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Thread: Can Baclofen reset benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms?

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    Can Baclofen reset benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms? 
    #1
    I have recently had baclofen prescribed by a neurologist (I have an oppressed nerve in my hand which makes it go numb). Over 2 years ago I quit benzodiazepines, so I was reluctant to take any GABAergics at all, but I took like 2 doses of 10mgs and one dose of 20mgs, 3 days in a row, to my surprise a day after 20mgs I experienced effects quite similar to benzodiazepine effects (sluggish thinking, drowsiness, some amnesia from the previous day). It's been two or three days since my last dose and my thinking is still blurry, I have to do a lot of basic math in my job and a lot of more complex math for my classes at the university, so I can notice such things right away, it takes me some time to process basic mathematical operations and I'm experiencing weird anxiety coming out of nowhere.

    So I'm wondering by what mechanism this could be happening (how are GABA-B and GABA-A receptors connected? is it possible to still experience rebound withdrawal symptoms two years after quiting benzodiazepines if I was feeling fairly fine for quite some time now?) or if it's not related at all and I just had my anxiety triggered by something else that I missed and attribute it to these few doses of baclofen.
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    #2
    Well gabapentinoids like pregabalin exert their efffects via Ca++ ion channel modulation, but baclofen is a direct GABA agonist. So although it doesn't bind to the bzp site, I'd think that it could still induce stuff like GABA receptor internalisation, or decreased GABA synthesis, which is what benzodiazepines will do as well. I don't know the exact molecular mechanisms though so someone else could possibly chime in on that. So I would be careful about it basically.
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    #3
    Bluelighter Cotcha Yankinov's Avatar
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    It sounds like the compensation of downstream glutamate is one of the major players in benzo users issues, and I would expect the same from GABA-B - unless maybe GABA-B is playing more of a role modulating other neurotransmitters and long term potentiation isn't as much of an issue.

    By the way guys, it seems pretty solid that Gabapentin/pregablin are not actually GABA-B agonists. Saw a couple studies that didn't detect any GABA-B affinity.
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    #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotcha Yankinov View Post
    By the way guys, it seems pretty solid that Gabapentin/pregablin are not actually GABA-B agonists. Saw a couple studies that didn't detect any GABA-B affinity.
    That is true, they are not. However, phenibut and especially baclofen are GABA-B agonists.
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    #5
    It helps, but is no substitute and it's more toxic. Personal experience.
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    #6
    Bluelighter PINKoPANaTHER's Avatar
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    I would be careful, just because it is GABA-B selective doesn't mean your past-use won't result in rapid tolerance development. I experience benzo like withdrawal effects now after only a couple uses, even from things like lyrica that may not directly act through the GABA receptor system. I'm confused why this doctor would prescribe baclofen for numbness in your hand. Usually those type of drugs are reserved for neuropathic pain, I'm not sure by what mechanisms it might help with numbness.
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    #7
    Bluelighter Cotcha Yankinov's Avatar
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    I bet you that glutamate kindling developed with GABA-A agonists is preserved with GABA-B agonists, though your GABA-B receptors might be untouched the downstream compensatory effects of GABA-B agonism might be similar to chronic GABA-A agonism, and you could see see this reflected in the withdrawals/rebound symptoms.
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    #8
    Baclofen is pretty toxic. Cotcha is right. In the UK, the 'G drugs' i.e. gabapentin & pregabalin (I thing the brand-names begin with G) are the latest HR issue - people shooting it with H. People have done the same with pregabalin, often with fatal results. It's plain nasty, as I know, tried in epilepsy trial. I'm guessing it's habit-forming. But that's just my opinion.
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    #9
    What do you mean by toxic? In what way? I've never heard about that.

    I'm confused why this doctor would prescribe baclofen for numbness in your hand. Usually those type of drugs are reserved for neuropathic pain, I'm not sure by what mechanisms it might help with numbness.
    Numbness is caused by narrowed median nerve, I also have some problems with my spine, but unfortunately I can't tell you the details, my neurologist says it's both related. I suppose muscle relaxants are used in such cases. However, I told him I had taken benzodiazepines for years and quit them during my first visit, so I was quite surprised when he prescribed baclofen. I didn't touch it until I ran out of buprenorphine 3 days early and had nothing to ease the withdrawal, I have a lot of work and studying, so spending 3 workdays at home is out of question. Sadly, I'm about to experience the same situation again starting tomorrow...
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    #10
    Bluelight Crew bingey's Avatar
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    I think by toxic he means more than benzodiazepines but not toxic to the body like ethanol or neurotoxic like meth
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    #11
    Bluelighter MeDieViL's Avatar
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    It never helped benzo withdrawals for me, phenibut partionally helps, GBL fully worked but that was only for mild withdrawals, benzos work for all gabab withdrawals tough
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    #12
    I'm never taking baclofen again. I took 15mg two days in a row, didn't feel much from it, but then on the third day I definitely felt when it wore off. Stories about the withdrawal being worse than benzodiazepine withdrawal might just be true when I try to imagine this terror multiplied by years of taking and hundreds of mg's.
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