Do you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? Don’t worry. You are not alone. It is estimated that GERD impacts 1 in 6 adult Canadians. Moreover, 16% of people are absent from work each year because of GERD symptoms. 

One question you may have is if Baclofen is good for GERD.

Before answering the above question, it is essential to understand Baclofen (Baclofen and its uses) and GERD (GERD, symptoms, and treatment/prevention options). 

What is Baclofen

Baclofen belongs to the skeletal muscle relaxants class of medications. It is used to treat pain and a certain type of muscle tightness and stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, or other spinal cord diseases. Baclofen acts on the spinal cord nerves and reduces the number and severity of muscle spasms. Also, it relieves pain and improves muscle movement. 

Your physician may prescribe Baclofen for other uses sometimes. If you  need more information about Baclofen or a prescription, you can chat with a pharmacist or a doctor by clicking here.

What is GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid regularly flows back in the tube connecting your mouth and esophagus (stomach), irritating the esophagus lining. 

Many people may experience acid reflux regularly. GERD is mild acid reflux that occurs twice a week. GERD can be managed with the help of over-the-counter drugs and lifestyle changes. But few people may require stronger medications or even surgery to ease the symptoms of GERD. 

  • Symptoms of GERD include the following: 
  • Chest pain 
  • Difficulty in swallowing 
  • A burning sensation in your chest that usually occurs after eating
  • A sensation of a lump in your throat 
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid 
  • Chronic cough 
  • Disrupted sleep 
  • Nausea bad breath 
  • Treatment and prevention: The following are some of the treatment and prevention options for GERD: 
  • Antacids 
  • H-2 receptor blocks such as cimetidine, famotidine 
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) such as omeprazole, lansoprazole
  • Surgery and other procedures
  • Baclofen: It helps by decreasing the frequency of the relaxations of the lower esophageal sphincter
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Is baclofen good for GERD?

Recent research has suggested that transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation (TLESR) could be the primary cause of reflux episodes in patients with GERD. 

PPI and H2 receptor blockers are the primary lines of treatment for patients with GERD as they block and decrease the stomach’s acid production. In many patients with GERD, treating them with PPI’s and H2 receptor blockers has led to treatment failure. The leading cause of this failure of the treatment is these drugs are not able to control TLESR. However, a recent study suggests that Baclofen is efficacious in reducing TLESR’s, reflux-related episodes, and reflux episodes. 

So, Baclofen is a good treatment option for patients who do not respond to the first line of the treatment. 

Some More Questions Associated With Baclofen And GERD

Can muscle relaxers cause acid reflux?

As described above, acid reflux is a condition in which acid from the stomach moves into the esophagus. It usually happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (an esophageal muscle) stays open for longer and does not get completely closed. 

Certain muscle relaxers are believed to cause acid reflux. 

Are Acid Reflux and Chronic Cough Related?

Persistent acid reflux may develop into GERD. People who are suffering from GERD experience chronic persistent reflux at least twice a week. The most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn (a burning sensation in the lower chest and abdomen). Moreover, it may be accompanied by other symptoms such as wheezing, difficulty in swallowing, or a chronic cough. 

Research suggests one of the most common causes of chronic cough is GERD. However, chronic cough may also be caused by other diseases. 

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Can Baclofen or gabapentin help with asthma?

Gabapentin or Baclofen is usually not used to manage asthma. They may help with long-term cough, but when the cough is caused by GERD and not in general. Besides, these medicines may be contraindicated in people with asthma. So, always consult your doctor before taking any medicines to manage asthma.

Recommended Reading

  1. Can SIBO Cause GERD? ANSWERED: Can Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Cause GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease?(Opens in a new browser tab)
  2. Baclofen(Opens in a new browser tab)
  3. Baclofen: Treating Muscle Pain & Spasms, Side Effects(Opens in a new browser tab)
  4. Does milk of magnesia help GERD? ANSWERED – Benefits, Nausea, Side effects & Reaction Time(Opens in a new browser tab)
  5. How does Baclofen Ease Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms?(Opens in a new browser tab)
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