What Is Baclofen?
Baclofen is a drug used for the treatment of muscle pain and spasms caused due to multiple sclerosis or spinal injuries. Baclofen belongs to the drug group called Skeletal muscle relaxants. Lioresal is the brand name. It can be used for hiccups also as an off-label treatment (Penn, R.D., Savoy, S.M., Corcos, D., Latash, M., Gottlieb, G., Parke, B. and Kroin, J.S., 1989).
What Is Tizanidine?
Tizanidine is a muscle relaxer drug used to treat muscle pain and spasms. Tizanidine is a member of the drug class named Skeletal muscle relaxants. It is sold under the brand name Zanaflex and can be used with other medicines as a combination medication. You can get Zanaflex online easy from certified online pharmacy (Wagstaff, A.J. and Bryson, H.M., 1997).
How Does Baclofen Vs Tizanidine Works?
Baclofen works by affecting neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that communicate the signal to the brain. The activity of these transmitters is blocked by the GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), and Baclofen works by acting like GABA.
This helps to control the skeletal muscles and relaxes the muscle resulting in pain relief (Penn, R.D., Savoy, S.M., Corcos, D., Latash, M., Gottlieb, G., Parke, B. and Kroin, J.S., 1989).
Tizanidine affects the nerve impulses in the body. It blocks the route of these nerve impulses from reaching the brain. This results in reducing the nerve activity in the spinal cord, which helps relax the muscle and reduce the pain (Wagstaff, A.J. and Bryson, H.M., 1997).
Who Is More Effective?
Baclofen and Tizanidine help to relieve pain caused due to muscle spasms and other injuries. These medicines are similar in many ways and work for a similar cause. But it is observed that in some scenarios, Baclofen is more effective and considered better than Tizanidine, while in other circumstances, Tizanidine is better than Baclofen.
These medicines are effective for muscle pain and spasms and can be selected considering the health conditions and side effects to get effective results.
A study was conducted by B Bass et al. to compare the efficacy of Baclofen and Tizanidine for the treatment of spasticity in people suffering from multiple sclerosis.
The treatment was conducted into 2 phases- a 3-week titration period and dose for 5 weeks. 66 patients participated in the study, while 48 completed the entire treatment.
It was observed that Baclofen perceived more efficacy and tolerance than Tizanidine, where 24 % of participants found Tizanidine effective and 39% of participants found Baclofen effective. Also, it was noted that muscle weakness was the common side effect of both the medicines, but the intensity and effect were more due to Baclofen (Tizanidine versus baclofen in the treatment of spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis).
But a similar study was conducted by M C Hoogstraten et al. to observe the same topic where 16 patients who suffered from spasticity due to sclerosis participated in the study.
It was observed that both the medicines were equally effective with no major difference in efficacy. But Baclofen led to severe muscle weakness while Tizanidine helped patients with mobility (Hoogstraten MC, van der Ploeg RJ, vd Burg W, Vreeling A, van Marle S, Minderhoud JM).
Thus, it can be seen that in both the studies, the common thing is both the medicines are effective against spasticity, and no major difference was there in their efficacies. There was a difference in effectiveness due to the impact of side effects.
Hence, Baclofen and Tizanidine are effective medicines and can be used after consulting with your doctor.
Forms And Strengths
- Baclofen is an oral medication available as tablets and liquid solutions.
- The Baclofen tablets are available in the strength of 5,10, and 20 mg tablets.
- The intrathecal solution is available in 500, 1000, and 2000 mcg/ml solutions.
- Tizanidine is an oral medication available as tablets and capsules.
- The tablet is available as 2 and 4 mg, while the capsules are available in the strength of 2,4, and 6 mg capsules.
How To Take It?
Baclofen should be taken only as advised by the doctor. Baclofen can be consumed with or without a meal. It is advised to take it with milk or food to avoid the problem of stomach upset. The tablets should be consumed without crushing or breaking. An oral syringe should be used for the liquid solution to get a proper measurement.
The doctor can increase or decrease the dose depending upon the treatment response. If you experience any problem while taking it, take medical help without changing the dosage pattern on your own (Penn, R.D., Savoy, S.M., Corcos, D., Latash, M., Gottlieb, G., Parke, B. and Kroin, J.S., 1989).
Tizanidine should be taken only as advised by the doctor. It can be taken with or without a meal, but the same pattern should be followed every time while taking medicine. The dosage can be varied by the doctor depending upon the treatment. The capsule and tablets should be taken as a whole without crushing or breaking.
As it is available in the form of capsules and tablets, the effect of each of the forms is different depending upon whether it is taken before or after having a meal. It is necessary to discuss with your doctor and choose the best option to get effective results (Wagstaff, A.J. and Bryson, H.M., 1997).
Dosage of Baclofen:
- The initial dose of Baclofen can be 5 mg, taken 3 times a day. This can be continued for 3 days.
- The doctor may increase your dosage by 5 mg after every 3 days up to 20 mg per dose.
- 80 mg is the maximum dose limit.
Dosage of Tizanidine:
- 2 mg is the initial dose which is taken 3 times a day.
- 6-8 hours should be the time difference between 2 doses of Tizanidine.
- The maximum dosage limit of Tizanidine is 36 mg per day.
Who Should Not Take It?
Baclofen should not be taken if one is:
- Allergic to Baclofen
- Below the age of 12
- Kidney disease
- Taking anxiety and depression medicines
Pregnant and breastfeeding may experience withdrawal symptoms and affect the health of women and children. According to the doctor's advice, Baclofen can be taken by pregnant and breastfeeding women only in necessary conditions (Penn, R.D., Savoy, S.M., Corcos, D., Latash, M., Gottlieb, G., Parke, B. and Kroin, J.S., 1989).
Tizanidine should not be taken if one is:
- Allergic to Tizanidine
- Kidney problems
- Liver diseases
- Undergoing antidepression medicine treatment
- Low blood pressure
It is necessary for pregnant and breastfeeding women not to consume Tizanidine as it may affect the health of both mother and child (Wagstaff, A.J. and Bryson, H.M., 1997).
Following are some side effects that one might feel after taking Baclofen:
|Common Side Effects||Severe Side Effects|
|Increased urination||High fever|
It is important to take emergency medical help on observing any of these side effects as it may lead to health risks. The doctor can give proper instructions in such situations and change or terminate the medication.
Following are some side effects that one might feel after taking Tizanidine:
|Common Side Effects||Severe Side Effects|
|Drowsiness||Severe abdominal pain|
If you notice any side effects, immediately take medical help to prevent further risk. The doctor may change or terminate the medication depending upon the health condition and treatment.
Similarities Between Baclofen And Tizanidine
- Baclofen and Tizanidine belong to the same drug class called Skeletal muscle relaxants.
- Both these medicines interact with antidepressants and other muscle relaxants.
- It is advised not to take these medicines with alcohol as it can lead to more dizziness.
Difference Between Baclofen And Tizanidine
- Baclofen stays in the body system for more time than Tizanidine. The half-life of Baclofen is 6.8 hours, and that of Tizanidine is 2.5 hours.
- Baclofen is also available in a liquid solution, which can be taken as an injection directly into the spinal cord.
- Baclofen can be used as an off-label treatment for hiccups and alcohol abuse, while Tizanidine can be used for back and neck pain and migraines.
- Baclofen cannot be taken by children below 12, while Tizanidine can be taken by children.
Baclofen and Tizanidine work against muscle spasms and help for pain relief. Both medicines are effective against muscle pain. Before selecting any of these medicines, it is essential to take medical help and discuss the medical history to choose the best treatment to get effective results with minimum risk of side effects.