Daily Living – Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy

While intrathecal baclofen therapy may help improve your severe spasticity through medication, you play an important role in your own treatment.

The following guidelines will help you maximise the benefit from your baclofen pump:

  • Carry your patient ID card and emergency cards with you at all times
  • Always keep your follow-up and refill appointments
  • Tell your doctor if you don’t feel well, or are having problems with the pump
  • Immediately notify your doctor if you hear a pump alarm
  • Learn the programmable pump name and model number and the name of the medication used in the pump
  • Make sure your family and friends know about the pump, so they can help in an emergency

Exercise and Daily Activities

Your doctor may recommend that you restrict activity for 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery. As you become more active, discuss your level and type of activity with your doctor. Follow his or her suggestions about work, sexual activity, travel, recreation, hobbies, and exercise.

Talk with your doctor if you perform any excessive or repetitive activities that may damage your programmable pump and catheter. Certain activities that can increase or decrease the flow rate of your pump are also potentially dangerous.

Travel

Tell your doctor if you plan to travel. If necessary, he or she will adjust your pump refills to prevent serious injury or death from a travel-related change in your treatment.

People who live or travel at high altitudes are often exposed to lower air pressures for long periods of time. This continued exposure can increase the flow rate of the pump. If your doctor determines an increase in flow rate might pose a significant risk to you, he or she can adjust your infusion prescription accordingly.

Medical and Dental Procedures

Tell your other doctors and your dentist about your baclofen pump before you have any medical or dental procedures. Certain procedures could affect your safety or the performance of the pump.

Electromagnetic Compatibility

Electromagnetic interference from sources such as diagnostic ultrasound, mobile phones and microwave ovens is unlikely to affect your baclofen pump. However, there are exceptions. For more information consult the patient manual or ask your doctor.

Support Groups and Networks

Those who suffer from severe spasticity and their family caregivers can share experiences, offer support, and better understand the challenges of living with spasticity.

Helpful resources include:

Advocacy groups offer further information, support, and volunteer opportunities for those affected by cerebral palsy.

For more information, contact the following organisations:

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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