DOSE: 140 mg Baclofen (35/35/35/35); 300 mg Bupropion SR (150/150).
OTHER MEDICATION(S): Multivitamin (1 tablet); Fish Oil (1 capsule)
SIDE EFFECTS: Decreased alcohol cravings
I have had some frightening thoughts over the past few days related to my self-administered high-dose baclofen treatment. I realized for the first time that I hadn't even thought about how or when I would be tapering off of baclofen, and whether or not that would be difficult. I'm now up to 140 mg/day, and I must say my cravings are practically nonexistent. However, I'm just afraid that if I continue for too long it could be a nightmare to get off of baclofen. I read some articles and blog threads recently of people who had horrendous experiences attempting to taper off of the drug, and some had severe health consequences which led them to hospitals, psych wards etc. What I'm saying is that I may have scared myself out of this venture, and I think I need to start working down my dose before I develop a high tolerance. It's unfortunate because I really think I might be close to reaching a point of complete suppression of alcohol cravings. The potential for danger just seems too great for me to continue for several more months or even a year. Also, I'm starting my next semester of school in a few days, and I want to make sure I'm mentally prepared for it. Baclofen also makes my muscles fatigue extremely easily, which makes working out far more challenging. Honestly I've reached a tolerance to the point where I have no negative side effects whatsoever other than muscle weakness, but it still seems risky.
Overall, baclofen seems to have helped immensely for my alcohol cravings, but I need to lower my dose so that I can more successfully do other things in life. I'm planning on asking my doctor about being put on Antabuse, so that I won't really have the option of drinking without horrific vomiting and nausea. If my cravings return and reach an unbearable level, I will obviously taper down at a much slower rate. As of now, I'm planning on reducing my dose by 10 mg every three days. Perhaps somewhere down the line I will attempt to reach my "switch," and perhaps sometime in the near future they will create a modified version of baclofen for alcohol dependence and addiction, but for now I must be more cautious and make sure that my "experiment" doesn't end up costing me in the long run. I've been sober almost four months now, and I credit baclofen for that. In the end, my conclusion is that baclofen is highly effective in alleviating cravings, but it comes with the risk of developing physical dependence and it hinders one's ability to do other things. I may decide to start up again, and maybe I'm just freaked out after reading some of the horror stories of other people's experiences, but I think it's best for me to taper down. I'll post more about my experiences tapering down as well.