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Baclofen in the Management of Inhalant Withdrawal: A Case Series

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2008;10(1):48-51
10.4088/PCC.v10n0108

Introduction: Abuse of inhalants and solvents is a significant public health problem. There is no specific treatment for inhalant withdrawal.

Objective: To study the effect of baclofen in treating craving and withdrawal symptoms in patients with inhalant dependence.

Case Reports: Case studies of 3 young male patients with DSM-IV diagnoses of inhalant dependence treated in an inpatient setting with baclofen are presented. All patients had nonspecific withdrawal symptoms in the form of irritability, insomnia, and craving. Baclofen
was given in doses up to 50 mg/day and was continued throughout the period of hospitalization.

Discussion: All patients reported significant reduction in withdrawal symptoms within 48 hours of treatment and were free of symptoms for the duration of their hospital stay. One patient continued the medication as an outpatient and has remained abstinent to
date. Baclofen was well tolerated by all patients. Our results suggest that baclofen may be an effective treatment modality in this patient population. These effects are possibly due to the agonistic action of baclofen at γ-aminobutyric acid B receptors in the ventral tegmental
area.