Iatrogenic Baclofen Neurotoxicity in ESRD: Recognition and Management

John K. Roberts, Scott Westphal, Matthew A. Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Baclofen is an oral derivative of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) used to treat muscular spasticity from disorders of the central nervous system. However, it is also being used for a variety of other conditions such as musculoskeletal pain, myoclonus, and alcohol withdrawal. The elimination of baclofen is heavily dependent on intact renal function, and the contraindication for use in patients with insufficient renal function is not well recognized by healthcare providers. Here, the authors report a series of mild to severe cases of baclofen intoxication in patients with end-stage renal disease. In all cases, baclofen was initiated by either inpatient or outpatient healthcare providers and the patients generally presented with altered mentation, somnolence, and/or respiratory depression. All patients were treated with aggressive hemodialysis and made a full recovery. This paper will briefly review the literature regarding baclofen intoxication, safety of baclofen use in renal disease, and efficacy of extracorporeal therapy in the treatment of baclofen intoxication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-529
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in Dialysis
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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