Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day Four

DOSE: 20 mg Baclofen (5/5/5/5).

OTHER MEDICATION(S): Multivitamin (1 tablet). Omega 3 Fish Oil (1 capsule).

SIDE EFFECTS: Headache; mild somnolence; decreased alcohol cravings.

I had a somewhat interesting day today. Last night I decided to take an extra 5 mg of baclofen before bed because that morning I noticed what seemed to be a slight baclofen "hangover" from not having it in my system for several hours. It worked well and I slept great once again, so I'm going to do that again tonight. Tomorrow I will increase my dose to 30 mg, and I'm a little nervous about that but also excited. Overall I felt good today in terms of the effects of baclofen on my alcohol cravings, but I did experience noticeable tiredness after lunch, around 1:30 p.m. I took a nap and found it very difficult to shake off the feeling of somnolence and lethargy after I woke up. Eventually that feeling wore off and I felt fine, but it was a strange experience. My days are pretty slow since I'm not in school or working right now, so I need to find some new activities to fill my days. I believe this is where a program such as Alcoholic's Anonymous would come in handy, because a pill obviously can't address the social and environmental aspects of alcoholism. Next week I will be starting an outpatient treatment program that meets three times a week for three hours. Hopefully I'll be able to make some sober friends there and start participating in fun, sober leisure activities. My intramural sports team will also begin next week, and I'm excited for that. I have also noticed mild headaches at various times throughout the day, but this could be a result of my bruxism (jaw clenching). Part of me was hoping that baclofen, being a muscle relaxant, might alleviate some of my jaw clenching/teeth grinding, but it hasn't done so yet.

In all, today was a positive day and I'm still feeling very good about my baclofen adventure. Some marked tiredness, mild headaches, and very slight mood changes are all that have occurred in terms of side effects so far. I hope that as I increase my dose, the side effects don't get to be too much. I just read (Oct. 22, 2014) that the University of North Carolina is seeking volunteers for a controlled study of baclofen use for the treatment of alcoholism, so I will definitely be keeping up with those developments. My guess is that within five years scientists will have changed the molecular makeup of baclofen just enough to be able to market it as a new drug and thus allow pharmaceutical companies to profit from it. Due to the fact that baclofen is a relatively old drug, all of its patents have expired, so big-name drug companies can't make money on it. That is the only reason I can see for why it is not being focused on more in the treatment of alcoholism.

Anyways, I'll post more in the next day or two. I'm 33 days sober, and things are going well!

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