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  • Baclofen, Zanaflex... Valium??

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    Old 02-23-2015, 01:13 PM   #1
    mindi111
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    Baclofen, Zanaflex... Valium??

    Hi all! Hope you're all doing well.

    I wish I could say I am. But my legs keep getting worse. The spasticity is so extreme that I am having hip and knee pain. I get full leg spasms that make me fall over many times a day. Going from sitting to standing is very hard.

    I've tried Baclofen... It did absolutely nothing. I weaned off that. Then tizanidine (Zanaflex) was prescribed and I have a weird painful reaction to that in my leg muscles... It doesn't relax them, it makes them burn and feel very uncomfortable. So that's out.

    Next on the lists is diazepam (Valium)... Sounds a little extreme to me, but then again my spasticity is extreme. I do take 0.5mg of Ativan before bed each night mainly to help me sleep through my leg issues. It works really well for me. So maybe benzodiazepines are what I need for this, I don't know. Anyone tried this one for spasticity? I need to be awake in the day and that's what concerns me.

     
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    Old 02-23-2015, 01:29 PM   #2
    MSJayhawk
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    Re: Baclofen, Zanaflex... Valium??

    mindi111,

    Sorry to hear your difficulties. Have you tried stretching and low impact exercises? I know it takes time to get through the spasticity, but it does help. For me, I have cycles of spasticity which increases most often in the colder weather and in the heat of summer. Spring and autumn is best for me.

    There has been some work with botox, but with MS, there simply is no guaranteed success. Based on what you have shared, your story can be empathized by many MSers.

    As a "whole", stretching and exercise are the most effective in my opinion.

    Meds employed for MS to treat spasticity include:
    -Baclofen (the most commonly used medication)
    -Tizanidine (Zanaflex brand name) works quickly to calm spasms and relax tightened muscles. Although it doesn't produce muscle weakness, it often causes sedation and a dry mouth. In some patients, it may lower blood pressure.

    Other alternatives:

    -Diazepam (Valium brand name) - it lasts longer than Baclofen, but it can be addictive. Doctors usually have a low dosage prescribed to be taken at bedtime.
    -Dantrolene (Dantrium brand name) a "last ditch" med because it can produce serious side effects including liver damage and blood abnormalities.
    -Phenol a nerve block agent
    -Botulinum toxin (Botox brand name) injections have been shown to be effective in relieving spasticity in individual muscles for up to three months.
    -Clonidine (still experimental) Your doctor may be able to arrange this for you.

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    Old 02-23-2015, 01:29 PM   #3
    Snoopy61
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    Re: Baclofen, Zanaflex... Valium??

    Hi mindi111,

    If you already have Ativan, which is a Benzodiazepine, why would you want Valium too?

    Can Benzo's help with spasticity? Yes. Unfortunately, Benzo's can make you sleepy and driving is not recommended.

     
    Old 02-23-2015, 02:27 PM   #4
    mindi111
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    Re: Baclofen, Zanaflex... Valium??

    Is Valium just like taking more Ativan? I just want relief, I could always go off Ativan and on Valium instead if it would help. At this point I don't care about dependence issues, I just want to save my joints and tendons.

    Jayhawk I've read all of what you posted and I know what the drugs are for spasticity. I have a weird rxn to Zanaflex though and as I said Baclofen didn't work.

    I had to give up driving two months ago so at least I don't have to worry about that... I do have young children to take care of though so I can't be asleep all day.

    I will work on stretching better.

     
    Old 02-23-2015, 02:45 PM   #5
    Snoopy61
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    Re: Baclofen, Zanaflex... Valium??

    Hi mindi111

    Quote:
    Is Valium just like taking more Ativan?
    Ativan and Valium are both Benzodiazepines.

    I used a Benzodiazepine (Klonopin) for 10 years. Klonopin was prescribed for a different reason but my Drs. knew I also used it for MS symptoms. I found at a high dose my legs would feel like Jello. At a lower dose my legs would feel and work better.

    If you want to try a Benzodiazepine for spasticity then talk to your neuro.

     
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