|Treatments > Medications Used In MS|
The SynchroMed® Infusion System consists of: a small titanium disk, about three inches in diameter and one inch thick, which contains a refillable reservoir for the liquid, and a computer chip that regulates the battery-operated pump; a flixible silicone catheter that serves as the pathway from the pump to the intrathecal space.
Implantation of the pump requires two incisions-one in the lower abdomen to create a pocket for the pump, and another one in the lower back for inserting the catheter that is looped around the torso, inside the body, connecting the pump to the intrathecal space.
The dose of medication delivered by the pump is programmed, and subsequently adjusted if necessary, by non-invasive radio-telemetry. The pump is refilled every 4 to 12 weeks by injection, in a procedure lasting about 20 minutes.
To prevent the baclofen supply from running out, the pump contains a programmable alarm that sounds whenever the reservoir need to be refilled, the battery is low, or the pump is malfunctioning in some way. In the event that the alarm sounds, you should contact your physician immediately.
Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks of treatment with this medicine. During this time, the amount of medicine you are using may have to be changed often to meet your individual needs.
Make sure to keep all appointments to refill the pump. If the pump is not refilled on time, you may experience return of your muscle tightness and early withdrawal symptoms that might include: itching of the skin, decreased blood pressure (blurred vision*; confusion; dizziness; faintness or lightheadedness when rising from a lying or sitting position; sweating; unusual tiredness of weakness*), burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles," or tingling feelings*; seizures.
Abruptly stopping intrathecal baclofen can result in serious medical problems and in rare cases has been fatal.
Possible Side Effects
Unusual side effects that require immediate medical attention: high fever; altered mental status; spasticity than is worse than was experienced prior to starting ITB Therapy; muscle rigidity.
Symptoms of overdose: drowsiness; lightheadedness; sudden onset of blurred or double vision*; shortness of breath or troubled breathing; vomiting; seizures; loss of consciousness; coma.
*Since it may be difficult to distinguish between certain common symptoms of MS and some side effects of baclofen, be sure to consult your health care professional if an abrupt change of this type occurs.