Compare baclofen vs. Dantrium

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Lioresal
(baclofen)

Dantrium
(dantrolene)

Relaxes your muscles. Lioresal (baclofen) is a first choice treatment for muscle spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries, but it's not recommended for other types of muscle spasms.Relaxes your muscles. Dantrium (dantrolene) effectively treats malignant hyperthermia (increased temperature and muscle contractions when receiving anesthesia) and is the only medicine used to treat the condition. Dantrium (dantrolene) is not a first-choice treatment for general muscle spasms because it can damage your liver.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.79baclofen
Reviews for baclofen
61%
of people (All ages) say baclofen is worth it
55%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Dantrium (dantrolene)?
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Side effects
baclofenDantrium
  • Drowsiness 27%
More baclofen side effects »

The Dantrium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Dantrium side effects »
How it works
baclofenDantrium
Lioresal (baclofen) is a gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA) agonist. It's not clear how it works, but GABA is believed to help calm down nerves. Muscle spasms are thought to be started by overactive nerves.Dantrium (dantrolene) stops spasms and relaxes muscle cells by interfering with the release of calcium inside muscle cells.
Type of medication
baclofenDantrium
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
baclofenDantrium
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
baclofenDantrium
  • Malignant Hyperthermia
Risk factors for serious side effects
baclofenDantrium
  • Stopping Lioresal (baclofen) too quickly
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
Detailed Lioresal (baclofen) risks & warnings »
  • Taking 800 mg or more Dantrium (dantrolene) per day
  • Women
  • Over 35 years old
  • Elderly
  • History of liver disease or dysfunction
Detailed Dantrium (dantrolene) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
baclofenDantrium
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
No alcohol related info.
Sleep
baclofenDantrium
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Taking Dantrium (dantrolene) may make you feel dizzy or sleepy for the first few days, especially if you drink alcohol or take recreational drugs. Avoid driving or other activities requiring concentration until you know how your body responds to the medication. Your body should adjust to the medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if these symptoms bother you.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
Upsides and benefits
baclofenDantrium
  • A better option for seniors compared to other muscle relaxants since it has fewer side effects than other similar medicines.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) is available as a generic and is a relatively inexpensive medication.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) effectively treats malignant hyperthermia.
  • Can be used for muscle spasticity if other medications haven't worked.
  • Available as generic.
Downsides and risks
baclofenDantrium
  • Except for specific muscle spasms caused by brain injury or multiple sclerosis, Lioresal (baclofen) is not a recommended medicine.
  • If you've been taking Lioresal (baclofen) regularly for a long time, you'll need to get off of it slowly.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you sleepy.
  • If you've had a stroke, Lioresal (baclofen) may not work as well, and you're more likely to experience side effects.
  • Not a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms because it can cause liver damage.
  • Can cause dizziness, sleepiness, and sometimes severe diarrhea.
  • Needs routine blood tests since it can injure your liver.
  • Dose needs to be increased slowly to minimize side effects.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
baclofenDantrium
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Lioresal (baclofen) suddenly without talking to your doctor if you've been on it for a long time. It can be dangerous. Your doctor will help you get off it slowly over time.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) can worsen liver function.You may need to have your blood checked regularly before starting Dantrium (dantrolene) and while you're on it.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Dantrium (dantrolene) can cause diarrhea, but it usually goes away within the first few weeks. If it doesn't, talk to your doctor.
  • May make your skin sensitive to the sun. Wear sunblock and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight while on Dantrium (dantrolene).
Learn more
More about baclofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about DantriumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Dantrium (dantrolene)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it