What Is a Baclofen Pump?

Intrathecal baclofen therapy is a treatment that may relieve some of the symptoms of severe spasticity.

Depending on your specific condition, a baclofen pump may impact your severe spasticity in different ways. Treatment may be even more effective when used in combination with physical, occupational, or speech therapy.


Detail: Pump and catheter placement

How a Baclofen Pump Treats Severe Spasticity Caused by Stroke

ITB therapy uses a surgically implanted programmable pump and catheter that delivers medication which helps reduce severe spasticity caused by stroke. This medication is a liquid form of baclofen, that goes directly into the intrathecal space where fluid flows around the spinal cord.

Because baclofen is delivered directly to the spinal fluid where it's needed most, it reduces spasticity with smaller amounts of medication than when baclofen is taken orally. This method of delivery may help minimise side effects that can result from oral baclofen.

Therapy Components

The ITB therapy system consists of:

  • Pump – a surgically placed, battery-powered programmable pump with a reservoir infuses the drug at a programmed rate via the catheter
  • Catheter – a flexible silicone tube delivers medication from the pump to your body
  • Liquid baclofen – a drug that reduces severe spasticity for some people

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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