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cheeto

Going to start Bac today?

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cheeto

Hi Everyone, I am 60 years old and have been drinking heavily for more than 30 years.

I stuck with Naltrexone, The Sinclair Method for over 2 years and it didn't work for me. Guess I was the small % it doesn't work for. So I am going to try Baclofen starting today.

I just ordered a 280, 10 mg of Baclofen and after reading some threads here it sounds like I should start with 5mg a day and then up another 5 mg each day or should I give it longer in between like every 3 days? Not sure really the dosage to take? It sounds like people take a really high dose for it to work most of the time? Also when people take a high dose and it works for them to either abstain or feel indifferent they titrate down, is that right? It would be great to have a guide to follow for dosage.

Anyway I am hoping Bac works for me as I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired from drinking every night to excess, usually a bottle and 1/2 of wine.

This has been going on for way too long and now my health is suffering.

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Felina

Hi @cheeto and welcome!

Here is the prescribing guide to baclofen: https://www.dropbox.com/s/am8xfri1eqykbq3/Prescription Guide.pdf?dl=0

You can start at 5 mgs, but it's more common to take 5 mgs 3x/day for three days, and then increase it by 10 mgs/day every 3-4 days. You'll definitely want to stock up. 280 pills won't last long at all! Baclofen can mess with your memory, so it is a good idea to measure out your doses in advance and set phone alarms so you don't forget your doses. Don't be alarmed if you don't have anything happen right away. The most common mistake people make is going in dosage way too fast, and then getting floored by side effects. Slow and steady is the name of the game. Keep a close eye on side effects. If you find yourself struggling with side effects, stay at a level dose until the side effects subside, and then titrate up slowly. 

When I first started taking baclofen in 2010, I went up by 20 mgs every week. However, I was hit by severe nausea and dizziness after every increase. 10 mgs every few days is much saner. 

Keep posting and asking questions! Baclofen is a miracle drug. I credit it with saving my life.

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StuckinLA

Welcome, @cheeto! I reiterate what Felina said. The prescribing guide is a great place to start, and definitely measure out doses for maybe a week at a time - I found a pill box immensely helpful, those little 4 compartment strips that fit into a MTWThFSSu case. And have lots and lots of pills on hand, they do go fast.

First night I started bac way back in the day, I took 5mg while playing some video games just to see. To break the ice, as it were. Then if I'm remembering correctly I did 5mg x3 a day for a few days and went from there. Usually went up about 10mg per week. Switch was somewhere around the 280mg/day mark or so.

People do generally come down after a bit, that's a uniquely personal matter depending on side effects, drinking levels, and goals. Full disclosure: I went down and off completely and have had a rocky path for a long time, currently alcohol-free for a tad over 8 months. Not currently taking bac or any other medication. Again, it all depends on how you feel. Slow and steady, though, definitely wins the race.

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Mom2JTx3

Hi @cheeto and welcome!

If you have trouble with the link above, try this one: 

Space out and increase your dosages as Felina describes.  You can extend the number of days between increases if you find that you're experiencing troublesome side effects.  

Baclofen saved my life and I couldn't go one day without drinking before it.  Please let us know if you have questions along the way.  Good luck!

 

 

 

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cheeto

Thank you so much Felina, StuckinLA & Mom for your responses and support. I have a pill box that I am using now and have printed out the guide to follow.

Again Thank You!

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Mom2JTx3

@cheeto  I did want to mention that many switch at lower doses than mine.  Under 200mg.  I switched at 250, then relapsed and went up to 310.  It's all over the map so you may be successful using much less :) 

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cheeto

I am really hoping Bac works for me somewhere down the road. At 5 o"clock is when I usually start drinking and hope that the habit will be cured also as it goes hand in hand to have wine while I'm making dinner. I also have social anxiety and that's where I started using Alcohol as a bandage and now it's out of control. Anyone that Bac has worked for had these issues too?

Thanks

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Felina

I think most of us have had those issues to some degree, @cheeto! I found early on that baclofen took away a lot of my generalized anxiety, so I wasn't a nervous wreck all the time. I also was very happy as I was titrating up on baclofen to see that "witching hour" craving/anxiety slowly fade away. 

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StuckinLA

Yep, a drink in my hand just always made everything better. Didn't realize it was anxiety, social or otherwise, until I stopped. But the 5 o'clock witching hour turned into 8 a.m. and it all went to hell from there.

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Molly78

I had exactly the same problem with need for a drink in the evening after work.  You can maximise the effect of bac in the early stages by taking most of your doses in the morning & early afternoon so that blood levels peak around 5 pm.  However the effect of habit is hard to break even with bac!  The "I deserve a drink at the end of the day" mindset is really well established once you are 60.  I was 63 when I finally used bac to reduce my alcohol intake, but you know what?  I still can't entirely relinquish that feeling 4 years later.

I am sober but not abstinent, maintaining my intake usually below the magical 14 units a week the UK government recommends.  If I can speak from my own experience, I have never tried to reach the magical "switch" as I suspect my dose of bac would just go up & up & still I would want that drink at the end of the day!  I think I am maybe the  oldest person posting on here, so maybe the youngsters can't understand this problem!

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empyr3al

Curious how hard on the body is this high dose of BAC.  If used long term.

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Mom2JTx3

Terryk has been taking HDB for six years with no ill effect. I guess he's in year 7 now. 

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Felina

I will hit my 7 year bac anniversary in December. Just had some very comprehensive bloodwork and things are looking good. I was worried about my kidneys in particular.

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terryk
16 hours ago, Mom2JTx3 said:

Terryk has been taking HDB for six years with no ill effect. I guess he's in year 7 now. 

I've been consistently on HDB (120mg+) for over 7 years. The 7th anniversary of my switch/indifference (@280mg/day) will be next month and I'll do a more thorough update then... but it's true, no real ill effects to date, my blood work has been fine and I'm still cruising along.

-tk

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cheeto

I titrated up to 30 mg and am still waiting for my order that I bought online so I have had to go back down to 5 mg as I am running out. I only have 2 x 10 mg left so I am crossing my fingers I get my order by at least Wednesday? Has anyone ever ordered from Trust Pharmacy?

I just found out that Baclofen is covered by 80% with my health befefits which I didn't think it was so will get them from a Dr here next.

I am awaiting 280 10mg pills which I hear will not last me long once I titrate up.

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Felina

I've never heard of Trust Pharmacy, @cheeto, and they seem a little suspicious to me from a cursory web search. I hope you get your order. I was able to get my primary care provider to prescribe baclofen. If you go to the Research section of this website, you can find a cache of information on baclofen, including studies to print off and show your doctor.

If all else fails, you can always try the following pharmacies. I have ordered from River, Goldpharma, and All Day Chemist in the past. 

 

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cheeto

The Dr I went to was very reluctant to give me too many Bac as she said she has never heard of this and never heard people taking such high doses. Well she gave me 120 Tabs, 20 mg  and said this should last for a month then come back in before I run out. She said she will look up info on Bac and guess I will see if she will prescribe me more? I didn't print out the long sheet from the Link above but may see if I can email her it?

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Felina

Wow, if she prescribed it and is possibly open to prescribing more, you are off to a great start! Might be a good idea to email her the studies from the link below. 

 

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empyr3al

Uhm cheeto. I went to a specialist yesterday and he gave me gabapentin capsules (largest bottle of meds I've seen, though the boxes of campral are sizable), said the max baclofen he would give me was 20 and the system here maxes out at 30.  He knows about the studies being done and seemed a little irritated when I mentioned it and cut me off when I mentioned france.  So even a doc that will prescribe crazy things still won't do baclofen at high dose.  Wants me to stay at Mirtazapine 30mg.  And start gabapentin.  I have enough BAC from another doc who gave me 30, I would take to to about a half month to hit what most would consider the switch, but then I'm left hanging with withdrawals.  I guess I will stick with what they are saying.  Its like he uses us as study cases himself.

I think this post was restored because my dog knocked out my power, so its a bit late of a response.

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Baclofenman
On 8/30/2017 at 6:34 PM, cheeto said:

I have titrated to 60 mg and am sooooo tired.

HaHa, Somnolence.

If that is your only side effect you are doing well. I think nearly every Bac user gets this to a certain extent. It is a by-product of the titration. It should pass when you are on level keel.

@cheeto How are things going for you now?

 

On 8/26/2017 at 5:12 PM, terryk said:

I've been consistently on HDB (120mg+) for over 7 years. The 7th anniversary of my switch/indifference (@280mg/day) will be next month and I'll do a more thorough update then... but it's true, no real ill effects to date, my blood work has been fine and I'm still cruising along.

-tk

Congrats tk, I look forward to the update :)

I am nearly at two years HDB, with very little side effect to mention. I have lost in excess of 5 stone, got my blood pressure to normal and my latest blood test showed excellent functions. I have little desire to sample alcohol, tho sometimes I am tempted with the "bottle of scotch trial". I have tho grown an intolerance for drinkers, especial of the pissed variety

To put it frankly, Baclofen has saved my life, or at the very least shown me a different life from which I can expect a greater longevity.

Regards

 

Bacman

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StuckinLA

hehehe, yeah I could put a bottle of scotch on trial too. For sure. :D

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cheeto

I had my parents visiting and decided to just take 20 mg of Bac so I wasn't so tired and dizzy Aug 31, Sept 1-4th. I titrated up to 30 mg Sept 5-6th, then to 40 mg Sept 7-9th. Now am up to 50 mg Sept 10-12th. Hopefully I can up it to 60 mg on Sept 13-15th, so will see how I do. No change in drinking so far as I am still at 1.5 bottles of wine a night, arghh!

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Baclofenman
8 minutes ago, cheeto said:

I had my parents visiting and decided to just take 20 mg of Bac so I wasn't so tired and dizzy Aug 31, Sept 1-4th. I titrated up to 30 mg Sept 5-6th, then to 40 mg Sept 7-9th. Now am up to 50 mg Sept 10-12th. Hopefully I can up it to 60 mg on Sept 13-15th, so will see how I do. No change in drinking so far as I am still at 1.5 bottles of wine a night, arghh!

Hi

Indifference will not come yet, judging by the volume you are currently consuming. FYI, I got there at C180mg (2 Bottles) and @Mom2JTx3 C300mg (Fair bit more than me!)

It's a patience game, don't be tempted to go at it too quick and don't be afraid to maintain or back off 10mg or so for a while if the side effects get too shitty.

Regards

 

Bacman

 

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cheeto

I have post nasal drip but not sure if Bac is making it worse as I wake up early early morning coughing and congested, yuck!

I am up to 50 mg Bac but think I will back off to 40 mg today as I am going out tonight and get so very tired, hope this helps so I can stay up?

Sunday I have another social outing so will titrate up on Monday. My SE's right now are being tired, dizzy, brain fog or feeling kinda stoned and PND.

I have a spreadsheet I made up to track my titration and keep a weekly pill box out so I know if and how much I take everyday.

Thanks for all the responses.

Edited by cheeto

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empyr3al
1 hour ago, cheeto said:

I have post nasal drip but not sure if Bac is making it worse as I wake up early early morning coughing and congested, yuck!

I am up to 50 mg Bac but think I will back off to 40 mg today as I am going out tonight and get so very tired, hope this helps so I can stay up?

Sunday I have another social outing so will titrate up on Monday. My SE's right now are being tired, dizzy, brain fog or feeling kinda stoned and PND.

I have a spreadsheet I made up to track my titration and keep a weekly pill box out so I know if and how much I take everyday.

Thanks for all the responses.

My doc prescribed me Ciclesonide Nasal Spray for post nasal drip.  I personally didn't like it as it locked up everything instead of releasing it.  But I only used it for a couple days.  It seems to have cleared up as I have been abstinent from AL but could be because allergies are less in this season.  Could also be a good SE from one of the 4 meds I use.  It seems to have stopped in conjunction with not drinking straight vodka, and mirtazipine and nearly completely with Gabapentin.  Gabapentin was suspiciously around the time I stopped coughing the mad phelgm in the morning from post nasal drip.  The horrific stuff that happens from coughing phlegm with your diaphragm clenching every time does massive damage to other part in your gastro intestinal system.  Here's a link... that I shared as Gabapentin used as off label for AWS and craving in another thread, but I customized it for Cough.  I was researching its other uses off label for my father to get off of T3 with codeine and ativan, and stumbled upon the fact some people use it for phlegm and cough.  Use the drop down list if you want to see the reviews of it for AWS, which is nothing more than stunning, but cough was mentioned so the cough link. Cough link Gabapentin (use drop down for alcohol) Off-label.  The first review is 9/10 and done off label by and ENT.  When I started Gabapentin things changed to nearly perfect with the cough and phlegm, and that ick on the tongue.  Oh and I have no cravings, absolutely zero using it.  Was at 900mg but I'm using it to curb 5 mg diazepam to zero down quickly so I'm pushing GabaP up to 1200 and might do 1500 as the diazepam hits 0 (over the course of a couple days).

Everyday I am thankful I don't cough and spit up stuff in the mornings from PND!  Wow it got painful at times!

Bac did to me what you are describing, feeling stoned, brain fog, so I stopped that without hitting switch and went Gabapentin.  Long story posted in another thread.

Just an idea.

 

Edited by empyr3al
typo's

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cheeto

Hi empyr3al, funny I used Gabapentin to help me sleep when I had Sciatica and have used it since every once in a while when I can't sleep. I only take 100-200 mg about an hour before bed and that makes me super sleepy. I could try taking it at night along with my Bac but Bac makes me so sleepy that if I took Gabapentin during the day I would be wiped. Where is the other thread you were talking about, I would love to read it?

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empyr3al

Its the summary of how to get meds and some other stuff in Canada as the UK practices similarly.  My journey to get what meds I wanted and how to push your doctors.  No mention of Post Nasal Drip in the post, there are posts about that over the last couple months from me on here or WMO.  They were specifically about PND, before my experience with Gabapentin.  Didn't quite realize they might be linked until reading your last post.  This is the first time its gone though.  Gabapentin just makes me not get frustrated instantly, though it does make me forget things when life is frenzied.  Like "What was I supposed to do?".  It does not make me sleepy per say at 1200mg and 5 mg valium a day, just calm and less frustrated.  Of course no Baclofen in the mix.  Seems to have stopped the cough though I didn't really associate it until you mentioned it.  Its a long post.

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StuckinLA
22 hours ago, cheeto said:

Hi empyr3al, funny I used Gabapentin to help me sleep when I had Sciatica and have used it since every once in a while when I can't sleep. I only take 100-200 mg about an hour before bed and that makes me super sleepy. I could try taking it at night along with my Bac but Bac makes me so sleepy that if I took Gabapentin during the day I would be wiped. Where is the other thread you were talking about, I would love to read it?

So you're one of the ones gabapentin has an effect on, eh. I can take handfuls of the stuff and not feel a thing (~3600mg/day). Just thought I'd chime in :) 

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cheeto

I have been feeling really weird on Bac and super sleepy as I know those are SE's that should go away in time. Thinking about the high doses I will need to take and the reluctance of my Doc to even give me this script I have decided to go with Empry3al's suggestion of Gabapentin which I have taken on and off for years for Sciatica then Menopause hot flashes. Of course now that I read what works for hot flashes it's not 300 mg a day but more like 300 mg, 3 times a day which maybe would work for alcohol cravings too. I am sure my Doc would give me a higher mg prescription with refills too. So yesterday I went down to 20 mg Bac and have some Gabapentin so I took 200 mg X 2. Today I will do the same and work up to 600 mg of Gabapentin and maybe go down to 10 mg of Bac and hopefully in a couple days just go off the Bac?

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