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Like Alcohol but Without the Good Aspects
Baclofen
by ozonelayer
Citation:   ozonelayer. "Like Alcohol but Without the Good Aspects: An Experience with Baclofen (exp104802)". Erowid.org. Oct 15, 2019. erowid.org/exp/104802

 
DOSE:
T+ 0:00
12.5 mg oral Pharms - Baclofen
  T+ 0:45 25 mg oral Pharms - Baclofen
  T+ 11:30 125 mg oral Pharms - Baclofen

BODY WEIGHT: 165 lb


Subject: Like alcohol, but without the good aspects

Years ago, I sustained a concussion from being punched in the head. It dramatically and permanently worsened my short-term memory and concentration. It also caused chronic emotional lability, anxiety, and occasional rage. I also sustained another concussion a few years later. Iíve recently been searching for a neurochemical solution.

Yesterday at 6:30 am, I took 12.5 mg generic baclofen. By 7:15 am, I didnít feel much of anything ó possibly a mild diminution in anxiety ó so I took another 25 mg. Ate a normal breakfast. Went to work. By 10:30 am, I felt a slightly more perceptible decrease in inhibition and anxiety, but nothing major.
I felt a slightly more perceptible decrease in inhibition and anxiety, but nothing major.
This lasted for another four hours or so until around 2:30 pm, and then gradually went away. But it was mild enough that I was hardly sure it was there.

I came home from work and at 6:00 pm decided Iíd take a higher dose ó 125 mg ó to see if baclofen would really do anything for me. Went to IKEA an hour later to buy home furnishings. For two hours after ingestion, I had very little effect from the baclofen, at which point (8:00 pm) I started feeling the decrease in anxiety again. It wasnít hedonic in any way, but it was slightly convenient in that it allowed me to do basic things ó asking for directions from the store employees in IKEA, for example ó without the usual second thought or slight anxiety. It also decreased obsessiveness; I didnít insist on doing or saying things multiple times. But it certainly didnít improve my memory or concentration. On the contrary.

By 9:30 pm, I sat down to a little dinner with my mother, who had kindly accompanied me on the IKEA trip during her visit to town. By 10:00 pm, I started feeling woozy and a little sick. The room was spinning slightly. It felt like I was drunk, but without the hedonic or energized aspects that I usually get from ethanol. At 10:30 pm, I started driving us home. Big mistake. What should have been a 30-minute trip took around 60 minutes due to my many wrong turns. I found myself going down incorrect routes and one-way streets and weaving out of my lane. I also felt quite nauseous, though not enough to vomit and without the intensity that alcohol causes. I occasionally rubbed my head because I was feeling so weird and unpleasant. My poor mother was concerned, but was too sweet to say anything about it even though she knows Iíve been using various meds to deal with the concussion symptoms and therefore probably guessed my condition was drug-induced (something I told her after getting home). By the time we got home, I was having trouble driving or walking straight. I was also repeating myself and took four attempts to parallel-park the car. I could barely figure out how to get the furniture out of the car and into the apartment. I walked by my apartment door without realizing it, then had to walk back when my mom pointed out that we were in the wrong hallway. I passed out at 12:00 am.

Woke up at 7:00 am still feeling the effects of the baclofen: woozy, head spinning, and still with diminished anxiety. Still feeling the same at 7:30 am.

Aside: I have long suspected that asthma that I got a few years after the concussions may have been partly triggered by them. I realize this is an unusual possibility, but there is a history of mild autoimmune disorders (e.g. lupus) that runs in the family and I thought there might be a connection. Drugs acting on NMDA glutamate receptors ó especially memantine ó have been helpful in the past for both the anxiety and, to a lesser extent, for the asthma. At 7:15 am, feeling woozy from the baclofen, I noticed that my breathing was a little easier so I tested the asthma hypothesis by running around my apartment floor three times ó something that would normally induce bronchial inflammation and a lot of coughing. I got no inflammation or coughing at all. This seems to confirm my theory that glutamate/GABA action may have something to do with my particular case of asthma.

Overall, there is very little that commends baclofen to me.
Overall, there is very little that commends baclofen to me.
Yes, it decreased anxiety somewhat, but not in as hedonic (e.g. alcohol, methylphenidate/Ritalin) or useful and focusing (atomoxetine/Strattera, methylphenidate/Ritalin) a way as other compounds. It didnít make me feel more in command of my actions as those compounds. The negative effects at high doses ó wooziness, worsening of memory to the point where I was forgetting things I was doing (effectively blacking out while still awake) ó made it useless as a cognitive enhancer (I know, itís silly to take baclofen for cognitive enhancement). Itís too early to say whether Iíll feel much rebound effect.

The upshot at this point is that baclofen affected me just like alcohol, but without any positive effects (though also without the hangover headache, at least so far). Each 25-mg tablet of baclofen had the approximate effect of two shots of vodka, so Iíd say my final dosing of baclofen ó 125 mg ó was comparable to 10 shots of vodka in duration and effects on memory, motor control, and cognition.

I have no interest in trying baclofen again.

Exp Year: 2014ExpID: 104802
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 36 
Published: Oct 15, 2019Views: 3,261
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Pharms - Baclofen (514) : Various (28), Medical Use (47), Difficult Experiences (5), General (1)

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