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Use of Baclofen Linked to Encephalopathy

By Heidi Culbertson

November 12, 2019   Ohio Dangerous Drugs and Medical Devices

Baclofen Linked to Encephalopathy in New Study Published in JAMA

The use of Balcofen in older patients with Chronic Kidney Disease is associated with an increased risk of encephalopathy, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Baclofen is a drug that is approved by the FDA as a muscle relaxant to treat spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis and other spinal cord diseases. Physicians have also been reported to prescribe Baclofen to treat conditions such as alcoholism, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), nystagmus, and trigeminal neuralgia.

There have been at least 30 case reports of Baclofen-associated encephalopathy in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. Prior to the recently published study in JAMA, however, no clinical study had quantified this risk. To perform their study, the study authors reviewed the medical records of 15,942 older adults (aged 66 or older) with Chronic Kidney Disease and compared three groups: (1) those who were newly prescribed 20 mg/day or more of Baclofen, (2) those who were newly prescribed less than 20 mg/day of Baclofen, and (3) those who were not prescribed Baclofen. For each group the authors documented the number of reports of hospitalization with encephalopathy, defined as “a main diagnosis of delirium, disorientation, transient alteration of awareness, transient cerebral ischemic attack, or unspecified dementia[.]”

After analyzing their results, the study authors concluded that “those who started a prescription for baclofen at greater than or equal to 20 mg per day had a significantly greater risk of hospitalization with encephalopathy compared with those who started baclofen at less than 20mg per day.” Likewise, both groups of Baclofen users had a greater risk of encephalopathy as compared to those who did not use Baclofen.

If you or a loved one have Chronic Kidney Disease and after being prescribed Baclofen were hospitalized with encephalopathy, coma, seizures, transient ischemic attack, or respiratory depression, contact the experienced product liability attorneys in Burg Simpson’s Cincinnati office today. Our award winning team of compassionate lawyers have spent years fighting drug companies and others who refuse to take responsibility for harm they cause. Let us fight for you. Call 513-852-5600 or fill out our contact form for a free, no-obligation consultation today.

 

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