Baclofen is an antispastic muscle relaxant. Researchers don’t know exactly how baclofen works; however, in general, it blocks nerve signals from muscles at the level of the spinal cord and it may also depress the central nervous system.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved baclofen in 1977 under the brand name Lioresal, which was made by Novartis. The FDA approved generic baclofen in the 1980s.
Today, only generic versions of baclofen are available.
A case report published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology in 2014 suggested that baclofen might be effective for treating marijuana dependence, particularly for those who have used the drug heavily for a long time. The research also showed that baclofen may help reduce withdrawal symptoms as well as the effects of marijuana.
A separate study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2014, found that baclofen may also help people with drug addiction avoid possible triggers and prevent relapse. The drug works by interfering with the brain’s early response to drug cues.
Baclofen is used to treat muscle spasms caused by certain conditions (such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury/disease). It works by helping to relax the muscles.