Baclofen is widely used for spastic disorders and, most recently, for addictive disorders. The first signals of baclofen abuse occurred in the last decade. This study aims to assess the motives, diversion sources, and routes of administration associated with the non-medical use of baclofen and examine health problems related to the non-medical use of baclofen.
Spontaneous reports of baclofen abuse reported to the addictovigilance centre of East France were analysed. A literature search was conducted using PubMed®, Web of Sciences®, and Google Scholar® databases. Both investigations were performed in February 2021 without a time limit.
Forty-six cases were analysed (33 from the literature review and 13 from the addictovigilance base). Baclofen's non-medical use mainly affected male subjects with addictive history, but issues of primary abuse in subjects without any substance abuse history were also observed. Euphoria search was the most common reason for misuse. The route of administration included oral, snorting, and sublingual use. Some cases involving illegal sources were also observed. Most patients misusing baclofen presented severe complications, mainly represented by neurological and respiratory disturbances. Physical and psychological dependence on baclofen was observed in three persons.
Although baclofen abuse remains relatively infrequent or (most likely) underestimated, this study helped confirm baclofen's intrinsic abuse potential and make visible the baclofen-abuse-related health visible harms. Careful consideration and benefit-risk analysis should be employed when prescribing baclofen, and emergency departments should be aware of baclofen dangers in abuse situations.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Baclofen, Non-medical use, Recreational, Abuse, Case series