, and trouble sleeping (insomnia).
- Side effects of baclofen that are different from lorazepam include seizures, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, constipation, confusion, respiratory depression, and increased urinary frequency or urinary retention.
- Side effects of lorazepam that are different from baclofen include unsteadiness, depression, amnesia, and loss of orientation.
- Suddenly stopping oral baclofen may cause seizures and hallucinations. Suddenly stopping lorazepam after prolonged use can lead to symptoms of withdrawal such as insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, sweating, anxiety, and fatigue.
What is baclofen and lorazepam?
Lorazepam is used for the management of anxiety disorders, the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depression. Lorazepam is also effective for insomnia and panic attacks, and is used in combination with other medications to prevent nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy. Lorazepam also is administered before anesthesia for sedation and used for prevention and treatment of alcohol withdrawal. It also is used for treating seizures (status epilepticus). Lorazepam belongs to the benzodiazepine family of drugs that includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), flurazepam (Dalmane), and others.
What are the side effects of baclofen and lorazepam?
Common side effects of baclofen are:
- low blood pressure,
- respiratory depression,
- inability to sleep,
- and increased urinary frequency or urinary retention.
Abrupt discontinuation of oral baclofen may cause seizures and hallucinations. Abrupt discontinuation of intrathecal baclofen may result in:
- high fever,
- rebound spasticity,
- muscle rigidity, and
- rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown) that can progress to failure of several organs, including the kidney, and even death.
The most common side effects associated with Ativan are:
Other side effects include:
Possible serious side effects include:
- Extrapyramidal symptoms
- Respiratory depression
- Suicidal ideation/attempt
Like all benzodiazepines, Ativan can cause physical dependence. Suddenly stopping therapy after a few months of daily therapy may be associated with a feeling of loss of self-worth, agitation, and insomnia. If Ativan is taken continuously for longer than a few months, stopping therapy suddenly may produce seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, vomiting, and sweating.
What is the dosage of baclofen vs. lorazepam?
- The usual starting dose of oral baclofen for treating spasticity in adults is 5 mg given three times daily.
- Based on the response, the dose can be increased by 5 mg every three days to a maximum of 80 mg/day in divided doses.
- The dose of Ativan is tailored to the patient's needs.
- The usual dose for treating anxiety is 2-6 mg orally every 8 to 12 hours as needed.
- Insomnia is treated with 2-4 mg given at bedtime.
What drugs interact with baclofen and lorazepam?
Use of baclofen with other drugs that also depress the function of nerves may lead to additional reduction in brain function.
In addition to the risk of depressing brain function, the use of baclofen and tricyclic antidepressants (for example, amitriptyline [Elavil, Endep], doxepin [Sinequan, Adapin]) together may cause muscle weakness.
Because baclofen can increase blood sugar, doses of antidiabetic drugs may need to be adjusted when baclofen is begun.
Ativan and all benzodiazepines accentuate the effects of other drugs that slow the brain's processes such as alcohol, barbiturates, narcotics, and tranquilizers, and the combination of Ativan and these drugs may lead to excessive sedation. There have been cases of marked sedation when Ativan was given to patients taking the tranquilizer loxapine (Loxitane); it is unclear if there is a drug interaction, but caution should be used if Ativan and loxapine are used together.
Are baclofen or lorazepam safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding?
The use of baclofen by pregnant women has not been evaluated.
Baclofen can be detected in the breast milk of mothers taking oral baclofen. No information is available on the presence of baclofen in the breast milk of mothers receiving baclofen intrathecally.
Ativan and other benzodiazepines have been associated with fetal damage, including congenital malformations, when taken by pregnant women in their first trimester. Ativan is best avoided if at all possible in the first trimester and probably throughout pregnancy.
Ativan is excreted in human milk and should be avoided during pregnancy.
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Baclofen (Gablofen, Lioresal) and lorazepam (Ativan) are both used as muscle relaxers, though lorazepam is primarily an anti-anxiety medication in the benzodiazepine family. Both drugs are habit-forming and can cause withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly. Learn more about baclofen and lorazepam side effects, dosage, and pregnancy safety information.
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AnxietyAnxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Ativan lorazepam vs Valium diazepam
Ativan (lorazepam) and Valium (diazepam) are prescription drugs that belong do the drug class of benzodiazepines.
Both Ativan and Valium are used to treat
- anxiety disorders,
- sedation prior to surgery, and
- prevention and treatment of symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
Ativan also is used to treat
- insomnia, and
- to prevent nausea and vomiting as a result from chemotherapy.
Valium also is used to treat
- seizures, and
- relief of muscle spasms in some neurological diseases.
Side effects, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety comparison are provided.
baclofenBaclofen, (Gablofen, Lioresal, [Kemstro has been discontinued]) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of spasms of skeletal muscles, muscle rigidity, muscle clonus, and pain caused by disorders like multiple sclerosis. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Baclofen vs Flexeril Muscle Relaxants for Pain
Baclofen, brand names Gablofen, Lioresal, is a muscle relaxant prescribed for the treatment of skeletal muscle spasms, rigidity, muscle clonus, and pain caused by diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and cystic fibrosis. Flexeril, generic name cyclobenzaprine, also is a muscle relaxant prescribed to treat acute, short-term muscle spasms and associated pain.
Baclofen and Flexeril have similar side effects, for example, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, and nausea. Side effects of baclofen that are different from Flexeril include weakness, vomiting, low blood pressure, insomnia, and seizures. Side effects of Flexeril that are different from baclofen include dry mouth, fatigue, blurred vision, acid reflux, nervousness, and stomach or belly pain.
Benzodiazepine is the name of a class of drugs in the US. They belong to a class of man-made drugs prescribed to treat:
- Panic attacks
- Muscle spasms
Here is a list of examples of brand and generic names of benzodiazepines available in the US.
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- clobazam (Onfi)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- clorazepate (Tranxene)
- chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- diazepam (Valium)
- estazolam (Prosom)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- oxazepam (Serax)
- temazepam (Restoril)
- triazolam (Halcion)
These drugs are habit forming and patients may become addicted to them even at prescribed doses. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Lorazepam (Ativan) is a prescription drug used for the management of anxiety disorders, short-term relief of anxiety, or anxiety associated with depression. Ativan is effective for insomnia, panic attacks, and is used for treatment and prevention of alcohol withdrawal.
Side effects include amnesia, loss of orientation, headache, and sleep disturbances.
It is important to be aware of the drug interactions related to lorazepam (Ativan) and the effects on pregnancy and breastfeeding.
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Muscle SpasmsMuscle spasms are involuntary muscle contractions that come on suddenly and are usually quite painful. Dehydration, doing strenuous exercise in a hot environment, prolonged muscle use, and certain diseases of the nervous system may cause muscle spasms. Symptoms and signs of a muscle spasm include an acute onset of pain and a possible bulge seen or felt beneath the skin where the muscle is located. Gently stretching the muscle usually resolves a muscle spasm.
Separation AnxietySeparation anxiety disorder is a common childhood anxiety disorder that has many causes. Infants, children, older kids and adults can suffer from symptoms of separation anxiety disorder. Common separation anxiety treatment methods include therapy and medications. Factors that contribute to how quickly or successfully a child moves past separation anxiety by preschool age include:
- how well the parent and child reunite,
- the skills the child and adult have at coping with the separation, and
- how well the adult responds to the infant's separation issues.