Characterizing Baclofen Withdrawal: A National Survey of Physician Experience

Natalie S. Schmitz, Linda E. Krach, Lisa D. Coles, John Schrogie, James C. Cloyd, Robert L. Kriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: We studied physicians’ opinions and experiences concerning clinical concerns, perceived severity, occurrence, and management of baclofen withdrawal due to abrupt discontinuation. Methods: A nationwide 26-question electronic survey was distributed via e-mail to physicians (N = 952) representing varying specialties who manage spasticity with baclofen. A total of 110 physicians provided responses to the survey (response rate = 11.6%). Results were evaluated using descriptive statistics. Results: Withdrawal from both oral and intrathecal (IT) baclofen was recognized as a significant concern and was observed by most respondents. However, approximately 75% and 35% of respondents or their clinic sites lack established management protocols for managing anticipated interruption of oral or IT baclofen, respectively. Conclusions: These findings highlight the need for further research on and the development of guidelines for the prevention and treatment of baclofen withdrawal. The results of this survey, along with a systematic literature review and multidisciplinary stakeholder input, may be helpful in establishing guidelines for the treatment and prevention of baclofen withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-109
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Medtronic, Inc, who identified participants and distributed our survey. I am grateful for the mentoring, counseling, and friendship of Dr Kenneth (Ken) Swaiman, who encouraged me to pursue a career in academic medicine. Ken strongly supported my academic promotions. He also advised and helped with the review, editing, submission, and publication of my manuscripts. Robert (Bob) L. Kriel, M.D. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. There was no funding for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Baclofen
  • Baclofen administration & dosage
  • Baclofen adverse effects
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Muscle spasticity/drug therapy
  • Substance withdrawal syndrome/therapy
  • Survey

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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