Complete and prolonged suppression of symptoms and consequences of alcohol-dependence using high-dose baclofen: a self-case report of a physician

Alcohol Alcohol. Mar-Apr 2005;40(2):147-50. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agh130. Epub 2004 Dec 13.

Abstract

Aims: To test whether the dose-dependent motivation-suppressing effect of baclofen in animals could be transposed to humans, and suppress craving and sustain abstinence.

Methods: Neurologists safely use up to 300 mg/day (10 times the dosage currently used for alcohol dependence) of high-dose oral baclofen, to control spasticity, in order to avoid invasive therapy. I am a physician with alcohol dependence and comorbid anxiety. I self-prescribed high-dose baclofen, starting at 30 mg/day, with 20 mg increments every third day and an (optional) additional 20-40 mg/day for cravings.

Results: Cravings became easier to combat. After reaching the craving-suppression dose of 270 mg/day (3.6 mg/kg) after 5 weeks, I became and have remained free of alcohol dependence symptoms effortlessly for the ninth consecutive month. Anxiety is well controlled. Somnolence disappeared with a dosage reduction to 120 mg/day, now used for the eighth consecutive month.

Conclusions: High-dose baclofen induced complete and prolonged suppression of symptoms and consequences of alcohol dependence, and relieved anxiety. This model, integrating cure and well-being, should be tested in randomized trials, under medical surveillance. It offers a new concept: medication-induced, dose-dependent, complete and prolonged suppression of substance-dependence symptoms with alleviation of comorbid anxiety.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / drug therapy*
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy
  • Anxiety Disorders / prevention & control
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Baclofen / administration & dosage*
  • Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physician Impairment / psychology*
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Disclosure*

Substances

  • Baclofen