Factors Your Doctor May Consider – Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy

Talk to your doctor to see if you may be a candidate for intrathecal baclofen therapy.

Eligibility Requirements

Your doctor will consider many important factors to decide if intrathecal baclofen therapy (ITB therapy) is right for you.

You may be a candidate for ITB therapy if you:

  • Have severe spasticity that interferes with your function, care and comfort, or activities of daily living
  • Show a positive response to a baclofen injection in a standard screening test
  • Have sufficient body size to support the pump, which must be implanted 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) or less from the surface of the skin
  • Do not have any infection
  • Are not allergic to baclofen

In addition, healthcare professionals may use the following criteria to determine if you are a candidate for a baclofen pump:

  • You experience severe spasticity or spasms that interfere with function or daily activities
  • Your severe spasticity or spasms interfere with care or positioning

About the Screening Test

A standard screening test determines if ITB therapy may work for you. During the test, you’ll be screened with a small dose of the drug baclofen injected into the intrathecal space (where fluid flows around the spinal cord).

In one clinical study, baclofen reduced spasticity in 86% of individuals with spasticity of cerebral origin during the screening test.1

If You Are a Candidate

If your doctor determines you are a candidate for a baclofen pump, you will need to make the final decision about whether to pursue the treatment.

Here are some suggestions to help you decide if a baclofen pump is right for you:

  • Read Personal Stories or talk with people who have a baclofen pump.
  • Make sure you’re comfortable with your doctor. He or she should be helpful, supportive, and ready to answer any questions you may have.
  • Carefully weigh the benefits and risks of a baclofen pump.

Before you meet with your doctor, think about what you hope to learn. Prepare questions, and be ready to provide information about your medical history.


  1. Gilmartin R, Bruce D, et al. Intrathecal baclofen for management of spastic cerebral palsy: multicenter trial. J Child Neurol 2000; 71-77.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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