Doctor and patient discuss the patient's condition

Before Travelling

Severe Spasticity

These tips will help you enjoy your trip and stay safe.

Trip Planning

  • Find out when your pump is due to be refilled and make sure this date doesn’t come during your trip. If it does, arrange to have your pump refilled before you go.
  • Get contact information for a doctor who manages treatment with baclofen pumps in the area you will be visiting.
  • Carry your Medtronic Device Identification Card with you at all times. This card may help you pass through security with fewer questions. It also serves as an emergency card if something happens while you're traveling.
  • If you are flying or are traveling to an area with a high altitude, tell your doctor. Your doctor will determine whether to temporarily decrease your flow rate to avoid a potentially dangerous overdose.
  • Find out what activities to avoid.


Airports and airlines offer a variety of services to people who have mobility issues.

When booking your flight, ask to be connected to special services. Let the agent know what you will need. If you are able to walk, ask for a seat near the front. If you will be transferring to your seat from an aisle chair, ask for a seat in the bulkhead. The agent can also set up a wheelchair or cart transfer to and from the gate. In most cases, you can use your own wheelchair. At the gate, you will transfer to a special aisle chair to board the aircraft.

Keep prescription medicines in your carry-on luggage, so you won't be without them if your luggage is lost.

Security devices and metal detectors won’t damage your pump, but the metal in the pump may set them off. Reduce your chances of setting off a metal detector by not lingering around or leaning on security screening devices in stores or the airport. If you do set off a metal detector, show your Medtronic Device Identification Card to security personnel.

Next: Cautions on Medical Procedures

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.


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.

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.