September 1985

Aggravated CNS Depression With Urinary Retention Secondary to Baclofen Administration

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington.

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(9):1717-1718. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360090193029

• A 74-year-old woman with a history of cerebrovascular disease developed profound central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory depression, generalized hypotonia, sinus bradycardia, and urinary retention following an increase in dose of baclofen, an antispasticity agent. Before receiving baclofen therapy the patient had had minor urinary dysfunction associated with a remote cerebrovascular accident but no urinary retention. Cessation of baclofen therapy and the relief of the urinary obstruction improved mental status and normalized motor function within 24 hours. A withdrawal syndrome of agitation, hallucinosis, and convulsive activity persisted for eight days following discontinuation of the baclofen. Our experience suggests that patients with various forms of CNS disease states may be at risk of serious CNS depression with even small therapeutic doses of baclofen.

(Arch Intern Med 1985;145:1717-1718)