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tapering off benzo's with baclofen?


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I've been been on benzo's for a very long time. I started with 3mg. a day, now it has escalated to 15 mg. a day. I tried to taper with diazepam but with no effect. I read this article about Baclofen and that it can help you with tapering benzo's . But I am doubtful... Do you have any suggestions or experiences with it?
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Hello bentaken1,

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies,

 

Many drugs and compounds have been suggested as benzodiazepine withdrawal adjunctives. I am not aware of any that have been shown to be useful. Like benzodiazepines, Baclofen is a GABA receptor agonist. Normal GABA receptor functioning must occur for us to recover. If you think about it, a new GABA agonist is only likely to result in continuing altered functioning of the GABA receptor and functioning. Only by quitting these agonists can normal functioning return.

 

I am not saying that it is impossible for some drug to come along that will help. Only that we've seen many drugs speculatively promoted as useful benzodiazepine withdrawal adjuncts, and none have proved their worth.

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Hi bentaken....

please do your homework very carefully on Baclofen. it is the reason i am on this site.  it is a 'benzo in disguise'.... a skeletal muscle relaxant. The withdrawal syndrome is similar to the benzos. i had a paradoxical reaction to it and it is the reason i had to switch to ativan and am having a long and difficult withdrawal.

 

please be careful.....

jeanie

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  • 11 years later...

Hi bentaken....

please do your homework very carefully on Baclofen. it is the reason i am on this site.  it is a 'benzo in disguise'.... a skeletal muscle relaxant. The withdrawal syndrome is similar to the benzos. i had a paradoxical reaction to it and it is the reason i had to switch to ativan and am having a long and difficult withdrawal.

 

please be careful.....

jeanie

 

Same situation here:  Valium - Baclofen - and was given a script from a local ER for Cipro to treat a sinus infection.  Those medical professionals knew my medical history, scripted it anyway.  My PCP MD also did the same.  Seems nobody is doing their homework lately in the medical field. (too busy?)  Same thing for the pharmacy. They like to have a computer flag for most drug interactions. This CIPRO script was filled, and my Valium-Baclofen was on file. 

 

Old saying: "the best doctor you have for first line of defense - is you"

 

 

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Just happened to come across your post.  The board does not alert to having responses or messages.  Yes - I took the Cipro, twice.  This was before I read topics on this site. 

 

My main question is whether to stop the baclofen first,then try to taper the valium, or continue to use the baclofen during the valium taper.

 

Here in Florida the situation is getting to the point of beyond ridiculous for obtaining controlled substances.  Last month was a first to refill a valid valium script.  I was notified in large lettering on the pharmacy site that it no longer could be refilled online and i had to call the pharmacy to ask for a refill.  Then there are 'special codes' they have to input.  Then there is this "DUR" drug utilization review thing someone put as an additional obstacle.

 

Baclofen not being a controlled item is easily refilled.  My preference is to rid myself of both.  Any ideas as how to approach this? 

 

Not sure if this is the correct forum to post this in. 

 

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Just happened to come across your post.  The board does not alert to having responses or messages.  Yes - I took the Cipro, twice.  This was before I read topics on this site. 

 

My main question is whether to stop the baclofen first,then try to taper the valium, or continue to use the baclofen during the valium taper.

 

Here in Florida the situation is getting to the point of beyond ridiculous for obtaining controlled substances.  Last month was a first to refill a valid valium script.  I was notified in large lettering on the pharmacy site that it no longer could be refilled online and i had to call the pharmacy to ask for a refill.  Then there are 'special codes' they have to input.  Then there is this "DUR" drug utilization review thing someone put as an additional obstacle.

 

Baclofen not being a controlled item is easily refilled.  My preference is to rid myself of both.  Any ideas as how to approach this? 

 

Not sure if this is the correct forum to post this in.

 

I'd actually like to see this conversation continue on one of the taper boards or Other Medications since this is an old thread on the introductory board. 

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What does the Cipro do that precludes use with valium?  I could use this information when presented with another Cipro script from a medical practitioner and give the reason for requesting a different antibiotic.
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What does the Cipro do that precludes use with valium?  I could use this information when presented with another Cipro script from a medical practitioner and give the reason for requesting a different antibiotic.

 

https://www.benzoinfo.com/2017/10/12/hidden-dangers-of-fluoroquinolone-antibiotics-in-the-benzodiazepine-dependent-population/

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=36633.0

 

 

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I found a link about Cipro from a member leading to a Wikipedia site.  While not known to be the best source for citation, it did mention that the Cipro kicks out the benzo from the Gaba receptors.  Both my primary care MD and the emergency room where I went for my sinus infection knew about the valium, the baclofen - yet prescribed it.  Not a word about an interaction.  Even the pharmacy (a major drugstore chain) did not pick up the possible adverse reaction - probably because it is not noted in their "computer database".  I obtained my education and enlightenment HERE on this site - not from the highly educated trained medical and pharmaceutical people. 

 

I copied that entire list of Cipro and friends drugs (flouro..whatever) for future reference so I can educate the doctors.

 

My question to post here is: I am taking both valium (20+ years) and recently baclofen (5 years or so), plus tramadol. 

 

I have stopped the tramadol without issue, just as I have stopped smoking when I was 20 without issue, and even beer guzzling (big German mugs) in my earlier days - just stopped overnight, without a problem.   

 

Total different story with the valium and baclofen.  I would like to stop both.  I take 20mg of valium/day and down to 20mg of baclofen from 80mg doing a taper at the moment. 

 

Would it be in my best interest to retain the baclofen back at 80mg, and try to start the valium tapering, or finish the baclofen first then try the valium reduction alone?

 

I think the information gathered here would be on par from what these educated medical people would provide, seeing the Cipro being dispensed with only some warning about a tendon rip and symptoms may persist for weeks or months. 

 

Almost 70 - not that many years left.   

 

Any suggestions?

 

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Tip of the hat for educating your prescribers and pharmacists about the dangers of ciprofloxacin and other fluoroquinolones.  One of the most persuasive pieces of evidence you can share is the Black Box Warning on the FDA drug labels for these products. Many prescribers and pharmacists are not aware of this. You can access the labels from the different manufacturers from DailyMed.  For example: 

 

DailyMed - CIPROFLOXACIN- ciprofloxacin hydrochloride tablet, film coated

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=6c64aa79-d087-4568-904c-3a0638b91e69

 

WARNING: SERIOUS ADVERSE REACTIONS INCLUDING TENDINITIS, TENDON RUPTURE, PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY, CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM EFFECTS AND EXACERBATION OF MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

 

Fluoroquinolones, including ciprofloxacin, have been associated with disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions that have occurred together [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] including:

 

◦ Tendinitis and tendon rupture [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]

◦ Peripheral neuropathy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]

◦ Central nervous system effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]

 

Discontinue ciprofloxacin immediately and avoid the use of fluoroquinolones, including ciprofloxacin, in patients who experience any of these serious adverse reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Fluoroquinolones, including ciprofloxacin, may exacerbate muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. Avoid ciprofloxacin tablets in patients with known history of myasthenia gravis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

 

Because fluoroquinolones, including ciprofloxacin, have been associated with serious adverse reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1 to 5.16)], reserve ciprofloxacin for use in patients who have no alternative treatment options for the following indications:

 

◦ Acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis [see Indications and Usage (1.10)]

◦ Acute uncomplicated cystitis [see Indications and Usage (1.11)]

◦ Acute sinusitis [see Indications and Usage (1.12)]

 

Another piece of evidence you can share is a March 2023 article from The People’s Pharmacy about the side effects of quinolone antibiotics.  I’ve often wondered how many individuals who experience fluoroquinolone-induced side effects are taking a benzodiazepine and are also experiencing benzodiazepine withdrawal effects (per the Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices, fluoroquinolones are antagonists of the GABA-A receptor).

 

Links:

Quinolone Antibiotics Can Cause Devastating Side Effects | The People's Pharmacy

https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/antibiotics-can-cause-devastating-side-effects

 

Fluoroquinolone Sensitization - The Alliance for Benzodiazepine Best Practices

https://benzoreform.org/fluoroquinolone-sensitization/

 

Edit: Added link re: fluoroquinolone sensitization

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I found a link about Cipro from a member leading to a Wikipedia site.  While not known to be the best source for citation, it did mention that the Cipro kicks out the benzo from the Gaba receptors.  Both my primary care MD and the emergency room where I went for my sinus infection knew about the valium, the baclofen - yet prescribed it.  Not a word about an interaction.  Even the pharmacy (a major drugstore chain) did not pick up the possible adverse reaction - probably because it is not noted in their "computer database".  I obtained my education and enlightenment HERE on this site - not from the highly educated trained medical and pharmaceutical people. 

 

I copied that entire list of Cipro and friends drugs (flouro..whatever) for future reference so I can educate the doctors.

 

My question to post here is: I am taking both valium (20+ years) and recently baclofen (5 years or so), plus tramadol. 

 

I have stopped the tramadol without issue, just as I have stopped smoking when I was 20 without issue, and even beer guzzling (big German mugs) in my earlier days - just stopped overnight, without a problem.   

 

Total different story with the valium and baclofen.  I would like to stop both.  I take 20mg of valium/day and down to 20mg of baclofen from 80mg doing a taper at the moment. 

 

Would it be in my best interest to retain the baclofen back at 80mg, and try to start the valium tapering, or finish the baclofen first then try the valium reduction alone?

 

I think the information gathered here would be on par from what these educated medical people would provide, seeing the Cipro being dispensed with only some warning about a tendon rip and symptoms may persist for weeks or months. 

 

Almost 70 - not that many years left.   

 

Any suggestions?

 

How rapid is your baclofen taper and what type of symptoms are you dealing with?  Do you know how long it takes to recover?  Tapering from 20 mgs Valium will quite likely take many months, full recovery will be 1-2 years after the end of your taper, I'd probably taper the baclofen first. 

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Oh man.  I was given CIPRO twice in the past by medical people.  Not once was the issue of the contradiction with benzo drugs noted, and they were informed of all of my medications.  Now it is yet another item:  Fluoroquinolone use and risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection: nationwide cohort study.  I also have an upper ascending aortic aneurysm that is 4.3cm. This is documented in my medical history as well.  Thanks to THIS site, I am obtaining more of a medical and pharmaceutical education than I am from doctors and pharmacists.  I think some other MD even gave Cipro to one of my sons for an infection. 

 

 

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