Compare baclofen vs. Skelaxin

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

baclofen

Skelaxin
(metaxalone)

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. Skelaxin (metaxalone) is used for muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pain with mixed results.
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 Skelaxin (metaxalone)?
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Side effects
baclofenSkelaxin
  • Drowsiness 27%
More baclofen side effects »

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

More about Skelaxin side effects »
How it works
baclofenSkelaxin
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.How Skelaxin (metaxalone) works is not exactly known. It is believed that it works on the brain to help relieve muscle pain and relax muscles.
Type of medication
baclofenSkelaxin
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableLower-cost generic available
Available as
baclofenSkelaxin
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
baclofenSkelaxin
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
Risk factors for serious side effects
baclofenSkelaxin
  • 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 other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Taking antidepressants
  • Higher than recommended doses of Skelaxin (metaxalone)
Detailed Skelaxin (metaxalone) 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
baclofenSkelaxin
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
No alcohol related info.
Food
baclofenSkelaxin
No food related info.
  • Can be taken with or without food. However, Skelaxin (metaxalone) may be stronger when taken with food, especially if you are older. Be on the lookout for more pronounced drowsiness or sleepiness.
Kidneys and liver
baclofenSkelaxin
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • People who have any liver or kidney problems should not use Skelaxin (metaxalone). Skelaxin (metaxalone) is broken down by the liver, and eliminated from the body via the kidneys. If either of those are not working at their best, you could have high levels of Skelaxin (metaxalone) in your body and more side effects.Your liver could also worsen. Talk to your doctor as you may need to get routine blood test for your liver and kidneys if you already have liver/kidney problems.
Sleep
baclofenSkelaxin
  • 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 Skelaxin (metaxalone) with alcohol or narcotics can worsen the drowsiness.
  • Can make you very drowsy or sleepy
Upsides and benefits
baclofenSkelaxin
  • 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.
  • Can be used for muscle spasms and muscle pain if other medications have not worked.
  • Available as generic.
  • Slightly less sedation and side effects compared to other muscle relaxants.
Downsides and risks
baclofenSkelaxin
  • 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.
  • Effects don't last that long. You need to take Skelaxin (metaxalone) up to 3-4 times daily.
  • Several studies showed mixed results when Skelaxin (metaxalone) was compared with a sugar pill for treatment of muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pain.
  • Can make you very drowsy or sleepy
  • Even though a generic is available, it is still fairly expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
baclofenSkelaxin
  • 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.
  • Can be taken with or without food. However, Skelaxin (metaxalone) may be stronger when taken with food, especially if you are older. Be on the lookout for more pronounced drowsiness or sleepiness.
  • Skelaxin (metaxalone) 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 Skelaxin (metaxalone) with alcohol or narcotics can worsen the drowsiness.
  • Skelaxin (metaxalone) can also have a more pronounced effect on women.
Learn more
More about baclofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about SkelaxinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Skelaxin (metaxalone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it