Saturday, 15 August 2015

Problems of Intrathecal baclofen pumps

Stetkarova I, Brabec K, Vasko P, Mencl L. Intrathecal Baclofen in Spinal Spasticity: Frequency and Severity of Withdrawal Syndrome. Pain Physician. 2015;18(4):E633-E641.

BACKGROUND:Intrathecal baclofen (ITB) delivered by programmable pump devices represents an important modality for long-term treatment of severe spinal spasticity.
OBJECTIVE:One of the serious adverse events is a withdrawal syndrome after sudden interruption of ITB delivery. In this study, we analyzed the frequency and severity of this complication. Treatment recommendations follow.
METHODS: A total of 54 ITB pumps were successfully implanted in 39 patients with severe intractable spasticity (24 with spinal cord injury, 15 withmultiple sclerosis, 24 men, age range 21 - 59 years).
RESULTS: Eight patients developed a withdrawal syndrome on total a daily dose of ITB between 90 - 420 μg/day. Seven patients had catheter-related complications. In one patient, pump failure was observed due to its corrosion. Within the group, baclofen withdrawal syndrome occurred once in 20.1 pump-years counted out of 160.4 pump-years of ITB treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: ITB withdrawal syndrome is a rare but life-threatening event and prompt diagnosis before treatment initiation is critical. The reported events were mostly mild due to the acute treatment regime and probably due to a lower dose of ITB. A prerequisite for successful ITB treatment is a deep knowledge of complications and their prompt management in the hands of a multidisciplinary team in specialized centers.

If managed well intrathecal baclofen can do marevelous things and allow people to reduce their other meds that are all sedating. However GABA (inhibitory neurotransmitter) receptor stimulator can induce insensitivity to GABA, so if this is stopped suddenly then you may not be making enough, and so suffer a  crisis.

COI. We are developing and alternative anti-spastic treatment

1 comment:

  1. Also remember to tell your doctor before going for an MRI - can change the setting and stop the pump working! This happened to me with a patient at 5pm once and everyone had gone home!!


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