About ITB Therapy
If treatments like pills or injections aren’t giving you enough relief from severe spasticity or are causing intolerable side effects, talk to a specialist about the FDA-approved treatment option called the baclofen pump or ITB TherapySM. Why consider a baclofen pump?
What Is It?
ITB Therapy (the baclofen pump) is a precise, targeted treatment proven to reduce severe spasticity.1-9
Dr. Stephen Koelbel, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist near Boston, MA, describes ITB Therapy.
Our Baclofen Pump
The Medtronic SynchroMed® pump is a programmable, battery-powered medical device that stores and delivers a prescription medication called Lioresal® Intrathecal (baclofen injection). It is surgically placed in the abdomen. A thin, flexible silicone tube called a catheter is inserted near the spine and connected to the pump.
More: SynchroMed II Pump
Benefits and Risks
Although there is currently no cure for spasticity, ITB Therapy (the Medtronic baclofen pump) may treat some of the symptoms of severe spasticity.
Questions and Answers
We've provided answers to some of the common questions and concerns about how ITB Therapy (the baclofen pump) may help minimize severe spasticity.
Dr. Stephen Koelbel answers some of the common questions his patients ask when they are considering ITB Therapy.
Read about the experiences of people who have received our products and therapies. You’ll learn first-hand what life was like for these particular individuals, both before and during treatment.
- Francisco GC, Boake C. Improvement in walking speed in poststroke spastic hemiplegia after intrathecal baclofen therapy: a preliminary study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003;84(8):1194-1199.
- Meythaler JM, Guin-Refroe S, Brunner RC, Hadley MN. Intrathecal baclofen for spastic hypertonia from stroke. Stroke. 2001;32(9):2099-2109.
- Ivanhoe CB, Francisco GE, McGuire JR, Subramanian T, Grissom SP. Intrathecal baclofen management of poststroke spastic hypertonia: implications for function and quality of life. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006;87(11):1509–1515.
- Gilmartin R. Intrathecal baclofen for management of spastic cerebral palsy: multicenter trial. J Child Neurol. 2000;15(2):71-77.
- Penn RD. Intrathecal baclofen for spasticity of spinal origin: seven years of experience. J Neurosurg. 1992;77(2):236-240.
- Albright AL, Gilmartin R, Swift D, Krach LE, Ivanhoe CB, McLaughlin JF. Long-term intrathecal baclofen therapy for severe spasticity of cerebral origin. J Neurosurg. 2003;98(2):291-295.
- Coffey RJ, Cahill D, Steers W. Intrathecal baclofen for intractable spasticity of spinal origin: results of a long-term multicenter study. J Neurosurg. 1993;78(6):226-232.
- Ordia JI, Fischer E, Adamski E, Chagnon KG, Spatz EL. Continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion by a programmable pump in 131 consecutive patients with severe spasticity of spinal origin. Neuromodulation. 2002;5(1):16-24.
- Becker R, Alberti O, Bauer BL. Continuous intrathecal baclofen infusion in severe spasticity after traumatic or hypoxic brain injury. J Neurol. 1997;244(3):160-166.
The Medtronic baclofen pump is part of the Synchromed® Infusion System, which delivers the drug called Lioresal® Intrathecal (baclofen injection) for ITB TherapySM, a treatment for severe spasticity. Please read the following important safety information about ITB Therapy.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR ITB THERAPY (Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy)
Please follow your doctor's instruction closely because a sudden stop of intrathecal baclofen therapy can result in serious baclofen withdrawal symptoms such as high fever, changed mental status, muscle stiffness, and in rare cases may result in loss of function of many vital organs and death. It is very important that your doctor be called right away if you experience any of the above symptoms.
It is important for you to keep your scheduled refill visits so you don't run out of medication (baclofen) and to know the early symptoms of baclofen withdrawal. Some patients are at more risk than others for baclofen withdrawal; speak with your doctor about this.
People who suffer from severe spasticity resulting from cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury may be candidates for ITB Therapy. If you have spasticity due to spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis, you may be considered for ITB Therapy if oral baclofen has not controlled your spasticity or has resulted in serious side effects that you cannot accept. If you suffered a brain injury due to trauma you must wait until one year after the injury to be considered for ITB Therapy. A trial of ITB Therapy will help to show if ITB Therapy can help you. You should not receive ITB Therapy if you have an infection, are allergic to baclofen, or your body size is too small for the implantable pump.
The implanted pump and catheter (tube that delivers the drug from the pump to the fluid around the spinal cord) are placed under the skin during a surgery. Some complications that you may experience with the surgery include infection, meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and central nervous system), spinal fluid leak, paralysis, headache, swelling, bleeding, and bruising.
The most common and/or serious drug-related side effects of ITB Therapy include loose muscles, sleepiness, upset stomach, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness. Failure of the pump placed under your skin may cause symptoms due to overdose (receiving too much) or underdose (receiving too little) of intrathecal baclofen. The signs and symptoms of overdose include drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, respiratory depression (difficulty breathing), hypothermia (lower than normal body temperature), seizures, loss of consciousness, and coma. Once the infusion system (the pump and the catheter) is implanted, possible complications include unintended movement of the catheter or pump within the body or breakdown of the skin over the pump. The catheter could leak, tear, kink, or become disconnected from the pump, resulting in underdose or no baclofen infusion. Symptoms of underdose include an increase or return in spasticity, itching, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and tingling sensation. These symptoms are often early signs of baclofen withdrawal. The pump could stop because the battery has run out or because of a problem with one or more of its inner parts. The pump will sound an alarm when the pump needs to be filled with baclofen, replaced, or if there is a problem with the pump. You or your caregiver should always inform any healthcare personnel that you have an implanted infusion system before any medical or diagnostic procedure such as MRI or diathermy.
For more information, please read the Lioresal® Intrathecal (baclofen injection) Full Prescribing Information and the SynchroMed Infusion System Information.
This therapy is not for everyone. Please contact your doctor. A prescription is required.
Lioresal® is a registered trademark of Medtronic, Inc.
USA Rx Only Rev 0913
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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.
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