Woman taking baclofen for MS

65% of MS patients discontinue this therapy within a year

Baclofen is one of the drugs licenced to treat spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), but a new Swedish population-based study showed half of patients discontinued it in the first six months, and 90% stopped within two years.

When accounting for people with incident MS and prevalent MS, 65% stopped baclofen within a year.

Patients who were more disabled, scoring higher on the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) kept on the treatment longer.

Two other treatments commonly used to treat spasticity, diazepam and gabapentin, also showed high discontinuation rates among MS patients – with those in the study almost all discontinuing after six months and 75% stopping gabapentin after a year.

The researchers said the results highlighted ““the importance of informed treatment options and better understanding of spasticity in general among patients with MS,” they said.