The strength of baclofen liquid medicine is changing

What is baclofen?

Baclofen is a muscle-relaxant medication used for the treatment of severe muscle spasm (spasticity). It is often used in adults and children with cerebral palsy or other conditions that affect the brain or spinal cord, including multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.  

What is the change in strength?

From 1 November 2021,  the strength of baclofen liquid medicine has changed to 1mg/mL. This means there is 1 milligram (mg) of baclofen in each millilitre (mL) of medicine. This strength will make it easier to measure doses and prevent errors.

Before 1 November 2021, the strength of baclofen liquid medicine was 10mg/mL, which meant there was 10mg of baclofen in each 1mL of medicine. This strength will no longer be available.

What does the change in strength mean?

This change in strength means there will be a change in the amount of liquid you or your child will take. 

  • Read the medicine label before you or your child take the medicine. 
  • Check with your pharmacist if you are unsure how much to give to your child.
  • To measure out the amount accurately, ensure you have an appropriate dose measure — medicine spoon or medicine syringe. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure how to measure the dose accurately.

Read more about medicine syringes and how to give medicine to babies and children.

Other forms of baclofen

In New Zealand baclofen is also available as a tablet (10mg). If you or your child are taking doses of 10 mg or more, the tablets can be crushed and mixed with water. This may be easier than taking a lot of liquid medicine. Speak to your pharmacist if this is an option for you or your child.   

Learn more

Giving medicines to babies and children
How to use medicine syringes
Baclofen for muscle spasm 

References

  1. Baclofen oral liquid medication alert Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand, October 2021